Below is an update from Starfish, our partner in Guatemala! This update is a letter from Angelica, a Starfish Girl Pioneer who is just starting her second semester at the bilingual school she attends, where all classes are given in English. Angelica is excited to tell us why reading matters to her.
Hi Givologists! Rachel here. Today we’re looking at Guatemala. A question to think about: how can we maintain the quality of education across different regions within a country?
Please feel free to leave any comments, insights, questions below!
Ten Facts about Education in Guatemala
(1) Primary school attendance (6 years, usually ages 7-13) is [b]free and compulsory[/b]. However, in more rural indigenous areas, there are few primary schools available to children.
(2) At the secondary education level, students have a greater range in what they can study; though most study teaching or bookkeeping, some schools also offer agronomy, auto-mechanics, computers, secretarial services, and tourism.
(3) [b]One half [/b]of the 14 million people of Guatemala are Mayan.
(4) Less than 30 percent of indigenous girls attend [b]secondary[/b] school.
(5) However, Guatemala has undergone an increase in [b]primary[/b] school enrollment rates (to almost 100 percent) in the past four years in Guatemala, with an almost equal enrollment of boys and girls.
(6) The highest percentages of children not in school are found in[b] rural areas[/b] (Alta Verapaz, Quiche and Huehuetenango) populated mainly by indigenous people.
(7) The length of time an indigenous child attends school is only [b]half as long[/b] as a non-indigenous child. Furthermore, it is more likely for indigenous students to repeat grades.
(8) Teachers often [b]lack formal training[/b], and schools have very limited supplies and resources.
(9) Many children in Guatemala choose to [b]drop out [/b]of school to make money on the streets, and often parents encourage their children to do so due to living situations.
(10) In 2008, the Education Department of Guatemala introduced a program called [b]Mi Familia Progresa[/b] (my family progresses), which gives families cash if they regularly send their kids to school. This program has helped 800,000 parents (about 6 percent of the population) in providing their children with an education.
With a history of civil war, poverty, malnutrition, gender inequality, and violence, Guatemala’s education system has been stunted. Guatemala City has been ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Having traveled there on a missions trip last spring and gone into the ghettos and a women’s prison, it was hard to see the poverty, but inspiring to see the work being done by organizations and community leaders in the area.
In improving this education system and keeping these improvements sustainable, combating previous mindsets that families, communities, populations have is crucial. Many people do not see the value in enrolling their children in school. A partner organization of Givology, [url=http://starfish-impact.org/]Starfish[/url], provides student scholarships and mentorships to girls in Guatemala, empowering these girls not only to change their own lives, but also the lives of their families and future generations.
[i]Girl Pioneers from Starfish![/i]
I first heard about Starfish while working on Givology’s e-book. The story below is one of my favorites, about how Starfish got its name (and overall vision) as an organization.[i]
One day a woman and her daughter were walking along the ocean when they observed thousands of starfish dotted on the beach. It was low tide, and the waves had carried in the starfish only to leave them stranded as the ocean receded. The mother sighed and turned away from the beach, wishing she could save all the helpless starfish. It was a few seconds before she noticed her daughter was missing by her side. She saw that her daughter was gently throwing one starfish after another back into the sea.
“What are you doing?” the mother asked.
“I’m helping the starfish,” the girl replied.
“But there are so many, and you can’t possibly be thinking you can save them all.”
The girl looked up at her mother with a smile before tossing another starfish back into the sea.
“No, but I can save this one.”[/i]
--excerpt from #GiveInspiration, “Starfish One by One”
Written by Julia Tofan
Hi Givologists, this week we will be looking at education in Romania!
In Romania, children begin kindergarten at the age of 6. They typically attend a half day program in which they learn reading, math, science, religion, Romanian, and foreign language skills. From a young age, children are taught to respect their teachers and elders.
In primary school, students spend a lot of time preparing for the 8th grade test that is used to determine whether they get accepted to high school, and if so, which one. Students study literature, math, and geography in hopes of succeeding on the test. Those who are not accepted to a high school may go on to vocational schooling or end their studies. In primary school, children often participate in after-school activities like sports teams. Children who can afford tutoring often get tutors to prepare for national tests, study unique subjects and foreign languages, or improve on the skills they are learning in school.
