Alexander Rittershaus – Young Hero to Wunlang

Alex Rittershaus

Alex Rittershaus

Alexander Rittershaus is a senior at Lynn Classical High School, and we are very fortunate to have him on our team coordinating our Village to Village campaign. In fact the whole concept that became “Village to Village” actually began with Alex. Almost as soon as our Executive Director, Franco Majok, returned from his trip back home to Wunlang in late 2005, Alex heard about the urgent needs of the village. He listened to the story of Franco’s trip, and saw pictures of children attending a school under trees, and he wanted to help. What can one young man do for a village and a school with hundreds of students with such needs? No one who volunteers his time with us exemplifies the “Power of One” more than Alex. In solidarity with the people in Wunlang who were making bricks by hand for their school, he conceived of a fundraising approach to sell paper bricks at his school. He brought the idea to his teachers and principal at Lynn Classical. He formed a fundraising committee with other students, and mobilized them to help with his fundraiser. He invited Franco and Ron to speak at a student assembly about our organization and the Wunlang School Project. His desire to help the suffering children in Wunlang became more than one person’s humanitarian mission. After a semester of selling bricks at $1.00 a piece, the entire school knew about Alex’s campaign, and they raised more than $4500 for the Wunlang School. Now Alex is inviting other young people and their schools to join his Village to Village campaign. He is representing our organization and the Wunlang School Project at Mass. Dept. of Ed. seminars. What Alex and his team did at Lynn Classical can be done in other area schools, and Alex will help. Not only will he and the rest of us at Village Help for South Sudan support fundraising at other schools, but everyone involved will have an enriching and rewarding experience helping the kids and their families in Wunlang. How do you define a hero? Such attributes as leadership, service to others, role model, and inspiration come to mind. Alex is all of these things, and we are extremely proud of him. We are grateful that he turned his compassionate heart and fundraising talents in the direction of Wunlang last year, and we are thankful that he has become our Village to Village coordinator. He is making a long-term commitment to our organization and the Wunlang School, and he invites others with a passion to help a destitute people to sign on to the Village to Village campaign. Can other schools do what Lynn Classical accomplished for us last year? Are there other young heroes out there like Alexander Rittershaus?