Educate the Children, Inc.
Rating: 5 stars 16 reviews
Issues: Education, International, Economic Development, Microfinance
Location: PO Box 414 Ithaca NY 14851 USA
Results: Over the course of nearly a quarter of a century, ETC's work has benefited at least 15,000 people directly and countless more indirectly. Residents of the areas in which we have worked have benefited from: (1) Improved public health conditions: ETC has constructed hundreds of sanitary toilets and offered public health training events for thousands of attendees. Chronic diarrhea and other bacterial illnesses are very common, and cause people to miss work and school, but these problems decrease significantly when people have and use sanitary toilets and begin to sanitize their drinking water, wash their hands more frequently, and keep their farm animals separately housed. (2) Improved nutrition and food security: ETC has helped farmers increase their yields significantly, and learn to grow/raise a wider variety of more nutritious foods. (3) Improved educational systems: ETC has improved schools both physically and in terms of the quality of education offered. Moreover, teacher job satisfaction and student attendance rates are higher, and student drop-out rates are lower, after ETC has worked in a given school compared to before, and compared to national averages. (4) Increased household incomes: ETC has helped women gain the skills and confidence to start their own businesses. They also gain status in the community and are more willing and able to speak up for their own rights, advocate for community improvements, and participate actively in their children's educational processes. A major reason for ETC's success has been that we involve the target population all along, from the planning stages through implementation and evaluation. The residents of our project areas know that their specific needs and situations are being addressed, and they feel a real sense of ownership of the activities and results. This is important for immediate success as well as for long-term sustainability: because the residents are so engaged, the benefits of the work endure long after ETC has left a particular area to begin working in a new set of villages.
Target demographics: marginalized and impoverished people, especially women and children,
Direct beneficiaries per year: about 2,000 residents of rural Nepali villages
Geographic areas served: Nepal
Programs: (1) Women's empowerment - including literacy training and entrepreneurial training (2) Children's education - including infrastructure improvement, sponsorships to enable impoverished children to attend school, and teacher training (3) Sustainable agricultural development - including provision of supplies and training to help small farmers (mostly women) grow greater quantities of more nutritious food for their families and as an income-generating activity Please see our photo essays at http://www.etc-nepal.org/publications.php for more information about how ETC helps people to make better lives for themselves and their families.
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1 person found this review helpful
There is so much I could write about ETC. As a former Peace Corps teacher in Nepal and someone who is familiar with Nepali culture, I am astounded at the impact of ETC's work. This is an organization that is worthy of the support of anyone interested in women's issues, children's education, literacy, agriculture, nutrition, health, general community development, and on and on.
ETC is grassroots, molding its three program areas (education, women's empowerment, and agriculture) into the most powerful village level development approach that I have seen - ever. ETC works with impoverished, generally landless, and illiterate women, who, within five years become literate farmers and small business people who earn a living. Schools in the area are vastly improved; teachers and headmasters trained; agricultural practices are strengthened; and women have the skills and experience to continue to improve themselves and their families.
ETC's approach is truly transformational. Every child of a woman who has been involved with ETC will be able to carry on the family's newfound ability to read and write, understand basic health and nutritional issues, and make a living, As one woman told me "we will never go back" to illiteracy, passivity, and extreme poverty.
When I first got involved with ETC, I flew to Nepal to visit villages where ETC had completed its work. The contrast between villages where ETC had worked and nearby villages was visible and remarkable: they were cleaner, every house had a latrine and a kitchen garden, children were in decent schools with clean water and latrines, along with improved classrooms and playing fields. I met women who had been penniless and illiterate - who now owned chickens or goats to feed meat to their families and to sell at market; they had vegetable crops which they sold. While they had not been to school a single day in their life, all of their children were now in school.
They described to me how much their lives had changed since they had joined ETC. As one woman told me, she now had a future, she now felt she could control aspects of her life, and she knew that if bad times came, she had a support group who could help her. It was remarkable, a genuine transformation in her circumstances, outlook, and future.
ETC is truly an inspiration.
ETC does remarkable work. When I visited their project site in Dolakha in 2010, I was so impressed by the huge difference they were making in the lives of the local people, along so many dimensions, that I decided to join the board. ETC's integrated community development approach involves teaching low-caste women to plant and cultivate kitchen gardens, upgrading local schools, forming women's groups, microcredit, scholarships, and more. The overall effect is to create new opportunities for better lives, and to prepare women and their children to take advantage of those opportunities. I would urge anyone looking for a way to help the world's poor to consider supporting ETC. It's a small organization, so even a little money makes a big difference in the good that ETC can do.
I first got involved with Educate the Children (ETC) as a volunteer in Nepal in 1992, and I've continued to be involved in a variety of capacities (volunteer, staff person, Executive Director, board member) ever since. ETC is an outstanding organization with high-quality, respectful and effective programs making a significant difference in a great many lives. I visited many ETC field sites and programs in Nepal during the period of 1992-2004. ETC truly works in partnership with communities, and is small enough to really cater the programs to local needs and develop local ownership rather than implementing a one-size-fits all model. It's really quite something to talk to people taking part in the programs, hear what a big difference it makes in their lives, and sense their ownership and expanding sense of agency, self-worth, and potential as they discover (and create!) new ways to positively shape their communities and benefit their families.