In secondary school, students prepare for the Baccalaureate test, which determines whether they will be able to attend college and where. These years of school consist of a heavy homework load and a lot of preparation for the future. It is then that students specialize in their studies. They may choose philosophy, mathematics, chemistry, or anything in between.
Education in major Romanian cities is well rounded and prepares students to further their studies and go on to successful careers. However, there are many obstacles to getting an education for people in rural areas and in disadvantaged populations.
According to World Vision Report, in the 2005-2006 school year, 13.5% of children between age 7 and 14 in rural Romania were not enrolled in school. Many children in rural villages cannot enroll in schools because they are too far away and transportation is unavailable. Walking is common practice and 23% of rural Romanian children travel more than an hour on their daily commute to school.
Other populations in Romania are also marginalized from the education system. For example, Roma children lack access to schooling due to more frequent child marriage and traditions that require young women to stay home and help with chores and childcare while young men are expected to work. The Roma population also has higher rates of poverty and may not be able to afford uniforms and school supplies that are required for students.
[b]Make a Difference[/b]
Throughout the world, children are denied access to a quality education due to discrimination, lack of money for tuition and school supplies, or lack of a nearby school to attend. Through Givology, you have the power to change that and offer children in rural areas the opportunity to get an education. They may live far from the cities that offer education, but we can bring the education that they need to them and offer them the opportunity to escape from poverty. Offering them an education offers them a way out of poverty not only for themselves, but also for their families.
Givology partner organization, [url=https://www.givology.org/~peach/]Peach Foundation[/url], helps children in rural China get an education and gain the skills that they need to open new doors in life and go on to fulfilling careers. Like many Romanian children, these students hope to overcome the obstacles in their path and accomplish great things. In the face of poverty, gender inequality, and discrimination, education is an essential part of the path to a better future.
Written by Julia Tofan
[b]Starting a Chapter[/b]
Givology chapters bring together members from cities, schools, and universities to take action and support Givology's students and projects, furthering Givology's mission of making education accessible to children all over the world. Givology currently has about 30 chapters across the United States and internationally in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, and we hope to keep on growing with your help! You may be wondering what Givology chapters have done in the past and how you can start a chapter too, so we talked to the presidents of some of our most active chapters to see how they have supported Givology students and projects and how others can get involved too. Among many ways of giving back, Givology chapters fundraise, educate, and increase awareness of education in developing countries.
Chapters are responsible for raising awareness about challenges in access to education, fundraising to support Givology students and projects, and working together toward reaching common goals. [url=http://givology.com/get-involved/start-chapter/]Givology's Chapter Guide[/url] offers more information on the logistics of starting a chapter, as well as ideas and opportunities for chapters to fundraise, educate, make a difference, and have fun doing it!
[b]Recruiting Chapter Members[/b]
One of the first steps in starting a chapter is recruiting members and appointing officers. Binghamton Givology Chapter president Alyssa knows that it may be difficult to increase the amount of members a chapter has, but she assures individuals hoping to start a chapter not to let that slow them down. "For clubs, a small amount of active members might be scary because they will feel as if they cannot make an impact, but I can assure you that is not the case." Chapters of all different sizes have achieved amazing things and have contributed greatly to Givology.
Most chapters start with only a few members, but often grow quickly through recruiting events. Emailing friends, posting flyers, using social media, and reaching out to local organizations that promote education and giving are great ways to get started in building a chapter. Our Binghamton chapter shares that their email list grew to 300 students, enabling the chapter to engage a large part of the local community in their awareness and fundraising events. Our Vietnam chapter also shares that their recruiting events had great success, gathering 70 applications and leading them to accept 15 new members to their team.
[b]Fundraising and Supporting Givology[/b]
After chapters form, they begin to fundraise for students and projects that Givology sponsors, holding events at least twice a year. Be it through dance-a-thons, international food nights, silent auctions, or penny drives, there are many ways that a chapter can fundraise. More ideas can be found in the Chapter Guidebook, and all new ideas are welcome!
Vietnam Chapter President Thanh gives us some insight into her chapter's fundraising. One of the chapter's most successful fundraising events was a flower sale to celebrate Vietnamese Teacher Appreciation Day with a wide variety of flower baskets, gaining 33 orders to benefit Givology.
