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Student hopes to change generation with compassion

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TWC News: Student hopes to change generation with compassion
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Sophia Zaia and older sister Ariana hope to make a difference in Mexico.

Zaia is a student at Waldorf High School. She’s raising money in Austin to help children at a temporary home called Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna in Mexico.

“It's called Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna, which means the home of the children of the moon," Zaia said. "Because many of them were left alone at night while their parents were working."

Poverty forced some of their mothers into prostitution. The stories from the children inspired Sophia Zaia and her sister to get involved. The sisters even lived in Oaxaca, Mexico for six months in 2010 and volunteered at the home.

“Often, walking around in Oaxaca you'll see children on the street selling candy or cigarettes. Sometimes they're with their mothers, but they obviously have no safe environment to live in," Zaia said.

Back in Central Texas, the Zaia sisters are spending 20 hours a week to help children more than 1,200 miles away.

"These girls are miracle workers," La Peña Director Cynthia Pérez, the girls’ mentor, said. "It's just remarkable to have teenagers that are interested in participating and giving that aspiration to other children.”

Zaia has raised $26,000 already, but they need to reach $60,000 -- enough to buy the plot of land next door and build a second home.

"We're trying to expand onto the home; currently they have 55 children in three bedrooms so they really need more space," Zaia said.

Zaia is trying to raise the money before her high school graduation in spring 2013.

Check out the video below made at Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna, and for more information on how you can donate, click here.

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