In my opinion, among the many indicators of ETC being a trustworthy, high-quality organization are the facts that: (1.) Many Nepali nationals and Nepal experts (experts and Professors in Anthropology, Linguistics, City Planning, International Development, International Agriculture, and Education, as well as former Peace Corps Volunteers) are supporters of the organization, and, (2.) Many former staff members (myself included) remain involved on a volunteer basis and become donors themselves. It's certainly a good sign when locals, experts, and people who have been "on the inside" as staff people are ALL wholehearted fans of an organization! And you can get involved, too!
I have had the privilege of being involved with ETC from it's inception, as an acquaintance of Pamela Carson and as one of the first sponsors of a child, with whom I am still in touch. My Nepalese daughter is now 25 and a teacher, with a child of her own. Before ETC she was begging on the street . This organization has truly made a difference in the lives of so many like her, and has grown into a powerful organization with programs for women as well as children. And they have done it with integrity and compassion. Unlike other charitable organizations, ETC has very low administrative costs, which translates into more money going directly to the programs it has developed and the people who need it most. ETC deserves your support as they continue to make a positive and valuable impact on the lives of women and children in Nepal.
This is quite simply my favorite charitable organization. They do superb work in Nepal helping poor rural communities through education projects, women's groups, literacy efforts and other desperately needed help. My husband and I were close friends with its founder and travelled with her in Nepal. Her commitment and vision lives on in the board and staff. The work has a tremendous impact and donations of any size go a long way in Nepal!
This is an excellent small organization that helps marginalized communities across Nepal develop their own capacity in the domains of children's education, women's empowerment and agriculture. They have worked effectively in one of the village areas where I have worked for over 15 years as an anthropologist - succeeding in improving living conditions in a way on other organization has. I strongly recommend ETC's small-scale, sustainable model. It works!
This is a wonderful organization that serves impoverished women and children in Nepal in education and helping with micro businesses. It has helped thousands! And nearly every cent goes to helping, with only a tiny percent to support administrative costs.
Ours is a mixed Nepali/American family and we find ETC to do incredible work. A truly helping organization!
My first involvement with ETC Nepal was in 1992, when I met the founder, Pamela Carson, in Ithaca, NY. She started ETC as a vehicle for keeping students in school and it has evolved into an Energizer Bunny of an NGO, always moving forward, always improving its methods. In my years as a board member, I was able to see the impact ETC's work had in the field, working primarily with women and children. ETC's staff in Nepal is 100% Nepali, which adds to the organization's ability to plan effectively and realistically. During many hours of conversations with the staff I came to know a group of highly dedicated professionals who work long hours, without many of the "fancy" extras that one often sees in international nonprofits. For example, staff use public transportation instead of riding in expensive SUVs. There is an ethic of frugality because the staff are committed to using the maximum amount of funding to enhance the programs they carry out. This is an organization that inspires its donors and the people it serves. There is no organization I have been more committed to than ETC, and I would encourage anyone interested in making a difference in the lives of others to get involved as well.
I have worked in Nepal as an educator for more than 20 years and have had experience with numerous development projects during that time, ETC is one of the few that delivers on its promise to make a sustainable difference in the lives of the people it works with. ETC's approach is not top down but rather the organization works with villagers, women especially, to identify and respond to their needs. ETC's staff are in the field actively working with farmers, teachers, and children. The result was noticeable when I walked through the project area with some of the staff. Villagers knew the staff, and frequently came up to us to make suggestions or talk about progress, and in turn the staff knew the villagers by name. It is rare for NGO staff to have such a constant and visible presence in the areas they work in.
When visiting an area where ETC works, it is easy to see the impact - green kitchen gardens dot the hillsides, homes have latrines, and the area reveals a sense of pride in its accomplishments. This is an organization more than deserving of support.
3 people found this review helpful
I have been in the not-for-profit world for the better part of my fifty professional years. I was asked to be part of an organization--Educate the Children-- that has consistently made a difference in women and children's lives for over 25 years and has done so with fewer resources then the most efficient not-for-profits while delivering those services in another country.
I have come to learn in my short tenure on the board that ETC as an organization has created a model that has incorporated the inclusion of the women as leaders to achieve the ultimate goal of bring education to their children, addressing women's issues and providing them with the tools to create agricultural business to improve their own families nutrition while becoming an income base for their families.
With the support, education and guidance of dedicated local professionals the women are first provided basic literacy skills so important in promoting their children's education. Especially among the young women of Nepal. Then through a series of support groups they collectively begin to address women's issues as a whole rather then individuals which creates a stronger voice and base for change. With the assistance of mirco-loan funds they begin their businesses and with repayment of their miro-loans afford the expansion to other women.
With minimal support ETC also addresses the infrastructure needs of physical school spaces providing limited funds for refurbishing or building new schools with local craft persons and volunteers. Included in that process is the addition of sanitary facilities in the schools as well as in most of the homes of the women involved in the program. The availability of such sanitary facilities become extremely important for young women as they mature and begin to address critical health issues.
All of this is supported by less then a single FTE professional/support staff in the US and a dedicated group of educators and ag professionals in Nepal.
I am certain from my personal experience in the not-for-profit world that the most efficient organization in the US cannot begin to achieve what ETC has accomplished in Nepal over the past 25 years, I am glad to be associated with this organizations efforts.