Our Binghampton Chapter also participates in fundraising and in just 3 months, they raised $2,000 for Givology students and projects. Chapter President Alyssa shares her experience in fundraising and partnering with local businesses like Krispy Kreme:
"Our club does not have a lot of active members, but in just three months, we have raised over $2,000 to donate to Givology. Naturally, we are wondering how much more we could have raised if we had more members, but I think that’s a pretty impressive amount we raised! You are probably wondering how in the world we raised so much money in so little time. Well, that can be answered in just two words – Krispy Kreme. Yes, I am talking about the place that sells doughnuts. Once a month, our club partners with Krispy Kreme and has a fundraiser. You would be surprised at how much students love and adore doughnuts. If I had a dollar for every single time I saw someone’s face light up because they saw a box of glazed doughnuts, we would be able to sponsor every student in Givology. Each fundraiser costs us about $140, but we always end up making almost $400. On top of raising a lot of money, we can promote our club, and have fun trying to be salespeople."
The Binghamton chapter partners with other businesses such as Sweet Frog, Coldstone, and Five Below to raise money. If customers mention the fundraiser, a percentage of their purchase is donated to Givology, making this an easy way to get the word out about Givology and raise money.
The Binghamton Chapter also fundraises by hosting concerts and talent shows on campus. Featuring local students and bringing together the community, these concerts and talent shows are a lot of fun and offer everyone a chance to help Givology, whether they perform, attend the event, or make a donation!
Alyssa tells us that her chapter does much more than fundraise. "Besides fundraising money, we have found other ways to give back to Givology. Members of the Binghamton community have recently donated six boxes of school supplies to our club to donate to the students sponsored by Givology! Binghamton Givology members also actively participate in Letter Writing Campaigns to the same students they donated school supplies to at least twice a semester."
[b]Education Advocacy and Awareness[/b]
Chapters help us bring awareness to the issue of education in the developing world through a variety of initiatives. They host educational speakers, start social media campaigns, blog, film informational youtube videos, and hold other events to educate people about Givology's mission.
Our University of Pennsylvania chapter has held speeches to teach university students about Givology, microfinancing, and social entrepreneurship, offering them insight into how Givology works as an online giving market.
The University of Pennsylvania Chapter also started a campaign asking people to share what they would give up in order to make a donation that would give children the opportunity to get an education. Be it Netflix, coffee, or movie tickets, people were able to put into perspective the daily amenities many of us enjoy.
[b]Promote Education Locally[/b]
Our Givology chapters make very important contributions to making sure students across the world have access to education, but sometimes, that means the best place to start is in their own communities!
Our Vietnam Chapter has led local projects to teach students in Vietnam's fishing villages. In an educational project called "A Better Summer" they conducted a remedial and life skills class for 20 children in May Chai Fishing Village. The project helped ensure that students had the life skills that they needed to succeed and that they were caught up with their lessons. As part of the initiative, the chapter started an associated campaign, "Happiness for you," and collected donations of 18 textbook sets, 100 notebooks, 50 books, 5 pencil boxes, and clothing for the children in the school. In underprivileged communities, many students lack the resources that they need to go to school, and they're often too busy working to learn important life skills that they need to take care of themselves. "A Better Summer" addressed these needs and gave students access to resources and education.
[b]Why should you start a chapter?[/b]
Fundraising, raising awareness, and engaging local communities to promote education gives chapters the opportunity to change the world through every student that they give to as well as educate people on the reality that many people face without an education. Not only that, but starting a chapter is a great chance to make friends and work together with people that have a common desire to spread education. Our chapters accomplish many amazing things, but they have a lot of fun along the way.
Binghamton Givology Chapter President Alyssa tells us that their chapter loves to goof off at meetings and just have fun once in a while. "We have had meetings where we just pig out on pizza and cookies, build a gingerbread house, and design our own tie-dye Givology t-shirts. These are my favorite moments because everyone is simply enjoying himself or herself."
[b]Advice to Future Chapters[/b]
Binghamton Givology Chapter president Alyssa tells us what made everything worth it and what made her chapter so successful.
"It is admiring to know that there are still people in this world who want to give back to those who are less fortunate. I could not be more grateful for the members in the Binghamton Chapter. If it were not for them, our club would be nowhere today. If I could give any club one piece of advice, it would be to listen to your club and to make sure they are happy as members. You would be surprised at how creative and intelligent their ideas are! They are the foundation for your club and the reason why you will all make a huge difference to the students of Givology!"
