COTN is committed to lifting children out of poverty and hopelessness by developing them into strong leaders who can impact their nation’s future. The Aust Group works with COTN in Sierra Leone, but COTN has locations in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda, Dominican Republic and Haiti.
In January 2019, PMP contributor Stuart Aust and his family visited Sierra Leone with the founders of COTN, Chris and Debbie Clark. With more than 500 students attending from neighboring villages and 100 orphans living on campus, COTN’s Banta Ministry Center is a four-hour drive from Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital. While in Banta, Aust and his sons, Nick and Chris, taught entrepreneurial, sales and other business classes to high school students. Aust’s wife, Donna, and daughter-in-law, Zoe, taught classes on leadership to the school faculty and staff and threw princess parties for the younger girls at the school. The Aust family has donated funds for a basketball/soccer court at the school.
Aust first heard of COTN from his friend Bruce Donoho, owner and president of Bird-B-Gone, who invited him on a trip to Sierra Leone the previous year. After that trip and learning how almost half a million children had become orphaned due to the ravages of an 11-year civil war, an AIDS epidemic and a deadly outbreak of Ebola, Aust says he felt called to return to Sierra Leone with his family and join COTN’s mission of bringing hope to the children of this nation.
For more information on The Aust Group’s partnership with COTN, contact Stuart Aust at 772-299-8534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.