Let Us Build Ourselves students
Thank you so much for your loyal and generous support of Let Us Build Ourselves! While “We couldn’t do it without you” is always a thoughtful sentiment to express to donors, in this case it couldn’t be more true. That’s why this is a difficult report to write. As you know, our wonderful group of dedicated folks has been working very hard to teach their neighbors and community members how to read, write, and do basic math and, along with all of that, they are helping to instill pride, confidence, and dignity where there often is none. Being illiterate is a heavy burden and the Let Us Build Ourselves team’s mission has been to try to lighten that load.
The last several months have been a challenging time for our team. The demand for their help remains high and they try not to turn anyone away who wants to learn. The group gets some of their revenue from generous supporters such as you as well as from a traditional dance troupe they put together. This talented troupe is comprised of children of some of the women we tutor along with other children in the village. It also includes street children in the community. These children also receive tutoring from the team and benefit from the healthy, positive environment. They learn self-discipline and how to work as part of a team and they gain confidence and self-esteem, all attributes that will help them leave behind life on the streets.
The dance troupe is often hired to perform at weddings and other festive events and celebrations. Unfortunately this endeavor has not been as lucrative over the long haul as the Let Us Build Ourselves team had anticipated. As a result, meeting monthly expenses has been very hard for Innocent and his team. They have had difficulty meeting payroll and several of the teachers have gone without pay, just so their students can continue to learn. In June, Innocent reported here that they had caught up with payroll – to that point - but they were still short to meet other expenses. Since June, they have continued to struggle financially. This has been demoralizing for them all and several team members have had to find other work. Sadly, the Let Us Build Ourselves team feels they may have to close the door on their venture.
The team’s annual budget is $5,000. This year, revenue from all sources, including your generous donations and the dance troupe, totals just $770, a tremendous shortfall that the team has done their best to work around. We are hoping to find one (or several) donors who would be willing to sponsor the team, making a commitment to support the team from year-to-year. In the meantime, we would be incredibly grateful if donations could at least help Innocent and the team cover the shortfall to date: $2,982. This would catch them up on payroll for the past three months and cover outstanding expenses such as rent, class materials, etc. Any contributions at this point will help and will be gratefully accepted but we must ask: is there a donor out there who would be willing to make a larger gift to help Innocent and the Let Us Build Ourselves team continue to do their admirable and important work?
Again, our heartfelt thanks and deepest gratitude go out to everyone who has supported this project. Without you, hundreds of people, mostly women, would not have the ability to even sign their name to a piece of paper. Thank you.