Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Laetitia's Compassion Created a Community Center in Costa Rica

Pictured: CEPIA founder, Laetitia Deweer

Laetitia Deweer moved to Costa Rica when she was 23 and she began her volunteer work with PANI, a government child protection agency. While working with this organization, she noticed that children in poverty were in the streets all day, vulnerable to harm and violence. These children were not able to heal from their trauma because they were still experiencing it. Realizing this, Laetitia shifted her focus to combating the root causes of poverty by founding CEPIA (Culture, Education and Psychology for Infants and Adolescents) with her friend Lotje De Ridder. CEPIA was founded in 2005 as a non-profit organization that promotes culture, education, jobs, and health services.

Within the first week of opening the center, 50 children showed up at their doors. As more children and families were drawn to the center, Laetitia and her partners expanded their programs to address a wider range of needs, across many different communities. With the help of counselors, children now have the opportunity to open up about their trauma and begin to heal.

Pictured: Costa Rican children enjoying a CEPIA youth program.

CEPIA has grown its after school programs to include youth creatives, psychological healthcare, childcare, professional training and education, scholarships, environmental initiatives, and cultural education. CEPIA also partners with many organizations, both governmental and grassroots, to fund similar projects in additional locations in Costa Rica.

Pictured: Community members packaging food for those in need with CEPIA.

When the Covid19 pandemic began, it worsened the already harsh conditions for impoverished people. In this time of crisis, CEPIA stepped up their support for the community by providing psychological treatment to over 500 adults, and delivering 8,393 food packages between April and December 2020. The Christmas Campaign donated nearly 500 Christmas packages to families in Guanacaste. For the past 15 years, CEPIA has strengthened community bonds, spreading Laetitia’s vision of healing and devotion.

Visit CEPIA’s website, to see the long list of donors and contributors that helped push the vision forward.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Ten Years of CPAS Ghana

Pictured: Priscilla Jeffery with students in Ghana
Priscilla’s interest in Ghana began when she met her friend Mary, a Ghanaian nurses aid who cared for her mother. Their relationship brought her closer to the Ghanaian community. After she retired from teaching, her next step was to create a nonprofit organization in Nsawam, lending money to women in need. Renting an apartment in town, attending church and shopping at local shops, Priscilla became part of the community. After ten years of living and working in Nsawam, she saw that many women were not able to make their loan payments. All their money went to pay for education. Priscilla transitioned her organization to fund schooling for girls. Education is not easily accessible for a lot of people in Ghana. One must buy a uniform and school supplies in addition to paying school fees.
Pictured: Students return to school in 2021 with masks.
This year CPAS (Community Partnership in Akuapum South) celebrates its tenth year anniversary. Priscilla Jeffery founded the organization CPAS in Ghana to make education more accessible for girls. Without education, it is easy for girls to fall into a life of exploitation and poverty. CPAS Ghana gives young women in Ghana an alternative path of opportunity and success. 

Pictured: CPAS Student studying science with organization The Exploratory

CPAS has grown from educating 15 girls in 2011 to 75, in 2021. The organization pays for school fees, and buys locally printed books and uniforms made by local seamstresses. The staff follows each girl on their journey of learning, working with her teachers and family to guarantee a clear path to success. Greenwich High School in Connecticut, supports CPAS with donations of school supplies through the “Education for all” club. Donor and community support, Ghanaian students’ ambition, Jeffery’s generosity and the dedication of the staff brought this nonprofit to life.

With the help of the woman in the community Priscilla has created another way to fund her organization. Products made by the local women will soon be sold online. For more information, contact:

Photos of products are below.

Beaded bracelet

Knitted cloths

Purses made with bright colors
Another style of purse