With the successful completion of this project, we wanted to share a last update with everyone on the results and outcome.
Global Giving generously offered to match funds for the project. One half of the project funds received went to the Afghan Institute of Learning for their education programs, and the other half went to Ellsworth high school for the music department.
Ellsworth high school intends to spend this money in the following ways:
Entrance fees for music Solo and Ensemble Competitions for students that cannot afford the fees.
Purchase educationally sound pieces of music to add to the schools’ music library.
Purchase new pieces of percussion equipment.
Repair school music instruments that are used by students unable to afford rental fees for new instruments.
Alison Hendry, the Ellsworth music teacher and band director, would sincerely like to thank everyone that contributed and donated to this project, as well as the generosity of Global Giving.
GG Update for Ellsworth band
Ellsworth area students participated in a number of projects in the last year to reach their goal of earning funds for the project.
• At the Spring concert, community members donated to the cause;
• Band members held 3 car washes through the summer;
• 2 elementary students set up and ran a lemonade stand;
• A high school student detailed cars and gave all earning to the fund;
• 2 girls held baked goods sales;
• The 5th grade band members organized a ‘wear a hat to school’ day for a fee of 50 cents per student;
• Many students solicited donations from friends and family
Students particularly liked an in-school presentation by Toc Dunlap, executive director of Creating Hope International. Toc came to class wearing the traditional Afghanistan burka that women wear and talked about daily life and the culture in Afghanistan. Several students, who had family members serving in the military in Afghanistan, enjoyed learning about what family life is like over there. Student volunteers were able to try on the burka and experience it firsthand.
Overall, Ellsworth students were able to identify better on a personal basis with life in Afghanistan while earning money for a worthy community cause.
There's a new focus on women worldwide. The New York Times magazine dedicated their entire issue one week in August on women in the developing world. Of particular focus was a newly launched book written by the well-known Pulitzer winning couple Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl DuWunn titled: "Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide". The press focus on this timely book is significant- from reviews in Harvard and People magazine, to upcoming segments on shows like "The Today Show", the time has come for women and their issues worldwide to be in the spotlight.
Sakena Yacoobi and her organization the Afghan Institute of Learning is one of the topics in Chapter Nine of the book. Dr. Yacoobi grew up in Herat, Afghanistan and then came to the United States to study at the University of the Pacific and Loma Linda University. Concerned about the condition of her people back in Afghanistan, Sakena returned to Pakistan to work in Afghan refugee camps and later went to Afghanistan. Although the Taliban forbade girls from getting an education in Afghanistan, Sakena was instrumental in establishing a string of secret girls schools with community support.
Today, the Afghan Institute of Learning has multiple education programs in Pakistan and in seven provinces of Afghanistan. There are educational learning centers for women and children, preschool programs, post-secondary institutes, a university, and teacher training programs. In addition, AIL has an in-depth program of health education and treatment for women and small children. Since its start in 1995, AIL has trained nearly 16,000 teachers and over 3.5 million women and children have received a quality education. With the health programs included, AIL has directly impacted over 6.7 million Afghans.
Sakena has been and continues to be recognized for her work. Her philosophy is to develop a program from the grass-roots level so the community members are an integral part of the process. State Kristof and DuWunn in their book Half The Sky- "American organizations would have accomplished much more if they had financed and supported Sakena, rather than dispatching their own representatives to Kabul...The best role for Americans who want to help Muslim women isn't holding the microphone at the front of the rally, but writing the checks and carrying the bags in the back."
Dr. Yacoobi and the work of the Afghan Institute of Learning have been supported by multiple grantors and organizations over the years. "I wish to thank everyone who has helped in this important work," states Sakena. "I want to share with each and every contributor the joy of seeing a young woman, who has a renewed interest in life because she can now read, or the happiness of a widow who has learned a skill that will allow her to support her children.
"We now have children who are healthy because of inoculations, and women who did not die during childbirth who have happy, healthy babies. My wish is that these small steps that allow awareness and growth in families will lead to the growth of our country."
Recently, we spoke with Sakena, and she has this message to all the supporters of AIL:
"It is an honor to be included in Nicholas' and Sheryl's book Half The Sky. So many foundations and individuals have contributed to the work that the Afghan Institute of Learning has been able to do in Afghanistan.
"From the bottom of my heart I want to thank all who have understood the plight of Afghan women and children, and have reached out with compassionate, caring support.
"May God reward your generosity......."
For the past week, the fifth grade band has been planning their own hat day fundraiser. Today at Ellsworth Elementary School, K-5th grade students paid 50 cents each to wear a hat to school all day long. The fifth grade band raised $37.25!! It was great to watch as some fifth graders paid more than 50 cents, and to see nearly the entire first grade class wearing their hats proudly.
The Ellsworth Bands hosted their first car wash of the summer today from 3:00 - 7:00 pm. The 25 students that helped today washed 20 cars and received donations from 4 people that did not want their cars washed raising a total of $327!!. The students had a great time, got a little sunburned and let more people in Ellsworth know about their goal to help students in Afghanistan while raising money to support instrumental music in Ellsworth!
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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