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Help twins rebuild communities in Brazil!

Organized by: Viktoriya and Oksana Gruzdyn

Viktoriya and Oksana's Photo

EVENT DATE Mar 03, 2017


We are Viktoriya and Oksana, Twins, Health Coaches, and Creative Artists.

We were raised on our grandmother’s farm in Ukraine, taking care of animals, growing our own fruits and vegetables, and spending a lot of time outdoors. At 12 years old, we came to United States. All of the sudden, we felt a little bit out of place. We did not speak a word of English and many kids were hiding behind their devices instead of connecting with each other. Too often, we are afraid of what we don’t know. We are confident that the more we connect, the more beautiful the world will become.

The first purpose of our trip to Brazil is to help rebuild connections that we lost within our communities. Over the last 10 years, we have been working with profit and non-profit organization with the mission to help encourage and inspire each other to take action of bringing to life a bright future for us all. This means living sustainable, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and shaping a better world together.

The second purpose of our trip to Brazil is to volunteer in a community that serves people whose experiences are far different from our own. This will greatly help sharpen our empathic skills. Empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in someone else's position and to intuit what the person is feeling. Empathy isn't sympathy - that is, feeling bad for someone else. It is feeling with someone else, sensing what it would be like to be that person. It is mighty important. It helped our species climb out of the volutionary muck. It allows us to see the other side of an argument, comfort someone in distress, and bite our lip instead of muttering something unkind. Empathy builds self-awareness, bonds parent to child, and allows us to work together. "Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate and to connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their live." - Oprha Winfrey.

When we combine volunteer work with a vacation, we immerse ourselves into someone else’s world and working beside that person is a great way to connect with others and gain insights into their lives. This is our calling. It is the most satisfying form of work, because, as gratification, it is done for its own sake rather than for the material benefits it brings.

This is why we connected with International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ), the world’s leading volunteer travel organization, to help inspire and empower others. We will be working on projects that provide opportunities for healthy, constructive recreational activities in a safe environment.

Besides our passion for community services, Oksana is a PhD student in cancer immunology, working on developing a therapeutic cancer vaccine. I am, Viktoriya, is a creative artist who enjoys teaching kids express themselves through art.

By supporting us, you help us change lives of children. We will be documenting our trip via photos, videos, social media posts, and blogs so you can take part of our journey. We will be doing a two-week program in Brazil. Funds will go towards our flights, program fees, and registration fees. Our flight travel from Michigan to Brazil ranges between 1300 to 1700 USD per person. The two-week program is 495 USD dollars with a $300 registration fee. The entire cost of travel is just under $5,000 for the both of us. We are truly grateful for helping us make our dream come to life.

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Organized by

Viktoriya and Oksana Gruzdyn

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

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