From Seed to Blossom
Rainbow of Hope for Children is the revised name for the St. Joseph's Save the Children Club, a school based non government organization (NG0) active in helping the poor and marginalized people of the world since 1975.
Inspired by taking in First Nations students in the sixties, Hank and Tillie Zyp learned to see the world with new eyes. They discovered that understanding reality from the perspective of the outcasts was an experience that needs to be shared.
In 1974, Hank and fellow teacher, Jim Salyzyn, discussed the idea of starting a club at St. Joe's to bring children from the city and reservation together. Around this time, Father Edgar Burns of Darjeering came to visit Hank and Tillie to speak about the conditions of the lower cast of India, and Tillie's sister, Sister Immaculata Saretsky began working with the poor of Salvador in Bahia, Brazil.
As Paulo Friere revealed, the process of conscentization was at work making a connection between poverty at home and poverty abroad, and St. Joseph's Save the Children Club was founded.
As new social justice advocates, like Al Gerwing, and other partner schools came on board, the club expanded beyond the confines of St. Joseph's High School proper. On our 25th anniversary at the turn of the century, our NGO responded to the reality that students become adults in the larger community and changed our name to reflect this inclusiveness. Our NGO continues to affirm its original mandate that students and all citizens should learn about the root causes of poverty and that ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference.
When changing the name of our NGO to Rainbow of Hope for Children, our founder, Hank Zyp, affirmed the name and its continuing work with the following words:
"Each of us, in big and little ways, can be a rainbow of hope for a child or a community, here and now, and make the world a little better, one step at a time."
Former Rainbow of Hope, Director, Al Gerwing
was a strong advocate for social justice in Brazil and
other countries served by our NGO. His legacy lives
on today as we strive to help those in need.