Hesston College and Mennonite Economic Development Associates will both benefit from the sales of the Hesston College Bel Canto Singers’ new CD.
The proceeds will be split evenly to provide student scholarships at Hesston and, through MEDA, assist small businesses in Latin America.
During the 2012-13 year, the Bel Canto Singers program, “Songs of a Wayfarer,” touched singers and audiences alike. It depicted the immigrant experience of sojourn, isolation and solace, woven together with excerpts from the college’s common read, “Enrique’s Journey” by Sonia Nazario.
The book is the true story of a young Honduran boy’s solo journey to reunite with his mother in the U.S. In October 2012, Nazario, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author visited Hesston College to talk about her research for “Enrique’s Journey.
In her presentation, she mentioned microloans as a simple way for the average person to help offset the economic destitution that provokes some Latin American parents to flee for the U.S., leaving their children behind as Enrique’s mother did.
MEDA works with local partners in low-income countries to improve access to capital and markets for small and medium enterprises—often family owned—to grow their business and create jobs.
MEDA says these smaller businesses are the backbone of a nation’s gross domestic product, but they are often squeezed out of the market because of their struggle to receive loans from commercial banks, while microfinance institutions cater to very small companies.
Meanwhile, the Hesston College Inclusion Scholarship was created through the college’s ongoing work with inclusion and diversity.
The scholarship’s purpose is to improve diversity at the college by mirroring the increasing racial and ethnic diversity within Mennonite Church USA. Students from underrepresented groups will be priority recipients.
“Songs of a Wayfarer” can be purchased for $15 through the Hesston College Bookstore by calling 620-327-8105 or going to books.hesston.edu.