You made 2018 a wonderful year for the girls in Lesotho. Right now we are awaiting results for 8 girls who wrote their final high school exams this year. You helped them reach this milestone in their lives. Without your generous support, these girls would not have got this far in their educational journey. You’ve made it happen for them.
I have been fortunate to make contact with two of our recent beneficiaries. Lerato is on course to complete her international baccalaureate studies at a local college. She reports:
Next year will be my final year of the baccalaureate. I am hoping to secure a government scholarship to further my studies at university. Your support has been crucial in getting me to this point.
The second girl, Katleho says:
I am in my first year of a BSc course at the university in Lesotho. My aspiration is to study medicine, so I am hoping to gain access to a school of medicine in the near future.
Joalane, on the other hand, finished her medical internship in September and is now a fully fledged doctor. She is now in the process of applying for jobs in government and other hospitals. All three girls bear further testimony to the awesome work you are doing.
Thank you so much for supporting Educare Fund again this year. Without your kind support, none of the work would have been possible. We are really grateful for your generous gifts during various GlobalGiving campaigns as well as for the recurring donations throughout the year.
With Christmas being only a few days away, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Festive Season. I hope the New Year brings you much joy and prosperity.
It is hard to believe that it is already the end of September. In some shops here there is evidence of preparation for Christmas. Alas, this is prompting me to contact various members of my family who have young kids to ask for suggestions for presents for these folk.
The end of the year is, of course, exam time for some of the young women you support. For them, the best Christmas present will be the completion of their high school education, if they are at that stage. For the rest, there is no better present than the certainty that you are there to help them continue their studies until they complete high school. This year we have 8 girls poised to write the final high school exams. They have reached this milestone in their life’s journey and are potentially on the threshold of a new bright future. This is all thanks to your generous donations, of course.
A recent conversation with one of the school principals reminded me of how far-reaching your support for the young women really is. The teacher told me that the effect of your donations reaches further than the individual girls who are direct beneficiaries. This is how she put it:
Our school has 4 girls receiving support from Educare Fund. In my opinion, this support reaches further than the individual girls. Having their fees paid improves the school’s cash flow and thus the overall running of the school. This means we are in a better position to give all the students a better chance of success. When these students succeed, it's not only the families and communities that benefit but the country as a whole. Educare Fund donors are doing a fantastic job changing lives in this country. Let them know we appreciate what they are doing.
This teacher’s words reinforce what we at Educare Fund know and believe. You may well have heard such thoughts voiced before, but they are no less true and significant now. I hope they make you realise just how awesome what you are doing is.
I am pleased to report that on my last visit to Lesotho in May this year, I was able to meet with a group of our former beneficiaries (from different completion years). These young women have not only finished high school, but all have completed undergraduate degrees while one or two have actually achieved a post-graduate education. All of them continue to sing your praises, repeatedly declaring that they know that it is your kind generosity which has enabled them to get to where they are today. The most impressive thing about these young women was their offer to help the other girls still in high school. They accepted that they are not at a stage where they can make a financial contribution, but that they can help in other ways. Among other practical activities, they identified making contact with the girls still in high school and doing what they can to motivate them to work hard and aim high. They also want to help with the running of our partner organisation in Lesotho. In the same way as Educare Fund, this local organisation (Ithuteng Basetsana Educare Association, a.k.a IBEA) relies on the dedication of volunteers to carry its work forward. This way, both organisations ensure that most of the money you give goes directly to the beneficiaries. Our group of former beneficiaries also hope to help trace the others who finished high school in previous years. This would be really great!
This year’s cohort of 40 girls is working their socks off as usual. The schools normally give us feedback at the end of June so that we can see how individual girls are performing. I will share this with you once I have it. Past experience has shown that any small intervention can change the course of events for individual girls. For example, two years ago we had a girl who had a disappointing half-year report in her penultimate high school year. A visit to discuss the matter with her ensured that she changed direction and actually successfully completed high school.
Many of the class teachers and school principals are really happy that your gifts are there to help change the lives of the young women. The letters from the school authorities help not only to confirm that the beneficiary is still at the school but often to clarify the specific problems the individual girl might be experiencing. Here’s what one of them said:
As a school, we wish to express our gratitude to you for what you are doing to for the benefit of the young women of Lesotho. Your gifts to the individual girls also help the school as a whole as it improves the school’s cash flow, enabling us to keep a lot of other needy kids in school. Thank you so much.
I would like to add my own words of gratitude to those already expressed. You generosity seems to be achieving more than just getting the girls through high school but also teaches the lesson of philanthropy to others. How wonderful is that?
I’d like to start this message with a massive thank you for your generous support in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund Campaign at the beginning of March. This was the first of this year’s campaigns and the $770 raised on this occasion is enough to fund books and stationery for 7 of the 40 girls, for example. This is a substantial contribution to the funds needed to carry forward our joint work of supporting the young women in 2018.
Your continuing generous donations are giving the girls the confidence to settle into their school work and to aspire for futures they would otherwise have just dreamed about but not dared to hope they could attain. The constant fear of being laid off school when fees are unpaid adversely affects the girls’ performance at school. With the fees paid, the girls are able to focus on their studies and generally do really well. For example, Katleho, one of the girls who completed high school with some of the best results in 2017 is now seeking funding for university education. She wants to study medicine. This is her message to you:
I am really grateful for the help I received. My mother was struggling to find the money to pay for my school fees as she also has to pay for my younger brother. The money I got through Educare Fund helped a lot. I sincerely hope you carry on with this work. Your generosity is making a huge difference to girls like me.
Educare Fund continues to aspire to reach more and more bright girls from poorer families in Lesotho, the aim in view being to enable these families to gradually lift themselves out of poverty. As each girl finishes high school and goes on to further education, she takes her family one step away from poverty. We are forever grateful for your continued support in this work and we know that we would achieve much less without it.
As we see the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, I can confirm that you have been awesome yet again in the past 12 months and especially in the last few weeks! Starting with #GivingTuesday 28th November through to 31st December you have together raised $1606. We absolutely would not have raised this amount without your very generous gifts.This money will help pay Educare Fund’s contribution of tuition fees for 20 of our cohort of 40 bright girls. How awesome is that!
During 2017 we ran a small survey to get some feedback from our beneficiaries. We asked the girls to tell us how helpful the support they are getting is. We got a 50% response rate, but all respondents rated the support excellent. The main reasons for this rating were that the girls were now able to attend school without constantly worrying about the interruptions of being laid off school on and off for non-payment of fees. The general consensus is that the educational support improves the families’ resources so that other items can be afforded e.g. food and clothing. Although Educare Fund already provides funding for book hire and book purchase for the girls, money for stationery was identified as a need that should also be considered. With your help we would like to address this need during 2018.
You will be pleased to learn that 12 more girls wrote their final high school exams at the end of 2017; another miracle of kindness from you. I will report on the examination results when they become available but we know that the milestone of completion of high school has definitely been achieved. As always, this is 100% due to your thoughtful contributions.
On behalf of Educare Fund, let me take this opportunity to wish all a Happy New Year. May 2018 bring joy and success in all you do. We look forward to your continued support.
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