Our Background

Cornerstone Project Inc was established in 2008 as a charitable foundation that meets the IRS requirements for a 501(c)(3) corporation

Real people doing real things!

The organization was initially the vision of two women in Litchfield County Connecticut who saw the benefits in providing vulnerable children with opportunities during their childhood that would subsequently help them become valuable, contributing members of their communities as they reached adulthood. In particular, but not exclusively, these women were interested in furthering the work of the Nambale Magnet School (NMS) by assisting WIKS (WIKS is a non-governmental organization established Kenya (Africa) exclusively for charitable, scientific, and/or educational purposes.)

The Nambale Magnet School is a residential school for vulnerable children often orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in the Nambale District of the Western Province of Kenya. Evalyn Wakhusama, a Kenyan woman who obtained her higher education in the US, is the founder of NMS and it is her vision that this school be designed and constructed in her childhood hometown in Nambale, Kenya to accommodate pre-school through 8th grade, and provides safe shelter for the vulnerable children in a loving and supportive environment. The school will eventually feature a conventional Kenyan primary educational curriculum along with an artisan program to provide education and training in specified career paths including agriculture and light industry.

Cornerstone’s activities include, but are not limited to, raising funds for the Nambale Magnet School. We plan to use the Nambale Magnet School as a prototype for other projects that are financially and ecologically sustainable which will assist the disenfranchised to achieve empowerment in areas around the globe and in the United States. Cornerstone will, in time, include other projects that complement our mission statement in the United States and abroad. Other projects could include assistance with school facilities, foster homes, self sustaining ventures for the education and nurturing of the disenfranchised; particularly, but not limited to, children. Any project taken on by Cornerstone will exercise the greatest limit of environmental consciousness with the commitment to create new, innovative, alternative energy solutions whenever possible.

Green Commitment

We have a commitment to self-sustainability, both financially and environmentally.
Our goals include but are not limited to the following

  • Incorporate environmentally sustainable elements
  • Utilize and study potential of local renewable resources
  • Create and support independence from an unreliable third world infrastructure
  • To be efficient with resources and energy
    • Waste recovery and re-use
    • Water – pumping, capturing, filtration, recycle/re-use (e.g. sand water filtration system and hydroponics’ agricultural solutions)
    • Food production -- conventional, hydroponics
    • Natural material growth and production
  • Examine potential uses of alternative energy sources
    • Photovoltaic -- Electrical generation
    • Study reverse metering into power grid
    • Solar
    • Hot Water
    • Cooking Systems
    • Geothermal Energy
    • Wind Power
  • To minimize our carbon footprint from daily operational needs
    • Cooking
    • Heating water
    • Manual Pumping
    • Filtering water
    • Shading
    • Planting trees and vegetation

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Martine Nolletti

Martine Nolletti

  • Chairman

Martine Nolletti has a background in sustainable design and real estate. She is extremely committed to philanthropic endeavors. Martine has been assisting the Nambale Magnet School since its inception, having met Evalyn Wakhusama when she first came to the USA while earning two advanced degrees at Yale Divinity School.

Martine first volunteered with WIKS USA Inc., another Connecticut charitable corporation that was also engaged in fundraising efforts for the Nambale Magnet School. In addition to fundraising, she also served as an advisor on environmental stewardship, prior to establishing Cornerstone Project Inc.

In 2007, Martine flew to Kenya to join in the celebration of the ground breaking ceremony for the Nambale Magnet School, which served to further deepen her commitment to the success of this project.

Barbara Bourgeois

Barbara Bourgeois

  • President

Barbara Bourgeois has a background in crisis counseling for children and has been committed to this project from its inception. Her commitment to children has been a constant in all of her pursuits.

Romie Palladino

Romie Palladino

  • Director, Fundraiser and Advisor

Rosemarie Palladino is a graduate of Yale Divinity School. Rosemarie did her undergraduate work in communications arts earning a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She is a valued member and brings strong administrative skills to the charity.

Anne Novak, RYT

Anne Novak, RYT

  • Director, Fundraiser and Advisor

Anne Novak is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. Anne has consistently conducted numerous yoga workshops to build awareness of and to benefit Nambale Magnet School. Her support of Cornerstone stems from her deep spiritual beliefs rooted in supporting others in need. She has been an ambassador for Cornerstone and continues to raise awareness of this charity.

501(c)3 Status

Cornerstone Project's 501(c)3 tax status as a not-for-profit charitable organization has been approved. Donations to the Cornerstone Project Inc. are tax-deductible.