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.
1 person found this review helpful
Fifteen years after I worked as Executive Director of Educate the Children for three and a half years, I remain an avid fan, volunteer and donor. As someone with almost 30 years working in development projects and low-income countries, this small organization works wonders in Nepal and serves as a model for what development work could and should be worldwide. I am always impressed by the spirit and commitment of staff and volunteers, and feel that ETC has created a community of people who all want to make a positive contribution to making life better for the most disadvantaged among us. Join it, you won't be disappointed!
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