Skagit Rotary and Voices of the Children announce their partnership to connect local youth and refugee youth in Jordan through the arts. The partnership will begin with funding and hopefully expand to further involvement in programming and projects, both locally and in Jordan, in the years to come.
Aaron Wagner, Executive Director of Voices of the Children, is honored to be entering into this partnership, commenting “The strength of any community can be measured by the work of its civic clubs. I know several members of Skagit Rotary, many of whom have been supporters of ours for several years, and I know the positive impact that this club has within our community. I also know of the powerful work that this club does to support communities abroad and it just makes sense to partner the two community-focused and international outreach organizations to amplify the power of both.”
Normally, Voices of the Children works with several hundred youth each year in classrooms throughout the Skagit Valley and in Jordan but, during the pandemic, program delivery needed to change. They still offer their programs in-person but limited to five local and five international youth each. This partnership provides scholarships to kids who could not otherwise afford to participate. Skagit Rotary President, Amelia Cook says “Skagit Rotary is excited to partner with Voices of the Children because we believe their programs provide a unique opportunity for local children to collaborate with refugee children on art projects to create a more peaceful understanding of our world. We as Rotarians look forward to helping both local and international children in crisis grow in artful expression through this partnership.” 
More than the funding aspect, Wagner is excited to use this partnership to foster relationships among the two communities. “It’s true that Voices of the Children is an arts organization and our focus is on youth. But it’s much more than that. We not only help youth realize the potential they possess and how to use that power to strengthen our local and global communities, but the same goes for the adults who are involved. We always say that Voices of the Children is not something you do. It’s something you are and Skagit Rotary’s commitment to community service exemplifies that feeling.” Cook adds, “We hope, as the global pandemic eases its grip on society, that we can travel to Jordan with Voices of the Children to continue the work of raising compassionate leaders.”