World Wide Village, an international aid organization run by St. Paul residents, Randy and Patricia Mortensen since 2001, will be featured on a new documentary series called Operation Change airing this Monday June, 23rd at 10:00pm EST/9:00 Central on the OWN (Oprah Winfrey) Network.
The OWN network explains that, Operation Change “takes viewers around the globe as it examines some of the world’s most challenging issues with some of the organizations that are attempting to help bring positive change.” Adding that, “Ignited by the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the movement has been chronicled through a collection of life-changing stories, images and footage that demonstrate the valiant efforts of the world’s unsung heroes. The mission is simple: Alone we can’t do much. Together we can change the world!”
World Wide Village has been a partner in Haiti with the Starkey Foundation for several years; organizing and coordinating their on-the-ground missions, while providing in-country resources and support necessary to complete the foundation’s goals. WWV’s President, Randy Mortensen, further explains, “Working with Starkey we’ve given more than 1,200 Haitians, mostly children, the gift of hearing. Many are not deaf but instead are hearing impaired. The joy we’ve witnessed in seeing children hear their parent’s voice for the first time; or jazz music the first time, is heart warming and is always an emotional experience.”
Operation Change will highlight their partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s donation of free hearing aids. The Documentary also features celebrities and philanthropists including former President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Elton John and many others.
World Wide Village helps Haitian families and children every day by providing funds, resources and expertise. It is directly responsible for the education of over 700 children a year. They are involved in the daily operation of some schools, and provide continued education to Haitian teachers and school administrators throughout the year to ensure the students receive the most advanced skills and knowledge available.
In addition to their work in education, World Wide Village supports the work of Haitian led construction teams; demonstrating and teaching them a safe method of building. This puts the education, knowledge and ownership of each project back in to native hands, and by doing so, the construction of these long-lasting homes has become a sustainable Haitian enterprise in the towns that World Wide Village touches.
Over the last 13 years, World Wide Village’s continued support and growth has consistently brought corporate foundations, church mission groups, and independent teams and donors to Haiti to participate in projects based on the areas of greatest need, and on the motivations of each group. Their vision is for a time in Haiti when education will be widespread, leading to the knowledge and faith necessary as a catalyst for the reestablishment of the family unit, healthy children, and economic stability.
For additional information, images and/or press inquiries, please contact Alexia Rouquette at 561.945.6755 or ARouquette@worldwidevillage.org