One Voice for LaosOne Voice for Laos
One Voice for Laos
May 27, 2013
Raphael Gould-Schwartz 931430_193372184149482_275863737_n.jpg Raphael Gould-Schwartz is a 13-year-old boy who has a passion for helping others. At the beginning of this year Raphael got involved in One Voice For Laos and since then he has been an active member who has been able to change the lives of Laotian children. Raphael decided that he wanted to get involved with this humanitarian project after he went to One Voice For Laos' monastery presentation last summer. Throughout the year Raphael has raised money for One Voice For Laos by helping out with a Cabaret, working a desk at Oriole 9 and asking for donations, putting cans in stores, doing a can shake at Hurley Ridge Market, and donating some of his own Bar Mitzvah money. Raphael says that he is so fond of this project because "It's a community operated project run by teens that just want to help". He also loves being a part of One Voice For Laos because everyone forgets about his or her own problems. Raphael plans to stay involved with One Voice For Laos and eventually get involved with more Humanitarian projects. In the future, Raphael hopes that he will have the chance to visit Laos. When Raphael is not saving the world, he plays Clarinet, learns the Bass, and plays in a band! Raphael's hard work has culminated in one Laotian student being able to go to college. This is such an amazing accomplishment that took hard work and dedication but the results were worth every minute of Raphael's time. It is so inspiring to see a young man be so touched and motivated that he strove to make a difference!

Posted by Cassandra Hastie at 07:26 PM

November 17, 2012
Isabelle La Motte on One Voice for Laos


Inspiring and touching One Voice for Laos bio by Isabelle La Motte....

Being a part of One Voice for Laos has been the most rewarding time of my life. I first got involved in the Spring of 2011 when Rachel Castellano told me that there was a humanitarian effort going on right in our backyard, the town of Woodstock. When I agreed to join One Voice for Laos: Teens for Change I never could have imagined the impact it would have on my life.

My first project was to create a slide show to be shown at our fund raising events. My job quickly developed into being in charge of all things photography. I had my camera around my neck at all of our events and meetings, nothing out of the ordinary for me. As the weeks went on I dove further into the project. I remember getting chills at the first meeting when Evelyne told us how our fundraising efforts would help the children. From that moment I knew that this was something I was going to put my heart and soul into for the months to come.

The project took off and I felt privileged to be along for the ride.
Since the beginning we had hoped to actually fly over to Laos and meet the children we had been supporting. This dream quickly became reality, by May our flights were booked and on June 25th we boarded our plane to embark on our journey to Laos! When we arrived at the orphanage all I saw were smiles. These children have nothing and are the happiest people I’ve ever met. It made me take a step back and think about how lucky I have it in America and how appreciative I should be for that.
Being a part of One Voice for Laos has taught me an infinite amount of things. For one, I have become more outgoing as a person. Before this project I got nervous talking in front of a class and by the end I was talking in front of an auditorium filled with people. I have also learned more about planning events and working with others. Most importantly I have learned that helping those less fortunate is the best feeling in the world. If I was asked to explain what it feels like I wouldn’t be able to, it’s not exactly a feeling one can describe. Instead I would say, get out there and experience it for your self! It’s a feeling you’ll never forget.
This fall I started the next chapter in my life. I am now a student at the University of Vermont. Although I am four hours away from our headquarters in Woodstock I try my best to stay up to date on the project and promote upcoming events. The project comes up in conversation more than one might expect (okay, maybe I bring it up a lot. But who can blame a girl for wanting to tell everyone about the experience of a lifetime?) I have shown my new friends, and even one of my professors, our documentary. This project has inspired me to help others whenever I have the opportunity.
One Voice for Laos changed my life forever. Not only did I get to travel abroad with three of my best friends before we all parted ways for college, I got to help 600 orphans in an impoverished country and give them opportunities they might not have had otherwise. That’s the best way to spend a year and a half if you ask me.

Posted by Cassandra Hastie at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)

Emily Waligurski on One Voice for Laos


My name is Emily Waligurski. I am a senior at Onteora High School. I'm a passionate runner and I am on the track and cross country team at my school. In my future I would like to pursue a career in Biology.

For now I focus most of time and energy on school, running, and the One Voice for Laos project. I really became involved in the project when my friend Kelly Ambrosch and I took the responsibility of planning the first event this year, Loop for Laos. The event was very successful! We are very excited to see that so many people and businesses in the community have been so supportive of our cause.

Posted by Cassandra Hastie at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)

One Voice Global is a humanitarian aide organization, based in Woodstock. Our mission is to help Hudson Valley teenagers develop the kind of mindset, skills, and abilities they need to become compassionate humanitarians, social activists and global citizens. We accomplish our goal by improving the lives of orphans and other children in need through fundraising projects, cultural exchange, and onsite service visits to the organizations we serve.

Our Mission
Intro Slide Show
The Documentary