black-tie gala fundraiser for the ISIS
Foundation at the St. Regis Hotel in
“We invited my friends in the
industry, the brokers, the reinsurers,
even competitors, and asked them
to give generously to the cause and
it was overwhelmingly supportive,”
The event netted more than
$163,000 for the foundation.
Consider that in poverty-stricken
Uganda, $4 buys a food package so
that a destitute mother can feed
her children; $75 covers a child’s
school fees for a year and $50 pays
for caregiver assistance for a child
orphaned by HIV.
Aspen Re employee Susan
Cannarella, who took an initial trip
to Uganda in 2008 as an Aspen ISIS
Foundation Ambassador, is now the
largest individual contributor to the
ISIS Foundation’s work with the
Inspired by the need and her
drive to help, Cannarella founded
Beads4Dreams. The nonprofit buys
paper beads from the Women’s Craft
Group at Kiwoko and turns them into
necklaces, bracelets and other works
of art, which are then sold at craft
fairs, church bazaars and the like.
As of the end of 2013, Cannarella’s
nonprofit returned 100 percent
of those proceeds to the people of
Uganda, more than $63,000.
“As I sit here on the plane on my
way home from Uganda, I am flooded
with emotions ranging from great joy
to deep sadness,” Cannarella wrote
in a recent blog post on the ISIS
Foundation website about her most
recent visit to Kiwoko.
“I am very happy to be heading
home as I have missed my family
and friends, but at the same time, I
am also sad to leave my new friends
and ‘family’ from Aspen and Kiwoko
Hospital,” she wrote.
MAKING AN IMPACT
From its founding in Bermuda 16
years ago by Audette Exel, Sharon
Beesley and a small group of friends
and supporters, the ISIS Foundation
has gone on to make an important
impact in Uganda and Nepal.
It is a common practice in Nepal
for child traffickers to trick parents
in remote rural villages into sending
their children away to what they
believe will be boarding schools.
In 2006, the ISIS Foundation
located 136 children in a basement in
Kathmandu who had been trafficked
from their homes in the remote
mountain district of Humla.
The foundation initially found safe
housing and rehabilitation services
for the traumatized children.
Through a painstaking process,
the foundation treated the children
and worked around political strife in
Nepal to return the children to their
families by 2009.
In addition to the contributions
of Vitale and Aspen, the ISIS
industry in another
Audette Exel is
vice chairman of
the board of the
P & I (Protection
clubs for the