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  • Tea For Sri Lanka

    Last weekend, the NYC Givology Team held a fundraising event for Tea Leaf Trust and Beacon Hill Academy, Givology’s partners in Sri Lanka. The event was a brunch at the beautiful Pranna Restaurant where we were able to bring a large group of Givology supporters for food, music and fun. We gave a brief presentation on the partners and then shared photos from Tea Leaf Trust’s “Purity of Tea in Life” project and fair trade tea and student-made cookbooks from Beacon Hill Academy. To support our partners further, visit the campaign pages for Tea Leaf Trust and Beacon Hill Academy. If you are interested in purchasing photos, tea, or cookbooks to support our partners, visit the event website (www.teaforsrilanka.org) for more info.
  • Building Simple Circuits

    During my time as a volunteer at Rehema Day Care and Orphans Centre in the Korogocho slum, I have had the pleasure of teaching science to Standard 8. This week we were covering energy transformation and simple circuits, so I went to the local market and purchased some insulated wire, DC bulbs, dry cells and electric tape. This was the result.
  • Turning Point Trust

    This organization was founded in 2002 by Jon and Jo Parsons to support children and families who might otherwise fall through the cracks (i.e. single mothers, kids who have never been to school). The program has 2 sites in the Kibera Slum, one in Mashimoni and one in Kianda. Both sites have a Transitional Education Program which prepares children ages 4-15 to enter school. Students will stay in the transition program for 1-3 years depending on age. At these centers children are fed and dewormed regularly. Even after transitional education, the organization continues to support the children’s medical fees, uniform fees and lunch fees. Together the centers can contain about 140 students at any time. Each site also features a Microfinance Program started to help those with no collateral or savings. The program currently serves over 300 members and gives microloans ranging from 20 USD to 110 USD with no interest and a 50-week grace period. In keeping with the mission of the organization...
  • Tea Leaf Trust

    Tea Leaf Trust was founded in 2010 in Maskeliya and will graduate its second class of students this fall. Much like Beacon Hill Academy, it offers a yearlong intensive program to strengthen English levels, build practical skills and encourage practical thinking. But the similarities end here. This program’s focus, rather than on just building ethical, competent leaders, is to give more career options to underserved youth who might otherwise be forced to work on tea estates or find underpaying jobs far from home. As such, the program looks to serve youth from low SES areas and will take students with very poor English. Following graduation, there is a marked increase in wage levels that the students are able to earn and a high employment rate. Some will even try to enroll in university, a path that otherwise may have been near impossible. Some graduates from last year’s class have returned as interns and are currently working on a project to research problems on the tea estates such ...
  • Beacon Hill Academy

    One approach to reducing poverty and encouraging economic growth is to empower youth. I visited two programs in Sri Lanka that are aspiring to do just this. Beacon Hill Academy was founded in 2003 and is based in Nuwara Eliya. The organization’s main endeavor is an intensive yearlong workshop for ages 18-24 that teaches leadership, English and technical skills. The curriculum is designed to encourage critical thinking and includes, but is not limited to, teambuilding, essay and speech writing, entrepreneurship, typing, and a survey of the liberal arts. The capstone project for the second term is an individual service project for which each student must raise money for a cause or craft something that can make a positive impact. The hope is that after a yearlong program of assignments such as these, students will be empowered to become competent and ethical leaders and changemakers in their communities. The motto: “Live a Dream. Make a Difference.” Students may attend free of charge a...