Student’s emotional orphanage trip inspires her charge for change

RICHMOND, Va. -- Late May means the International Food Festival fundraiser at Richmond’s Orchard House School. It’s one of Nya Sham’s favorite events.

Naya Shams serves food at Orchard House

"All of the students make different dishes from different countries and all of the proceeds go to Bloom Charity.”

Bloom Charity was started by Naya’s mother.

"Four years ago, my parents and my family and I went to Morocco to adopt my baby brother," Naya said.

"She saw the state of the orphanages (there)," teacher Lauren Jones said. "She was inspired to make a difference. Many orphans hadn't gone outside their entire lives and needed the opportunity to play and be in the great outdoors."

Ms. Lauren Jones

It wasn’t hard for Naya to get her fellow students involved.

"Our class as a whole is so empathetic and compassionate," Naya said. "It really wasn't hard for them to see how this experience affected me and see the importance of it."

"It's also a great way for students at Orchard House to get some culture and learn about types of foods in different countries", fellow student Milie Grymes said.

All the money raised by Orchard House will go to Bloom Charity which helps build rooftop playgrounds for the orphanages.

"These girls have learned that they're extremely lucky to have the opportunities they have, and they want to make a difference in these other children's lives", says Ms. Jones.

Sharing good food and good vibes for needy kids… is Building Better Minds.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs Wednesdays on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m.

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