Month: August 2011

Transforming Lives

“We’re often overwhelmed by problems in the world. We can’t do everything. But choose something. Even if our own dreams and aspirations aren’t in line with what other people think, try anyway.”

The most transformative experience of Steve Reifenberg’s life now carries the possibility to transform the lives of hundreds of others. His book “Santiago’s Children: What I Learned About Life at an Orphanage in Chile” has been selected as the common reader for incoming first year students at Texas A&M International University in Laredo. The city of Laredo also has chosen Reifenberg’s book for its “One City One Book” program, with all area high school students reading it as well.

After graduating from Notre Dame in 1981, Reifenberg taught for one year in the States before spending two years in Chile. Based on those two years living and working at an orphanage there in the early 1980’s – when repressive military rule and widespread human rights violations gripped the country – “Santiago’s Children” chronicles the impact of political oppression on the lives of people, especially children.

“It was a remarkable opportunity to live and work at the orphanage at a critical moment in Chile’s history,” Reifenberg says. “It had a transformative effect on the rest of my life and gave me an interest in international issues and in vulnerable children in poverty.” (more…)