Watching the evening news, when something upsetting is beamed into our living rooms, most of us mourn quietly and briefly, and eventually forget about it. Not Juli Kamin. When she learned of the atrocities Romanian orphans had suffered in state-run institutions, she decided to do something about it.
Kamin created an organization that is known today as Cherish Our Children International (COCI). COCI is a nonprofit organization that aims to alleviate the suffering of children—regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or health—and to ensure that they are raised in a loving, family-oriented environment. In addition to getting many Romanian orphans on their feet, COCI also provides a nurturing living environment for orphaned children in Kenya’s slums, arranges tutoring for Serbian orphans, and funds soccer programs in Israel that bring together Jewish and Arab children. COCI is thriving in several countries around the world and partners with other like-minded organizations to maximize the difference they make.
Kamin realized how important it is be a catalyst for change, so that others are inspired to take action. “If I look at my life and the children whose lives I’ve touched in countries around the world, it really makes me see the enormous difference that each of us can make,” Kamin says. “We are turning around the lives of kids that either would have died or would have had absolutely no life. Now, they have a life and they’ve got a future.”