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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Educate the Children, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Economic Development, Education, International, International Economic Development, International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, Microfinance

Mission: Educate the Children provides educational opportunities for low-income women and children in Nepal. Programs include scholarships for indigent children, improvement of public school facilities, training of teachers, establishment of pre-primary education opportunities, and programs for rural women that incorporate literacy, health education, and income generation components.

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 (often, but not always, agricultural). 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. In the immediate post-earthquake period, ETC responded quickly to meet villagers' urgent needs for shelter, and to enable the construction of dozens of temporary classrooms. Looking ahead, ETC will be closely involved in the reconstruction of sturdier school facilities. We will also continue our usual programming - helping women to grow more and better food, and to earn more money, will be even more important than ever before as families seek to rebuild their homes and their lives!

Target demographics: marginalized and impoverished people, especially women and children,

Direct beneficiaries per year: about 4,000 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.

Community Stories

66 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal and thinks the world of this organization. I have become a donor and have been amazed at the results that have been achieved. If you are looking for a genuine, grass-roots non profit that has helped thousands of rural women and their families climb out of abject poverty, ETC is for you. Every dollar you donate goes a very long way in Nepal and you are helping women and their families learn skills that eventually enable them to earn money and live a life that is far better than they every could have imagined. The results are just outstanding.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with ETC for 12 years. As a former Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, I became intrigued with the methodology and successes of ETC. Their integrated community development model of skill-building - women's empowerment, agriculture, and schools - has helped thousands of families move from abject poverty (malnutrition, ill-health, illiteracy, and so forth) to lives in which they can make a sustainable living for themselves. These women have worked so hard to improve their lives and that of their families. Formerly illiterate women are respected members of their communities, even holding public office. Formerly penniless women are earning money with their farms and have built up savings in their co-operatives. Formerly malnourished children are thriving in schools. It is remarkable.

1 Margaret S.5

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a nonprofit that is doing an amazing amount of good. Helping people in Rural Nepal make their own lives better. Education is the cornerstone to their work. It allows the Nepalese women to truly make their family lives better.

1 Colleen48

Advisor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Educate the Children since I met the founder, Pamela Carson, in 1992. As a volunteer, board member, former paid staff ... and board member again later ... I have watched the organization grow in impact throughout this time. ETC is among the few US-based non-profits in Nepal that imbues its Nepali staff with programming and implementation. From a small child sponsorship group, ETC has evolved into a community development organization with a well-rounded, nuanced approach, focusing on education and women's empowerment. Funds are used thoughtfully in ways that lead to maximum impact. Donors can be confident their contributions will be put to good use. I would encourage anyone to support ETC's work!

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4

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Educate the Children is a grass roots organization that works directly with villagers to improve their diet and financial wellbeing. They work on improved household gardens, group support, provide starter loans, all managed by local villagers. This provides ownership and direct responsibility. Also they choose some of the poorest areas with the greatest need in which to work.

1 lindafarthing

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Educate the Children does a wonderful job of providing local people - particularly women and girls - with the skills needed to positively improve their lives. It only works in an area for a limited amount of time (although maintains contacts afterwards with the communities) so as to avoid generating dependency and focuses on educational skills so that people can improve their own lives long after ETC has left an area. I am very proud to be associated with ETC's work - in the 1990s I was the director and since then I have remained a donor.

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1

Donor

Rating: 5

ETC stands out because of the high quality of work it does and its commitment to the people it works with. Its model - of working across generations so that women and their daughters mutually support each other in improving their status and family's situation- is worthy of replication. In a complementary form to this focus, it works with men too particularly in improving local agriculture. The ultimate goal is to avoid fostering dependence on external support by helping communities to improve their incomes through working together to strengthen education, nutrition, and the status of women. I had the privilege of being ETC's director in the late 1990's and have been a donor ever since. I can't recommend it highly enough.

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am continually amassed at what ETC accomplishes on such limited resources. Their core program has proven successful for well over 25 years and the number of women/children/associated families continue to prosper after their association with this wonderful program approach. jj

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of serving on the board of ETC for three years and continue to be amazed at what this organization can accomplish with extremely limited resources. Not only is their model of service delivery effective they have demonstrated their flexibility in responding to new needs resulting from natural disasters while maintaining true to their mission. One wishes we could be as effective and efficient with our efforts in the US given our vast resources.

