1) Who is Teachers For Progress?
Teachers For Progress (TFP) is the name of a fundraising campaign started by one of the choir members, Eunice Tan, two years ago. It aims to raise $20,000 for a charity called Justice Rising that supports teachers and builds schools especially in the war-torn areas of Eastern DRC.
You can find the fundraising campaign here and learn more about TFP through its Facebook account.
2) So Teachers For Progress isn't a charity?
That's right, it isn't! It's a fundraising campaign. The only charity linked to this event is Justice Rising, an LA based one. This concert that TFP is helping to organise is one of hopefully more fundraising events to come!
3) But why can't Teachers For Progress deal directly with the DR Congolese teachers? There are so many organisations here...
TFP doesn't have the resources to help the DR Congolese teachers themselves, unfortunately.
Eastern DRC has seen much violence and even now continues to experience raids by bandits or rebels against the official DRC government. Justice Rising can help the teachers so much more because they have made inroads into the DR Congolese society, and have been working in Eastern DRC for nearly ten years now.
4) How does Justice Rising use the funds Teachers For Progress raises?
Justice Rising builds schools. But the money from TFP doesn't go to school building. Rather, it goes towards the teacher training programmes Justice Rising runs for the teachers in those schools.
5) Why is it so important to train the teachers? I think the money should go to helping children go to school.
Research shows that teachers who undergo professional development are more motivated, informed and stay in their jobs longer.
In areas where people have seen wars or are recovering from experiences of violence, such teachers can act as community stabilisers. They can break the cycle of violence by helping children work through their traumatic experiences, and by teaching children that peace - not the kind of wars they have seen so frequently - is the desired norm. You can learn more about the challenges the teachers face by watching this video - it's also available in the Gallery above!
The DRC teachers also ensure that children are taught standards of hygiene so as to curb the spread of diseases. If you want to know how our DRC teachers helped their communities during the 2019 spread of Ebola in Eastern DRC, please come to the concert to find out more!
6) How does the money get transferred to Justice Rising? How can we be sure the money gets there?
If you are purchasing a ticket to the Teachers For Progress charity concert through this webpage, you will notice that there are processing fees. Those fees ensure that the money is transferred directly to the Justice Rising charity's account. You can also read up more about GoFundMe's guarantees to the beneficiary of your donations here. GoFundMe also has information about donating safely here.
Also, when Justice Rising receives the donations from the Teachers For Progress campaign, they usually email us to let us know. And then we'll let you - our supporters - know!
7) How do we tell that JR and TFP aren’t running scams to get our money?!
Hmm. This is a tough one! And certainly, there have been fradulent campaigns for charity in recent human history, as one US news article reports.
However, you can do these few things:
a. Read up more about Teachers For Progress here and check out Justice Rising's webpage too.
b. Do your research on the charity. Type 'Justice Rising' into your search engine's search bar and click on a link that interests you.
c. Speak to your friends in the choir who know about Teachers For Progress, or email the campaign organiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be happy to speak with you more!
Ultimately though, knowing the fundraising campaign organiser personally or speaking to them face-to-face is the best way to tell. So we hope you will come to meet us at the concert and enjoy the choral music as well!