“The ability to accept an individual as an equal is about free thinking. Education should not categorize and define each form through historical learning patterns. It should be about accepting the uniqueness of each form and embracing the diversified pattern that weaves through this world to develop an open mind.”

World Centers of Compassion for Children International

Donors and Sponsors

We would like to acknowledge with grateful thanks the contribution made by our Donors / Sponsors. Their commitment to the World Centers of Compassion for Children allows us to make a difference.

Karim Bitar

President of Eli Lilly Europe became a strong advocate of the WCCCI and the first Center of Compassion that is scheduled to be built in the Basilicata region of southern Italy. His interest in the project soon became a catalyst with his employees, and many colleagues of the Italian operations of Eli Lilly have also jumped onboard.

Karim’s involvement has been to engage with the WCCCI executive team and provide support to establish the first Center of Compassion. Through various strategy meetings, he has helped develop an operating plan that covers the Children, Fundraising, Governance and Structure for the Center.

“The contribution made by Karim and his fellow colleagues at Eli Lilly has been overwhelming” stated Betty Williams. “Today, I can see a dream come true as we plan the first Center of Compassion in Italy. Karim and his friends have become more than just good friends. Through their compassion and support, they have become part of the WCCCI family. This historic moment will be something that we will all treasure and state with pride that we started a change. A change that gave hope to the lives of refugee children.”

Olivier Francois

CEO of Lancia have become the official suppliers of transportation for WCCCI. We met them at the 2009 Annual Summit for Nobel Peace Laureates in Paris where they highlighted the need to free 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi who has been imprisoned by the ruling military government in Burma. Betty Williams was asked to help launch the campaign, and since then, they have been invaluable friends to WCCCI, providing Lancia cars for our first City of Peace for Children in Basilicata.

Craig and Marc Kielburger

Craig and Marc are the founders of <a href="http://www.freethechildren.com",title="Free The Children"> Free The Children a unique children’s rights and youth empowerment organization. With the involvement of more than a million individuals that have created a thousand Youth in Action Groups, Free The Children has built over 500 schools in developing countries and provides communities with clean water, health care, and alternative income projects.

The primary goals of the organization are to free children from poverty and exploitation and free young people from the notion that they are powerless to affect positive change in the world. Through domestic empowerment programs and leadership training, Free The Children inspires young people to develop as socially conscious global citizens and become agents of change for their peers around the world.

Gary Koenig

Gary is the Founder and Chairman of Peace Sports. He currently resides on the WCCCI Board of Directors.

Gary formed his own company with a mission to promote peace and prosperity through sports, by providing the absolute finest, most innovative athletic gear on the planet in a way that improves the lives of all who are touched by the brand, whether in the design and creation of our products or in their ultimate use.

David Ives

David is the Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University. He is also an Advisory Board Member with the WCCCI. As the Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, he was asked by Dr. Schweitzer's daughter Rhena to coordinate the effort to bring a sense of cohesion to the organization promoting Dr. Schweitzer's values.

As such, David was recently invited to represent Albert Schweitzer at the 5th annual summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates sponsored by the Gorbachev Foundation in Rome. His institute works with Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to develop programs emphasizing three main themes: peace, developing humanitarian values, and health.

Through these values, David Ives and the Albert Schweitzer Institute are providing the first Center of Compassion in Italy with equipment for its medical facilities, and advice from the Institute.

Betty Williams, founder of WCCCI stated “We can never comprehend the pain and suffering refugee children go through, and we can never imagine how to they have to deal with the hardship of not having parents, or food, or clothing. David Ives and the Albert Schweitzer Institute are our angels. Through their work and help, we can offer the opportunity to these young children that there will be better and brighter days. Our gratitude will never be sufficient for what they offer, because they give us the greatest gift of all…..hope for children.”

Avon Mattison

Executive Director of Pathways To Peace serves as an advisor-contributor to WCCCI. Pathways to Peace is an international PeaceBuilding, Educational and Consulting organization. PTP serves as International Secretariat for the Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI) which is a multicultural, intergenerational, citizens’ movement of established groups and organizations collaborating to make Peace a practical reality in the 21 st Century. This initiative has been granted official “Peace Messenger Initiative” status by the United Nations. Avon serves as a consultant to WCCCI regarding international initiatives and for the work of WCCCI with the UN.

Stephanie Heuer

Stephanie is the author of the children’s book DignityRocks! and will be donating 50% of all royalties from the sale of her book for the next year starting October 2009 to World Centers of Compassion for Children International (WCCCI).

This generous and welcomed donation resulted from her being inspired by a passionate speech given by Betty Williams at a Peace Conference held in Denver , Colorado last year. Betty Williams spoke about the impact of war and conflict on a child’s consciousness and how important it was to create a safe-haven to protect them from harm and to give children a voice rather than silencing them as unimportant factors.

The message resonated with Stephanie Heuer who has been an instructor to multi-cultural students for a number of years. They both recognize how the building blocks of a child’s development can be affected by what they see and how they are treated which can negatively impact their future, regardless of environment.

Stephanie Heuer’s book is based on the preservation of human dignity which starts by teaching children how to acknowledge when they’ve been mistreated and how to recognize when they mistreat others. DignityRocks! is based on elementary school students responding to the statement "I Feel Like Nobody When… I Feel Like Somebody When… ".

The statements resulted in DignityRocks! becoming a catalyst on opening change among children, parents and educators alike. It addresses the emotional and physical effects of issues such as bullying and other negative topics. The success has seen the book popping up in classrooms across the US, and teachers are using it as an example to create their own book scenarios, addressing issues upfront and first hand, giving a voice to the voiceless, and making a difference by creating changes in the school environment for the better.

Swati Shah

Swati has been instrumental in raising funds with the support of her local community in New York City for WCCCI. Having made numerous visits to southern Italy , she heard of our project in Basilicata and decided to hold various events which also helped her to complete a leadership program through Landmark Education.


Vodafone is collaborating with WCCCI on a venture to help within the first City of Peace for Children in Basilicata, Italy. Details of the project will be released soon.

Debi Wexler

CEO of one the largest online diamond retailers whiteflash.com launched an initiative in which 100 percent of proceeds from the conflict-free Dreams of Africa(TM) diamond pendant will go to WCCCI. The $4,400 diamond pendant will only be available from whiteflash.com

"Our Dreams of Africa are not for partial peace. They are for total peace," said Debi Wexler stated. Both Debi Wexler and WCCCI's founder Betty Williams are working jointly towards building safe and nurturing environments for children "who need a second chance in life. If we start teaching peace at the beginning of these young children's education, we will help these children to shine like brilliant diamonds for the world."

"We need consumers to understand that there is a huge difference between blood diamonds and conflict-free diamonds," said Debi Wexler. "Not all diamonds are ill-gotten. When diamond mining is undertaken in the correct manner, without child labor or government conflict, the profits build infrastructure and serve as a source of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of people. As a socially responsible design company in the diamond industry, we believe it is our duty to support children who have suffered under blood diamond conflicts and to create awareness in order to combat such illicit diamond trade."

whiteflash.com and WCCCI will work to establish the first learning center, headquartered in Italy, which will provide scholarships for children from Sierra Leone and other locations across Africa, and to instill values of peace and understanding during these children's early education. Italy’s government donated land to build the learning center.

Crystal Curtis and Nguyet Vuong

Crystal and Nguyet of Probonafide, a network of professional designers dedicated to supporting worldwide charitable organizations, donated both time and talent to help bring the newly released World Centers of Compassion website to completion.

© 2011 WCCCI. All Rights Reserved.