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1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My wife and I have supported Educate the Children for twelve years and look forward to continuing our support in the future.

As a professor of Indian and Tibetan religion, I have been doing research in Nepal, India and elsewhere in South Asia since 1983. Over the course of this time, I have seen firsthand how NGOs either succeed or fail in their attempts at changing social and economic dynamics for good or for ill. The worst simply dump money into the hands of social predators or criminal gangs in the name of 'development' allowing these parasites greater license and power than already encoded in the post-colonial social fabric, thus compounding the catastrophe.

Consequently, before we began our support of Educate the Children, I looked into ETC's plan, their operation, their efficiency and their integrity. Suffice it to say that I was extremely impressed with all aspects of their operation on the ground in Nepal.

Instead of just throwing money at a problem — and hoping for the best — ETC sets up over the course of six years place-specific institutional co-op structures (women's cooperative groups) that continue after ETC withdraws from an area. The primary target of our support is the oppressed (dalit) peoples of specific areas of Nepal, as these people are without any kind of indigenous resources and they never will be, since they are outcaste pariahs in their own country.

ETC has correctly understood that the women of the dalit families are the key to social transformation in South Asia. They have the moral authority in the village and the motivation to succeed. If the mothers and daughters in a family are educated and economically empowered, then they become agents for their own success. For the last twelve years we have received letters from our women's groups, saying over and over again, in various ways what is essentially the following story:

In the first years of the six-year cycle, initially the women's husbands strongly resisted their involvement with the women's cooperative, and would treat them badly if they were caught returning from a meeting where they were being taught to read and write, to count and keep records. But once the goats/chickens/buffalo purchased with co-op funds began to give eggs/milk/offspring, then the husbands changed their behavior and began to brag about their wives in the village. Other men then wanted their wives to become educated, and gain access to the co-op funds, so they could brag about their wives as well. Seeing how the process was dependent on education, the women then wanted their daughters to gain an education so that they could be a source of family support as well.

These institutionalized women's co-ops, after developing their own people for six years, are now endowed with funds (as the women must pay back what they borrowed) for their own continuation, and can maintain themselves as self-governing entities. This is all made possible by the extraordinary central office ETC maintains in Kathmandu and the field offices set up wherever they provide support.

Thus, not only does ETC funnel donor funds to these groups, but develops skills among those people for their success, and establishes long-lived institutions that will survive for some time. The benefits extend to social perception as well: seeing that the oppressed classes can raise their economic position, their sanitation and their living conditions with ETC support, then their status in the larger Nepalese society is slowing changing.

We are now at the beginning of the third cycle for the support of women's co-ops among the dalit groups of Nepal, and we are extremely satisfied that our hard-earned money is being well invested in the future of those groups. I strongly recommend that you seriously consider supporting ETC for many years.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ETC is an organization of the highest integrity.
I have been associated with ETC for over 20 years, having volunteered in its struggling early days, and am continually inspired by the work, and the development, it carries out.

Litearally thousands of Nepalis have had their lives changed for the better and they now have dreams for the future where, formerly, they had resignation about their condition.

All staff are recruited and trained in Nepal, a further commitment that EFT has. Donors are encouraged to visit the projects to see EFT's work and many do, which further supports fundraising.

in the USA, it is a bare-bones, pared-down organization; no office; no full-time staff. This allows for the maximum amount of donations to be forwarded to the projects and staff support in Nepal. That said, it is totally professional in its dealing with donors, who are treated with the respect and gratitude they deserve.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering in Nepal in education-related projects for over 10 years (including 8 months for ETC's Dolakha development project!) and have seen many different NGOs' development model, and in my opinion ETC's is one of the best and most effective. They don't come in to a community to "fix" the community's problems for it--they come in to a community to help the community fix its problems itself. They offer much-needed skills, such as teacher trainings that help teachers learn other teaching techniques besides "drill and kill", which is almost universal in Nepali schools. And in a very male-dominated society, they really help women empower themselves. When I was in Dolakha, I lived in a village family's house and I can remember hearing groups of women walk by my window at night as they returned from their literacy classes, laughing and talking. And I remember hearing the mother of the family, who was usually so busy with the daily chores of farming and feeding her family that she rarely smiled , happily humming to herself during those quiet moments of the day when she had time to practice her literacy lessons. And now, years later, the women of that region have formed their own micro-lending group and are managing it quite well--now that's empowerment!

