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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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.