To learn more about starting a chapter and get started, individuals can look through [url=http://givology.com/get-involved/start-chapter/]chapter material[/url] and email Givology at email@example.com.
Hi Givologists! This week, we’ll be taking a look at the education system of Nepal. Personally, I was not very familiar with the education system in Nepal, or the history of the country itself, and was able to learn a lot just by googling Nepal.
[b]Eight Facts about the Education System of Nepal[/b]
1. In 2009, Nepal lengthened free education from 5 years to 8 years.
2. The academic year starts in April and ends in March.
3. Before 1951 (and subsequent political reform), education was mainly reserved for only about 250 students, including the royal family and the wealthy.
4. There are three secondary school types: community schools (run by the government), institutional/ private schools, and higher secondary schools (which provide education after the primary and lower secondary education levels are completed).
5. Following completion of higher secondary school (a total of 10 years of education), students are required to complete a three hour long School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examination for advancement to the university level.
6. The SLC exam is also referred to as the “Iron Gate,” because a student’s score determines what they will be able to study in the future. Scoring above the 80th percentile allows access to science-based careers, while lower scores entails admission to commerce, arts, and humanities subjects.
7. With a large emphasis on discipline in the classroom, most classes do not engage in discussions; instead, students listen quietly as the teacher lectures.
8. Only 11 in 100 people have access to internet in Nepal. In light of this, the typical classroom does not have any type of information technology.
With only six universities, Nepal is a country that sends many of their students overseas, to countries such as the US. Over 24,000 Nepali students chose to complete their higher studies abroad in 2010. However, this may lead to a reduction in the growth that Nepal is currently experiencing, with the loss of many professionals to other countries.
With “human capital flight” in Nepal, the question may be deciding whether initiatives should be implemented to encourage students to stay in Nepal for college-level education/ return to Nepal following the completion of a university degree. It is more likely than not that these college students are the ones that will be able to implement change and reduce the poverty that impacts the lives of about 1 of 4 people in Nepal.
[b]“Under My Umbrella” - The Umbrella Foundation[/b]
[url=http://umbrellanepal.org/]The Umbrella Foundation[/url], a Givology partner, rescue children in Nepal from unregistered, abusive orphanages and help reunite them with their families. They also work closely with village schools to provide quality education within these communities.
[i]The Next Steps Youth & Education Programme developed by the Umbrella Foundation.[/i]
Leave a comment below- how can we (or should we even) address human capital flight in Nepal? What are your thoughts on the SLC exam?
Hey Givologists! The country we’re covering this week is Liberia, a place that is especially close to my heart after traveling there this summer to start up a science program with a local non-profit, Live Life Liberia. I’ll be drawing on a lot of my personal experiences in Montserrado County, Liberia to describe how their education system operates.
[b]1. Liberian education has previously been severely impacted by civil war.[/b]
The education system in Liberia was limited by 14 years of civil unrest, causing the number of schools to decrease from 2,400 in 1989 to 480 in 2003. During this time, very few people went to school; some were recruited to be child soldiers, and the country was completely torn apart due to conflict.
Though peace has been established in Liberia for more than ten years, the infrastructure and school systems have not recovered to even a fraction of what they used to be. USAID reports that in most education aspects, Liberia is behind the majority of other countries in Africa.
[b]2. Liberian education holds great value.[/b]
[i]With some students from my village class.[/i][b]
[/b]I had the amazing opportunity of teaching at three schools in Liberia over the summer, all of which were very different. The locations varied from inside a Firestone community (where Liberians work on rubber plantations), to a primary school by a major intersection, to the rural village where I stayed.
At all of these schools, the students were incredibly polite and attentive, and I think this really speaks to the culture of Liberia in general. Because of limited education and schools for 14 years, education carries great significance. Even with 12 years of peace, the memory of Liberia’s civil war is very present.
The Liberian government has put a lot of effort into promoting education as well. When I first arrived in Liberia in June, there were graduation parties every week going on for students of all ages, from kindergarteners dressed up in suits to high school seniors. Education is something that is so celebrated and joyous in Liberia; I would see recent graduates driving their friends around and standing on the roofs of their cars.
