Brenau Students Keep Commitment: Charity Race for Casa Shalom Orphanage, Guatemala

Sep 9, 2011
Rudi Kiefer

Originally published on 9/08/11

Photo (Y.Cui): Lunchtime at Casa Shalom. Brenau graduate students visited the orphanage in the spring of 2011.

On Saturday, Sept. 10 At 9 a.m. Brenau University students are hosting a 5K run/1 mile walk fundraising event for the Casa Shalom Orphanage in Guatemala that will start and finish on the front lawn of Brenau University. Cost for participation is $25, and the first 100 who enter will receive a commemorative T-shirt.
Proceeds from the event benefit the orphanage that Brenau graduate students in business encountered during a spring break trip in which they worked individually and in groups with specific enterprises and organizations in the emerging Central American economy. (To read theBrenau Window magazine article about the trip, click here.)
After one week of working with the orphanage it became clear that the needs of the orphans was growing and will grow in the future, said Iben Nielsen, a Brenau graduate student and teaching assistant from Denmark who was among the Brenau delegation this spring. Casa Shalom is struggling to provide school supplies, clothing and food for the 50+ and constantly increasing number of orphans that are living there. Every week new children arrive to the orphanage, and even though the orphanage has stretched its resources to their limits, it continues to accept these new children. The Brenau graduate students pledged to come up with some ideas to help sustain the organization in their “consultancy” role, but also promised to continue helping with day-to-day operations.

As a result, the Brenau students have organized a 5k run and one-mile walk as a fundraiser to help the orphans of Casa Shalom to have school books, food and clothing for now and in the future. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be used to cover current needs for school books for all the children in the orphanage. Remaining money will be used to create a sustainable program for the orphanage to help provide for its needs in the future.

Nielsen will be leading a group of students in a study abroad experience to Guatemala during Spring Break 2012. Team members will actively participate in and help develop a long-term sustainable income generating program for the orphanage.
For more information, contact Nielsen at or Professor Greg Chase, at or 770-538-4389