“We Ghana Run” 5k Fun Run

By Denise Sy

Published by Berkeley Haas Undergraduate Blog

On Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 10AM to 2PM, Empathy FX International, a student-run non-profit organization, and Humans of Berkeley, a social media project aimed at mapping out the diversity in Berkeley, will be hosting their first ever 5k run on UC Berkeley’s campus for $15 per participant. All proceeds will go towards Empathy FX’s efforts in alleviating global poverty and providing access to quality education in Ghana.

Empathy FX International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, co-founded by current CEO of Empathy FX’s USA Chapter  and Haas Business School Association (HBSA) President, Rosemary Hua (BS Business Administration, BA Political Science ’14) in 2009 when she was just sixteen, and Nana Aggrey-Fynn, CEO of the organization’s Ghana Chapter. For the past four years, Rosemary has led the Summer and Winter Construction and Medical Travel Teams from Berkeley to Ghana, specifically to Old Odunasi, Abeadze Dominase, and Assin Kumasi, where she successfully oversaw and participated in the building of schools for Ghanaian children.

Rosemary’s US branch is in charge of fundraising, managing funds, and planning strategically for the future of the organization. Whereas Nana’s Ghana branch ensures the upkeep of the school and the details of Empathy’s travel service program. This includes hiring employees for on-site constructions, as well as determining which villages to visit. This partnership allows the two CEOs to respond quickly and more adequately to the needs of their students in Ghana.

Empathy FX literally means Empathy affects (FX). It is the organization’s goal to ensure that their empathy leads to real results in the lives of their school’s students.

See Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1411829569082449/
Apply to Empathy FX Summer 2014 Travel Application: http://www.empathyfx.org/apply-now/
Join Empathy FX’s Marketing Team: http://www.empathyfx.org/marketing-internship/

Carmel Valley student helps build school in Ghana

By Karen Billing

Published by Del Mar Times

Claire Bolton, a 17-year-old senior at Canyon Crest Academy, spent part of her summer building a school for children in the village of Abeadze Dominase in Ghana.

For 21 days, from July 24 to Aug. 14, Claire volunteered her time as part of Empathy FX International, a non-profit organization that allows high school and college students to help create educational opportunities for the under-served and under-resourced in the global community.

“It was amazing to see the school all done,” said Claire, whose name was painted on the wall, forever marking her contribution to the village.

Claire has lived in Carmel Valley for five years, moving to the country with her family from the United Kingdom. As a freshman, Claire got involved in CCA’s Key Club, the high school community service organization sponsored by Kiwanis International. Through the club she volunteered for projects such as beach clean-ups and at the soup kitchen before the president of the club told her about Empathy FX.

Empathy FX was started in 2009 by 20-year-old Rosemary Hua, a UC Berkeley senior, with help from Ghana resident Nana Aggrey-Fynn. The double major at Berkeley is passionate about education and has led one-to-two student volunteer trips a year, and has built three schools in Ghana so far. While the trips have usually included only college students, this summer’s was the first to involve high school students.

“She is very inspirational,” Claire said of Hua.

To be selected for the trip, Claire went through an application process that included interviews via Skype and a personality test. She was the only San Diego teen on the trip, along with four high schoolers from San Jose, a college graduate student and Hua.

To be able to go on the trip, Claire had to fundraise $5,000, which included her travel and lodging costs as well as supplies to build the school. She was able to get donations from Qualcomm, HP, Abtech Technologies and even her orthodontist.

“Everyone in Ghana is so welcoming and friendly,” Claire said. “A lot of people carried stuff on their heads and babies on their back. I carried cement blocks on my head.”

In the village, the group built a three-room school from the ground up and Claire did everything from mixing cement to wiring to painting. Once the building was complete they gave the 70-some children, who will attend the school, some donated supplies, taught them a few English words and colored with them.

The village children were fascinated by Claire’s long blonde hair and by her braces.

“I gave them a speech on what braces do, drawing in the sand,” Claire said.

