Things have been quiet for a while on this page! First of all, let me say thank you again to all of you for helping Educare Fund reach the dizzy heights of success during the Global Giving fundraising challenge in June this year. I must confess I was really amazed by your generosity and how many people entered into the spirit of the process; not only donating, but also encouraging others to do the same.
Some of you may already be aware that Educare Fund did indeed hit the Global Giving target for raising the minimum amount of £2000 during the month of June this year. We did not reach the required minimum of 50 individual donors but because the donations were pretty generous, we still managed the money target. As a result, the charity gained a permanent spot on the Global Giving fundraising platform. In fact the page is still open and the amount raised has been going up gradually toward the revised target of £3953. This amount could pay all the fees for 40 girls for one year at the level of support currently offered to each girl.
So what is Educare fund going to do with the money that has been raised?
During one of my regular visits to Lesotho, I met with the committee of Ithuteng Basetsana Educare Association (IBEA), our sister organisation In Lesotho. This local charity oversees our work in Lesotho, liaising with the schools’ principals to identify the girls who fit the criteria for educational support and to ensure that the money sent by Educare Fund reaches the right people. Our discussions focussed on the activities that were identified on the Global Giving campaign page. Among these, it was felt that the best use of the funds raised would be to help provide books for the girls as, apart from school fees, this is one other need which presents a challenge for the families. Book hire is available for students in years 8, 9 and 10 while years 11 and 12 have to purchase books. The money available will enable the provision of books for all the girls, with the added benefit that the books which have been purchased will remain available for the younger girls when they reach years 11 and 12. A contribution toward stationery will also be made. With the rest of the money raised, it was agreed that we can increase the number of girls supported by Educare Fund by 5, making a total of 45. The money will cover the school fees for the newly added 5 girls for the five year period starting 2014, ensuring that they will have enough funding to see them through to completion of high schooling.
I visited two schools in Maseru. The schools that Educare Fund works with are dotted around the country with at least one school in each district, but due to limited travel time, I was only able to visit a couple in Maseru where I was based. The word on the ground is that the payment of school fees is still the greatest challenge for poor families who do not qualify for government funding. According to the teachers I spoke to, once the girls have the school fees paid, they are happier and more relaxed, so they can concentrate on their studies without the constant fear of being laid off school for non-payment of fees.
If a family struggles to find the money for school fees, it is understandable that finding the money for other expenses such as books is yet another challenge. Thus, paying for book hire and purchase will definitely make a huge difference to the girls’ families.
In addition to basic school fees, there are many other needs that the schools and the pupils have in order for these kids to have a chance of a decent education. The teachers I spoke to were of the opinion that help paying the school fees is definitely a good start.
Your help and support with the Global Giving challenge has achieved such a huge amount and will make a difference not only to the girls and their families, but to their communities.
The Global Giving fundraising challenge introduced some of you to Educare Fund for the first time. We sincerely hope that you will consider continuing to support us in our quest to reach as many young women in Lesotho to enable them to complete high school education and go on to attain higher education. We believe that this is the way for them to change more lives and lift their communities out of poverty.
Thank you again for joining hands with Educare Fund to support the young women of Lesotho to help themselves, their families and their communities. We now consider you members of this brilliant partnership. We hope that from time to time you will collaborate with us to continue to help these girls change their own lives and those of the people around them.