The generosity of our travelers has made a world of difference—and this is just the beginning
Grand Circle and OAT travelers are nothing short of amazing—as they reminded us time and time again with their generosity in 2010. All told, we raised nearly $600,000 from 8,539 donors for our schools and villages around the world. And while the true impact of these gifts will be realized in the months and years to come, we have already seen great progress. Here's just a sampling of projects that our generous donors have helped make possible.
Great things are happening for the Ziga School
, our newest partner in Zimbabwe, which received donations and grants exceeding $29,000 in 2010. Materials have been delivered for the construction of a new classroom block, new toilet blocks have been built, and the drilling of a water borehole is nearly complete. Ngamo Primary School
has been a Foundation partner since 2004, and we've already funded new classrooms, new windows and floors, books, desks, supplies, and much more. Now, we're looking forward to the construction of Ngamo Secondary School
, which will provide new educational opportunities for children who currently have few prospects after primary school. With donations of more than $21,000, materials have been ordered and the construction site has been cleared. We'll provide updates on our progress in upcoming e-newsletters.
In September of 2010, travelers Susan Rickert and Janice Lathen attended the graduation ceremony at Banjika Secondary School in Tanzania, where they made a special announcement: Powering Potential, an organization that Janice founded, had successfully installed a satellite dish at Banjika—which would bring the school Internet access for the very first time. Read the full story here.
Other donations/projects in Africa:
Amboseli Primary School, Kenya: $1000 for a hand pump at the school well
Dar ET-Taleb Education Center, Morocco: $2000 for 80 blankets
Esitjeni Primary School & Orphanage, Swaziland: $1500 for the planting of indigenous trees
Kambi Ya Nyoka School, Tanzania: $800 for a beekeeping system
In February of 2010, mudslides devastated Peru's Sacred Valley—and two families who regularly host OAT travelers suffered serious damage to their homes. Thanks to our travelers and associates, the Foundation raised more than $24,000 to help the rebuilding effort, and in September, Area Manager Erik Cardenas brought a team of 13 associates and Trip Leaders to the village of Urubamba to pitch in.
We've seen some big changes at the San Francisco Microfarm, which is now in its final phase of completion. With donations totaling more than $13,000, the farm has built a barn and installed both electricity and irrigation systems.
Also in Costa Rica, the Sonafluca School, which the Foundation just began supporting in late 2010, received a welcome surprise when a traveler named Roy Parsons offered to match donations made to the school, up to a total $5000. Not only did his fellow traveler Romaine Conner, along with her husband, offer to donate $5000 on the spot—but she also raised the amount to $8000, prompting Roy to increase his match. The $16,000 gift will be split between the salary for a computer instructor (at Roy's request) and iPads to be lent out to honors students (at Romaine's request). Read the full story here.
The La Concepcion School in Argentina also sustained damages at the hand of nature, when seasonal rains swelled the waters of the Parana Delta and flooded all but two classrooms. Under the leadership of Magdalena Zoroza, our team in Argentina raised $1505 to help replace items that were destroyed by the flood—and the Foundation agreed to match the donation, bringing the total to $3010. Next, the Foundation turned to travelers who had visited Argentina, who donated another $1455. These funds provided new furniture for one classroom.
Traveler Robert Kollmorgen, who had visited Argentina with OAT back in 2008, read about the La Concepcion School and was inspired anew. He made a generous gift of $2000 in lieu of Christmas gifts to his family, "that we may better deploy our talents to the benefit of others less fortunate."
Other donations/projects in the Americas:
General Manuel Benigno School, Panama: $1641 for an air conditioner and a computer
Las Palmas Primary School, Peru: $2000 for a generator
Oficial Parvulos School, Guatemala: $1862 for painting materials, kitchen appliances, and a dividing wall between the elementary and high schools
Pucruto School, Peru: $2000 for 4 computers
Quel Quel School, Chile: $2000 for a public gathering area, playground renovations, and a computer center
Sinamune Disabled Children's Orchestra, Ecuador: $2320 for monthly utility expenses
Villa Marcelo School, Peru: $4000 for a computer, 4 desks, and teaching materials
Asia & the South Pacific
In Thailand, the Don Chum Agricultural Cooperative raised more than $5000 in 2010 (including a matching gift from Grand Circle Foundation). The cooperative now raises chickens, catfish, and a variety of local crops. Also in Thailand, the Don Chum Primary School received $400 in donations to purchase uniforms for 40 students; and the Baan Boonyapark Early Childhood Center received $2164 for uniforms, a study room, sneakers, and lunches for the children.
In November, generous travelers Tom & Diane Klein made a personal gift of $5000 to Don Chum Primary School—which, at their request, will help purchase food, clothing, bicycles for transportation, and the salary for an English teacher.
At the Saini Adarsh Vidya Mandir School in the village of Ramsinghpura, India, traveler donations of $2400 purchased two new computers and a generator to ensure consistent electricity in the classroom. Iliyas Mohammed, Area Manager in India, joined a group of travelers to present these gifts to the students. "The kids were so thrilled to see the computers, and they smiled to see light in their classrooms, which were dark earlier due to no continuous supply of electricity," says Iliyas. "The whole experience was very moving for me."
Another generator was purchased at the Minh Tu Orphanage in Vietnam, thanks to the
generous $3000 gift from travelers Kenneth & Marietta Alexander.
Other donations/projects in Asia & the South Pacific:
De Ji Orphanage, Tibet: $1200 for a washing machine and cotton shoes
Guang Ming Primary School, China: $1000 for a cultural mural on the corridor walls
Kaitao Middle School: $8250 for the building of a traditional Maori community house
Laxmi School, Nepal: $750 for toilet repairs and running water
LP Public School, India: $1000 for 20 student desks
Yipirinya School, Australia: $5000 for the publishing of children's books
In Egypt, more than $12,300 was raised for the Women's Sewing Workshop in Bearat, which has funded sewing machines, instructor fees, and materials. The workshop's capacity has increased from just four women to 25—and soon, they will each have their own sewing or embroidery machine to help them work more efficiently.
Our Bedouin Women's Leadership Project in Lakia, Israel, has also made great progress. We have reached our Phase 1 goal of $7000, which funded instructor fees, transportation, books, and classroom rentals for English language lessons. Other donations/projects in the Middle East:
El Taref Primary School, Egypt: $1000 for renovations to the volleyball court
Saad Zaghlool Primary School, Egypt: $1000 for a photocopy machine
We're receiving new gifts from generous travelers every day—and we'll continue to publish updates on the difference you're making in future Foundation e-newsletters.
This story was featured in our January 2011 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.