1 jcraft

Donor

Rating: 5

Outstanding work promoting the well being of Nepali communities through education programs for women and children.

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3

Donor

Rating: 5

An organization dedicated to building family strength in Nepal. Working in communities facing unbelievable challenges every day. Making it possible for children to learn, women to gain the skills they need to guide their communities, creating sustainable agriculture for better nutrition for the whole community. When the devastating earthquake hit, they were on the ground helping communities help themselves. Building temporary shelters to keep families safe during the coming monsoons, built of materials that will be incorporated into the permanent homes they will build when conditions allow construction. Children are back in school, fields have been planted. Amazing.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My friend Mary told me about ETC, which was started by a friend of hers. For the many years since first learning of the wonderful work that ETC is doing, my neighbors and I have been very happy and proud to support this organization with annual donations.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

ETC does great work educating the children of remote villages in Nepal.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband saw the benefits of this nonprofit over 25 years ago and has been donating since. We have 2 daughters and he wanted to help educate girls in Nepal. Our daughters wanted to see the schools we had been donating to so 15 years ago we visited the schools. We enjoyed meeting the children, teachers, the parents and seeing the home and school gardens that benefitted from agricultural classes also from ETC. Women were so proud of how much more productive their gardens are due to knowledge about good garden practices. They were proud of having better and more food for their families and having extra to sell.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This small non profit is outstanding. They are known in Nepal for their effective staff and grassroots relationships, which give them enormous credibility in the geographic areas where they currently work and where they have worked in the past. An absolutely credible and effective NGO, which has deserved my support for well over a decade..

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I was on the board of ETC in the late 1970s, early 1980s. I continue to be impressed with the work they do in rural Nepal. I particularly like that they work to make their work sustainable in one area before moving on to the next. Empowering women in the villages has made a big difference in the lives of many people of this beautiful country.

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2

Donor

Rating: 5

Our interest in Nepal comes from six wonderful years living in that beautiful country - three as PC volunteers, and three as teachers in the International School in Kathmandu. It was my privilege to serve on the board of ETC back in the 1980s and my husband and I have been supporters ever since. This is an organization that does a wonderful job working in the field helping the Nepali people to become self-sufficient. It has been a joy to receive yearly updates from the women's organizations and students that we have supported and to see the difference ETC is making in their communities and lives. There are many organizations who want our money, but I know with ETC the money is actually going to help improve the lives of the Nepali people. I have been impressed by the hard work done in the country in the aftermath of the earthquakes in April - it is so good to see pictures of the children back in school now. Thank you, ETC!

1 Sally Wendkos O.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been thrilled to be able to support Educate the Children for more than 25 years, since I first heard about the excellent work they do. And over the years I have been impressed by the further reach of their activities, from helping children to making a broader impact in the communities they serve in Nepal by helping mothers, which benefits the entire family. I have some expertise in the field of family and children's welfare and believe that ETC is an excellent example of what a nonprofit group can do.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been proud to contribute to ETC for more than twenty years. I admire its outreach program of education and support for entire families, not only children.

1 Margaret S.1

Donor

Rating: 5

What an exceptional staff. So communicative. Love how efficient they are with funding. Keep up the great work.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The story of "Educate the Children, Inc." is especially inspiring - in fore thought, planning, dedication and follow through. I've been to two fund raising events with Barbara Butterworth and Mike Gill (In the USA and in Nepal). They inspire the attendees with their passion for Nepal and the dedicated, solid work of ERC, their volunteers, staff and donors.

My wallet happily flew out of my pocket after I heard their presentations.

1 markturin

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have known, worked with and supported Educate the Children (ETC) for many years now. I am an anthropologist and linguist and have been working in Nepal for 25 years now. The community-focussed approach to engagement and ethical development to which ETC is committed is truly transformative and unique. I remain a great supporter of the work they do - and HOW they go about it. Keep the fire!

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1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been very familiar with the community-focussed work of ETC for over 15 years, and remain impressed with their work. Since then, I have continued to follow, support and recommend ETC to colleagues and friends. More recently, I felt honored to be invited to join the Advisory Council and have been delighted to serve. Following the series of earthquakes that devastated Nepal in 2015, ETC-Nepal was very responsive and engaged with the communities that it serves and continues to advocate for the empowerment of historically marginalized communities.

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