During her 21 days, Claire stayed with a host family of three girls and their grandparents, along with two of the girls from the trip. They had egg stew almost every day for lunch and dinner with sides of noodles, yams or rice.

The family did not have indoor plumbing and Claire said it was simple basic living.

“I appreciate life way more now and the things I have,” Claire said. “I wouldn’t complain about what I have because I realize people in Ghana may struggle but they keep happy every day.”

The group worked five to eight hours a day but they did have some free time to explore — Claire saw a slave castle at Cape Coast and went to the beach, although people don’t really go into the ocean like San Diego, most of the coastline was filled with fisherman.

She and her group gave plenty of business to a local craftsman, having him make colorful, personalized bracelets for friends and family back home.

Claire said she made lifelong friends out of the process and would love to go on another trip in the future. She hopes to continue doing community service work through Key Club and although she does not yet know where she will end up for college, she hopes to study communications.

To learn more about Empathy FX, visit empathyfx.org.

Empathy FX International – Make A Global Impact

By Nina Udomsak

Published by Caliber Magazine

Now that the rush of First General Meetings has subsided, it’s time to decide which ones to settle on. But wait! There’s one more you should check out. If you’re interested in becoming involved with start-ups, non-profit businesses, education, global service/travel, or all of the above, then come to Empathy FXInternational’s General Infosession this Friday, in the Eshleman Senate Chambers at 4pm.

Empathy FX International is a non-profit organization founded by Nana Aggrey-Fynn of Ghana and Rosemary Hua, a junior and ASUC Senator here at Cal. A year ago, Empathy funded the physical construction of a school in Old Odunasi, Ghana. Since then, the company has successfully raised profits to hire teachers and to purchase school supplies and utilities.

“The key to alleviating global poverty is increasing quality education,” said Hua. “I founded Empathy after coming back from a study/service travel project in Ghana. I lived there for 30 days teaching English and building a five-room kindergarten; upon coming back to America, I wanted to continue those efforts with an established group at Berkeley.”

Currently with two operating branches—one in Berkeley and one in Ghana—Empathy has seen growth and progress in its ventures since its founding. The company has three committees: Marketing, Finance, and Programs. What separates Empathy from other service clubs is the direct and precise impact it sustains: Hua keeps in consistent contact with the Ghana branch, and all the funds generated are donated to the school that she and Aggrey-Fynn helped build.

“I think it’s unique because it allows students to give back to the global educational community while developing business acumen and common sense,” said Abhishek Kumar, Chief Marketing Director. “Going forward, I have no doubt that this will be one of the biggest service organizations on campus.”

The main driving force behind Empathy so far has been its apparel line. With a new design launched each semester, the company has raised a significant amount of money from the shirt sales alone. Last semester, clothing store Bear Basics/T-shirt Orgy liked the latest design so much that it bought and sold the tanks in store.

In addition to the apparel line, Hua is currently working on a Travel/Study program in which participants would travel to Ghana from Jan. 6th to the 20th. The infosession for the travel program will be on Sept. 21st, but it will also be explained at the meeting this Friday.

There is also a campus-wide event in the works. “This semester, we are hosting a talent competition/beauty pageant to raise awareness for gender equality and domestic violence both in Ghana and the states,” said Hua.

To sign up for committee interviews, meet the executive management team, and find out more about this promising start-up, stop by the infosession this Friday!

“Ghanaians are unable to break out of the cycle of poverty without access to general kindergarten to secondary school education,” said Hua. “If we help make education a little easier to access, it wouldn’t be as huge of an investment, and Ghanaians would be equipped with the tools to obtain more preferred jobs, and thus, reduce their chances of falling into the poverty cycle. Everyone should join in this effort to ensure that education is a right and not a luxury.”

Join the Empathy FX International General Infosession Facebook Event!

Date: September 14th

Time: 4-5pm

Location: Senate Chambers, Eshleman Hall

Empathy FX’s Official Website: http://empathyfx.org

Shop Empathy’s Apparel Line: http://efx.bigcartel.com

Like their Facebook page!