Brian Dickerson via Crowdrise
May 06, 2015
BENEFITING: STEP UP INC
EVENT DATE: Dec 01, 2015
HOURS PLEDGED: 400
Mileage Tracker: 123,611
2015: The work continues, of course.
Keeping kids in school -
Education assistance for single moms -
Targeted assistance for families -
Donations here are applied specifically to education support. While schools are free through 6th grade, there are fees, materials, and uniforms that families can't always afford; about $60 per child per semester. After elementary school, costs go up. Transportation, fees, and materials are the primary additions. Our goal is to keep individual children in school as long as they can succeed. Their success in school is a critical element of subsequent employment and productivity.
It doesn't take much to make a big difference.
Just so you know, every dollar goes to Africa. We cover all costs for fundraising, coordination, reporting, etc. We're all in, and have been since 2010. We're still in because of the difference it makes.
If you'd like to visit the country, let us know. We'll introduce you around.
2014: The first two projects are successfully completed, and you can donate here for the follow-on effort if you like.
The follow-on work is expanded to more families and more children; it's right here on Crowdrise at http://www.crowdrise.com/Kidsjustwannaskip/fundraiser/stepup
Donations here or there will still go directly to the program for the same purpose. We've worked successfully for five years now with great results. Our kids did well in school (they all passed on to subsequent grades each year!) and we got to assist the families as well.
The original project description is below:
Actually, they all want to go to school. :) You can tell by the faces in the photos, mostly.
We're raising funds for children and their families in one of the world's smallest countries, Sao Tome & Principe, West Africa. Funds go through STEP UP, a small NGO I encountered while in the country; they were recommended to me by the embassy staffers for transparency and effectiveness.
It's a poor country with little employment for the unskilled. It's tough for families to cover the cost of school. Girls especially get left behind in Africa when families have to choose which of their kids get to go to school.
Through STEP UP, we provide uniforms, shoes, school supplies, in-home tutoring, and some food assistance for the families. We've connected to 5 families now, all folks I've met and spent time with. They are so touched to have friends in the US who will partner with them to get their kids through school. It costs around $700/yr per household and includes help for the rest of the family. About 40% of the kids are undernourished; under-weight for height, under-height for age. Pictures are from Children's Day at Almas Elementary School and the neighborhoods. Wonderful folks, could use a hand.
School is available with some public funding through 6th grade. Secondary ed costs money most families haven't got. We get to help; it's a no-joke big deal, especially for the girls. If we help, they get to stay in school, and they get tutors and AIDS/Health classes, and school supplies, and some help for the family to stay healthy.
UPDATE: An aid worker came to me in JAN on behalf of a family that had nothing. Dad lost his arm along with his job in an accident. They were at the end of hope. I gave them what I had, came home and found a thoughtful friend who generously has sponsored them through the rough times. They now have a floor in the house and bedding for the kids; all the kids are in school doing well. The older boy passed the 6th grade achievement test which about 70% of the kids fail. It means he gets to go on to 7th grade where he will study English. Sweet kid. In September '10 during my last visit there, Dad embraced me and thanked me for his American friends standing by his family through the impossible days.
UPDATE: June '12, in country briefly, visited the families. All are doing well, especially the one mentioned above. Their story and others at: http://africa.texasex.org/aug-10-a-family-s-progress
UPDATE: October '13, we're doing well. We've added 25 kids to the education project. Uniforms and shoes (flipflops) for school plus fees and supplies. The community center in Milagrosa is mostly built; still some materials needed. Feel free to join in. Plenty of opportunity to encourage kids and families as they work to make a better life.