January 28, 2011

Effective & Worthwhile NGOs

"When we grow old, there can only be one regret – not to have given enough of ourselves." — Eleonora Duse. 
Engaging in NGO work is the best thing to do with one's free time. It becomes even more rewarding when you have no 'free time'. Alongside his work with antiquities for various organizations and museums, as well as running his own ancient art business, Mr. Samuel Merrin is deeply involved with several non-profit organizations.

Identified as reputable and effectual from first-hand experience, Samuel Merrin would like to invite others to 'join in' with some of these NGOs.

DOROT's University Without Walls is an e-learning, educational program for senior citizens that allows both students and teachers to work from home. It is highly advantageous to both parties as they each save time, expenses, and especially effort in travel – very practical for home-bound elderly people. The students are instructed by hobbyists, academics or even leading experts in their fields, who are able to pass on their knowledge to people that have already been through so much in life, but are still curious.

A remarkable sight, which establishes lasting bonds between people who would have otherwise never met, where, for example, Sam Merrin recollected to the AP in USA Today's article:
[Samuel Merrin] teaches a class on art collecting and another on trends in the art world. Merrin said he often forgets about his students' frailty because of their exuberance. When two of his longtime students, Marion and Ethel, died last year, he said, "It hit me very hard." Although he had never met Marion in person, he said, the 90-plus widow frequently e-mailed him after class. Ethel, who was in her 80s, even took his class after moving to Israel. "Those two deaths affected me where, literally, I took this semester off. I didn't figure on this," he said. "You forget they're elderly."
This University Without Walls program at DOROT allows the instructors to do what they love most – teach their trade, and guide their students. And the students are then, in turn, able to put their dedicated interest to good and rewarding use. (Which, if you think about it, differs in many respects to young students in schools and colleges; at least comically, according to television in the 80s. Think – John Huges' The Breakfast Club of 1985.) Interested? Read more, join or take part in the University Without Walls at DOROT.

Samuel Merrin holds in high-regard the idea that, together, we can help change the world. A not-for-profit organization, The Merrin Institute at DOROT does just that. It's activities and reaches extend far and wide, as it "mobilizes communities to extend a lifeline of support to the homebound and homeless elderly". Specifically, The Merrin Institute at DOROT, "assists professionals, academics, and students in the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and an understanding of issues confronting the frail elderly".

The Merrin Institute at DOROT supports and runs programs that assist in 'bridging the gap' between the young and the old by providing educational and academic support. In a world where life-span is prolonging our 'active years' of life, these programs help to put these to good use, especially in cases where society is not so quick to keep up (e.g. forced retirement, stereotypes).

Samuel Merrin is on the advisory council of The Merrin Institute, and also serves as a director at DOROT, in addition to helping with the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda.

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