War Orphan's Rehabilitation Program
The inspiration for this project came in 1997 in response to asking: “What can we do?” to help orphans of the Balkan war. The first year, five orphaned boys from Sarajevo, Bosnia travelled to America for the summer program. The program soon grew to include orphans from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Russian Caucasus.
All the medical and educational needs of these young children were provided for by volunteers until the conclusion of this project in 2018. Local churches touched by these young visitors from war torn countries cooperated with Project Life by sharing meals, gifts and handmade blankets during the children's stay in Waterport, New York.
Project Life was as an intensive, volunteer-based program designed to restore the lost childhood of innocent victims of war and natural disasters. Our program brought world orphans for a three month respite in the peaceful countryside of Western New York.
Every new conflict and natural disaster around the world creates thousands of innocent victims. Children suffer the worst effects of disaster and human conflict through:
Loss of family
Homelessness or displacement
Poor nutrition and lack of medical care
Loss of childhood
Our focus was to rejuvenate these children's spirits, restore their health, and give them renewed hope with the integral intention of returning them to their home countries with a new sense of self. Project Life volunteers still maintain long-term contact with some of the orphans and their extended families.
140 orphans from Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Ingushetia and Chechnya have received treatments and rehabilitation
While most returned to their families, 3 children are living permanently in Western New York because of long-term health care needs
5 orphans have gone on to graduate from universities after returning home
Farm House Mosque, Waterport, New York
After witnessing the beauty of the area, several of those who came to visit purchased land and built homes. Centered around an 18th century farmhouse, which became their house of worship and the first mosque in Waterport, the community grew and emerged over the next 40 years.
Visiting imams had brought the practical teaching of Arabic and recitation of Quran during the pleasant summers with lessons for adults and children.
World Life Institute
World Life Institute is a non-profit humanitarian,
educational and research organization.
Our commitment is to address suffering and restore the human spirit throughout the world. WLI draws on a wide range of scientific, academic, professional and creative disciplines.
Founded in 1987, WLI is a 501(c)3 organization in the United States and a registered charity in Canada. We collaborate locally and internationally with other organizations and institutions that share our concerns.
WLI’s programs embrace a wide range of activities including:
Advanced education and awareness programs through the Center of Excellence
Previously gave aid to war orphans and other child victims of war and disaster through the Project Life program
ESL, civics and arts programs through the World Life Institute Education Center
Distribution of academic, scientific and poetic writings through the WLI Publishing House
Clinical and scientific research on the medical effects of ionizing radiation formerly through UMRC and currently through the Global Nuclear Awareness Program
All WLI faculty and other staff serve on a purely volunteer basis.
World Life Institute Education Center
One of the community’s significant early accomplishments was the construction of a beautiful octagon shaped building to serve as a school for local children as well as for orphans of war. Beginning in 1991, the school, called World Life Institute Education Center, was constructed largely by volunteers from the Waterport community.
From 1997 to 2004, World Life Institute Education Center also served as a New York State accredited Kindergarten through High School. Twenty children from the Waterport Community’s original founding families graduated and went on to become doctors, lawyers, professors, social workers, therapists and counselors. Dr.Durakovic encouraged children and adults in the community to continue their education in pursuit of higher degrees.
Classes being held currently at the WLIEC include:
A medressa program for children and adults
Pottery for adults in the local community
Adult ESL for the local Hispanic population
Lakeview Medical Office
A local clinic was established by Dr. Durakovic to serve Veterans, Orphans and Hispanic Agricultural workers living seasonally in the area.
Over the years, Muslim families and individuals who had settled in Waterport, hosted visitors who came from Canada, England, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East as well as nearby states within driving distance. Eventually, the community even purchased a second building which became a guest house for travelers and visitors. Later, after years of service, that building became the community’s Lakeside Medical Clinic.
Currently, physical therapy is offered on a part-time basis.
World Life Institute
The Key to the 99 Secret Gates:
A small fortunate group of spiritual seekers were given the opportunity to sit at the feet of a spiritual masters, when he shared his deep knowledge of the 99 Most Beautiful Names. This book represents the journey and fruit of these days and nights of inspiration centered around the divine attributes. Each one is given a descriptive name in English is presented as quatrain. The original calligraphy was provided by Sayyed Jafar Kashfi, the successor of a long line of masters of calligraphy.
The co-ordination of this work was by Azra Marlene Liden.
The publishing house is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to publishing and distributing select books for the betterment of humanity. The focus on education and humanitarian needs is drawn from medicine, science, poetry and religion. Its intention is to serve both the local and global community.
Harvest: The Harvest is a collection of inspired poetry on the universality of life and death. This dual language book is written in English and original Slavic. The author, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, eloquently presents a kaleidoscope of over one hundred poems inspired by his life experiences and travels across the world.
Husein: This epic poem commemorates Hazrat e Imam Husein and the events of Karbala in the year 61 AH. Dr. Durakovic has written this epic in ten parts, dedicated to the 10 days, with each part containing 30 stanzas.
Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, brings with it the memory of the sacrifice of Hazrat e Imam Husein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad SAW, Ehlul Bayt and his companions. The book 'Husein' reflects the deep admiration of its author for Hazrat e Imam Husein and provides a deep insight into the tragedy of Karbala; its reasons and its consequences.
It is written with the hope that it will foster the unity of mankind that the author calls for in his preface. Dr. Durakovic's 'Husein' is a powerful message of unique struggle, sacrifice, alienation and hope. The sacrifice of Hazrat e Imam Husein that initiated the new era of Islam.
Beram Chapel: Beautifully illustrated with original color photographs, this book contains twelve poems inspired by Dr. Durakovic's visits to a gothic chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Istria, Croatia. The chapel, decorated with frescos from the fifteenth century depicting biblical scenes, inspired these thoughtful poems which are presented in their original Slavic and also translated by the author into English.
The colonade is the headquarters for World Life Institute. It serves as a venue for educational, religious, and cultural events presented by the community.
One example is the Global Nuclear Awareness program, sponsored by the World Life Institute Centre of Excellence; a non-profit and collaborative academic community dedicated to teaching, scholarship, research, and service.
The Center of Excellence has a long term goal to support life-long learning and transformation through public and professional educational programs of the highest quality. The GNA program has been designed to address the current issues of the nuclear reality and what these mean for our present and future. It aims to educate the laymen about the promises and challenges of nuclear technology.
Another popular annual event is the 'Leaves of September' musical concert. This musical evening brings together local and foreign musicians in collaboration with a youth public speaking club to commemorate World Life Institute's humanitarian work.