[b]3. Liberian education is limited. [/b]
The typical Liberian teacher follows the textbook very strictly, and has very limited resources. While developing the science program at the three schools, we focused on doing experiments with the students that used products that could be bought from grocery stores, such as baking soda and vinegar (no students had ever done this experiment before). Even so, the question of how to make these projects sustainable came up, as most teachers would have to purchase these experiment materials out of their own budget.
How funding can and should be allocated by schools in Liberia to make learning more interactive is still unclear. Many people told me that the majority of high school graduates in Liberia choose to go into business, because “science is too hard.” As a result, certain areas- healthcare, engineering, etc.- in Liberia are lacking; in light of the ebola epidemic, Liberia currently only has 50 doctors serving a population of 3.5 million.
[b]4. Liberian education is being rebuilt. [/b]
Shortly after I left Liberia at the end of July, all schools were shut down as an attempt to curb the ebola epidemic. This was especially devastating because of Liberia’s history with the civil war and previous setbacks in education. However, the good news is that schools in Liberia will open again this February as the number of reported ebola cases has decreased in recent weeks.
One of Givology’s partners, [url=https://morethanme.org]More Than Me[/url], is doing amazing work in Liberia on the ground. The founder, Katie Meyler ([url=http://racingheartblog.tumblr.com/]whose blog you can find here[/url]), has been working in Liberia with community partners for the past few months to help with the ebola response, and recently just returned to the US. With the start up of schools in Liberia in less than a month, More Than Me aims to open up a boarding school in the West Point community.
[i]I got to visit the More Than Me Academy during my last week in Liberia! [/i]
As always, feel free to leave questions/ comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!
Hi Givologists! My name is Rachel Chuang and I am a junior at Cornell University studying biology and business. I’ve been working with Givology for almost four years now as the Director of Special Projects, and have gotten the chance to be a part of some really awesome initiatives (such as co-leading the publication of [url=http://www.amazon.com/GiveInspiration-How-Give-Effectively-ebook/dp/B00B46UV5I]Givology’s book[/url]) and to volunteer with amazing people all across the US and the globe!
Working at Givology has brought to mind a lot of questions that I hope to address in this weekly blog:
- How do we as individuals maximize and allocate our time, money, and efforts to make the greatest impact globally?
- Why has our [url=http://www.euractiv.com/development-policy/auditors-slams-effectiveness-eu-news-530807]impact been minimized[/url] in certain countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo?
- How do we make our impact in the world sustainable instead of a “one-time” effort?
- How do educations systems vary between countries that we are providing aid to?
- What practices are effective and what practices are not?
Over the next ten or so weeks, I aim to delve into the last two questions. I will draw connections between education systems that Givology currently works with partner grassroots organizations to impact (often in developing countries). As a disclaimer, the order in which I highlight different countries is by no means a reflection of their “ranking” as the best/ worst education systems.
I hope to shed greater light on different education practices that are implemented worldwide. Through this blog, I also hope to increase my own knowledge, as well as your knowledge, about these countries so that we can become better, more active global citizens, and be able to understand (at least a little) more of where we can make a difference!
The first education system that I will look at is Kenya, which has implemented new policies over the last 55 years. Kenya’s education system has witnessed large growth over the past few decades. One of Givology’s partners, [url=http://www.flyingkites.org/what-we-do/]Flying Kites[/url], runs a home and a primary school for orphaned and vulnerable children in Njabini, Kenya, and also provides scholarships to students across the country. [url=http://www.shofco.org/]Shining Hope for Communities[/url], another Givology partner, works in Kibera, Kenya to promote girls education by working to make schools tuition-free.
[i]The Kibera School for Girls, an initiative led by Shining Hope for Communities[/i]
[b]Nine Facts about Kenya’s Education[/b]
1. In 1985, Kenya altered its education system to 8-4-4 (eight years of primary education, four years of secondary education and four years of University).
2. There are about 3000 secondary schools with an enrollment of 620,000 students.
3. In 2003, Kenya announced a new policy of free primary school education.
4. After each term, students in every grade level are required to complete standardized tests. Good grades are critical in advancing onto secondary school.
5. Students who achieve the best results on standardized tests attend better national schools.
6. Large disparities have been observed between private and public schools in Kenya, as private schools often have lower teacher to student ratios, electricity, more resources, etc.
7. Some public schools have 60 to 80 students per class.
8. 85 percent of children in Kenya attend primary school, 24 percent attend secondary school, and 2 percent go on to study at higher education institutions.
9. Most primary schools are state-owned.
While browsing the website of Flying Kites, I found the following quote by Dr. Paul Farmer, “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” In Kenya, wealth is often directly correlated with the quality of one’s education, and we can even observe some of these subtle disparities in the United States, with private schools, etc.
Other countries, such as Finland (which has been consistently ranked as one of the top ten education systems in the world), have no gifted programs and all children are taught in the same classroom regardless of "intelligence." Equality in the quality of education for every single student, poor or rich, “smart” or “not smart,” is extremely difficult to maintain between schools and even classrooms, but it is possible. It is interesting that we see many organizations combating this issue by funding student scholarships as a “bottom-up” approach; whereas in countries like Finland, a “top-down” approach is implemented instead (as there are no “better” schools or “better” programs and all students are provided with the same quality of education).
Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to leave comments, feedback, questions, etc. below- What surprised you the most? What areas in Kenya’s education system should we focus on? I would love to hear from you. Until next time!
The New Year is a time of celebrating with friends, reflecting on the year that has passed, and making resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. A powerful resolution to include in your goals to be a better you is to help others and make a difference in the world. Whether you care about gender equality, education, or ending poverty, Givology can help you find the best way to give back to causes that matter to you.Our resolutions at Givology include funding the projects that will enable our students to learn and making sure that all Givology students can go to school. Be it funding an [url=https://www.givology.org/~sstationery1/]e-book library[/url] for Somali students in need of reading resources, bringing [url=https://www.givology.org/~ase/]stationary[/url] to victims of illegal orphanages, child abuse, and extreme poverty so that they can stay in school, or giving teen abuse survivors the [url=https://www.givology.org/~etsoawbameducation/\]business skills[/url] they need in life through jewelry making, Givology hopes to make a difference with your support. Below are the top 5 ways to include giving back in your resolutions:
1) Learn Something New: The first step in making a difference is learning about issues you care about. Learning about cultures and traditions all over the world, global issues like poverty, human trafficking, and lack of access to education, and initiatives that are helping to offer more opportunities to children in need can help you understand the people and issues you want to help. Educating ourselves on humanitarian issues can help us see the world in a more enlightened way. Whether we take a class on humanitarian issues, subscribe to the [url=http://eepurl.com/_YDnr]Givology newspaper[/url] to receive updates on topics in global education, or go out into the world and listen to people's stories and experiences, we can grow to better understand people from all over the world.
2) [url=http://givology.com/get-involved/spread-the-word/]Spread Awareness[/url] and Fundraise: Tell your friends, share on social media, and involve your community in the issues that are important to you to make your impact even bigger. Fundraising by holding a bake sale, a school dance, or a fun community event like a talent show can help to bring people together and involve them in something bigger.
3) [url=http://givology.com/get-involved/volunteer/]Volunteer[/url]: If you want to volunteer with Givology, you can write an article, design a graphic, or send an encouraging message to a Givology student from their profile. The possibilities are endless, and with the flexibility of volunteering online, anyone can participate. Volunteerism is one of the most common resolutions made for the New Year, and it's a great way to give back! According to Gandhi, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." Discovering a new talent or sharing an old one and becoming part of a team in a motivated environment can help encourage you to meet your goals and have an impact.
4) [url=http://givology.com/get-involved/fellowships/]Travel Abroad[/url]: Givology fellowships offer you the opportunity to travel and work face to face with our partners all over the world. You can conduct educational research, help grass root organizations meet their goals, and write blog post updates to share your experiences. Traveling offers you the opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and learn a new way of life.
5) [url=http://givology.com/get-involved/start-chapter/]Start or Join a Chapter of Givology[/url]: Givology chapters may be student, volunteer, or adult groups that meet on a regular basis and make a difference by fundraising in their communities, participating in Givology campaigns, serving as Givology ambassadors, and spread awareness. For anyone looking to be a leader in 2015, this is a great way to start something powerful.
No matter what your resolutions are, we wish you the best in accomplishing your goals to a better you in the year 2015 and we look forward to working together to expand our volunteer team, raise awareness, and support our students as they work toward their own resolutions.
[b]The Peach Foundation[/b]
[font='Times New Roman', serif]Peach stands for Promoting Education, Art, and Community Harvest. Started in 2001 in California, Peach Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps children in the poorest parts of China gain an opportunity to go to college and complete a program of education. Students are chosen by teacher recommendations based on financial need and academic potential. Peach students have recently sent letters with updates on their academic achievements and many thanks for the gift of education Givology donors made possible.[/font]
In many Chinese villages, students cannot afford the high expense of education. One of our students, [url=http://givology.com/~jzhou/blog/123764/]Zhou Jiang[/url], describes the difficult choice he had to consider in middle school between going to high school and easing the financial burden on his parents. He dreamed of winning a lottery or his school excusing tuition to solve his problem until "a light shined upon me and enlightened my life and warmed my heart." Thanks to Givology, Zhou Jiang was able to attend school without worrying about the expenses. He has now finished high school and has received an offer from a college that he was hoping to attend. [url=http://givology.com/~hqhua/blog/123769/]Qiuhua He[/url] writes, “As a girl from a rural area, I never believed that I was special. It is with your help that I discovered my strong points and fill my life with joy.” She finished three years of high school and got accepted to Yunnan Nation School. With her education, she says she has learned “how to help others in need” and she hopes that other students “can also feel the beauty of life.”
Many Peach Foundation students and their families went through difficult financial times and needed the hope that Givology offered to persevere in their educational aspirations. [url=http://givology.com/~lyan/blog/123770/]Liu Yan[/url] thanks Givology, writing “You shone a light upon me and showed me the sunrise.” With the help of Givology, he has graduated from high school and is now a successful undergraduate student. With an education, he hopes to be able to help his parents “live a happy life” and “help the society and those in need." [url=http://givology.com/~ywhua/blog/123766/]Yang Wen Hua[/url] thanks Givology for the support she has received as well, writing “One of your letters granted me hope. In that letter, you recognized my personality and abilities. The letter showed your love to me and every word singed the power of love. In your halo of love, I carried on and told myself I could not give up…” She is excited to go to college this fall as an undergraduate student. [url=http://givology.com/~msxiang/blog/123756/]Shixiang Ma[/url] is another Peach Foundation who found hope in the educational opportunities she could afford due to her donors. She writes “Thank you for being with me and leading me out of the fog. Truly thank you!!!!” She has graduated high school and is now an undergraduate college student with admirable achievements.
Peach Foundation students have now gone on to achieve great things, graduating high school, attending college, and striving to make the world a better place. [url=http://givology.com/~pli/blog/123761/]Puba Li [/url]writes, “In September 2011, with a curious heart, I walked into a medical school at Kunming-Yunnan Xinxin professional school.” She has now graduated from her professional high school and is an undergraduate student who aspires to be a nurse or a doctor in the future. Other students hope to help their family members live better lives, improve living situations in their villages, and enter rewarding and fulfilling professions.
[b]Peach Students Still Need Your Support[/b]!
Although many students have successfully been able to graduate and accomplish many goals, there are still students who need your support to do the same.
[url=https://www.givology.org/~yzfa/]Yang Zhe Fa,[/url] 7th in his class, is a hard working son of two farmers who is in need of money to pay for high school tuition. He hopes to relieve the financial burden placed on his parents by having two children in school and little money.
[url=https://www.givology.org/~mchun/]Mao Chun[/url], also a son of two farmers, is in 9th grade and hopes to be able to fund his education. He lives in poverty and his family struggles to pay for food and school, often having to borrow money to make ends meet and wait for the crop harvest to pay it back.
[url=https://www.givology.org/~peach1/]Li Yumei[/url], a 15 year old student entering high school, has a family of 8 that her parents and older brother are trying to support. Her younger brother is in middle school, while her older sister is preparing to go to college. With three students, tuition and schooling expenses for the family are quickly adding up. Li Yumei has considered quitting school to relieve her parents of the stress and financial burden, but her dad dismissed the idea, hoping that she and her siblings could grow up to live a better life than their own. Ever since, Li Yumei has been strongly committed to her education, persevering through poverty.
With your help, these students too can go on to reach their goals as many Peach Foundation students already have. Every donation makes a difference in offering students a chance to succeed and opening doors to new opportunities. To make giving even easier, Givology is matching donations 100% until January 1st. Matched money goes directly to your Givology wallet and can be allocated by you to students and projects of your choice, or given away in the form of a Givology gift certificate! How many [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O2DBUwFXz4&feature=youtu.be]pennies[/url] can you give?