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2017 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

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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!

Previous Stories
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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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Each year when I am in Nepal, I visit the ETC project at its implementation area, an 11 hour bus ride from Kathmandu. What they do is remarkable - working with women, children, schools and local leaders to better the whole community though income generating projects, education, reconstruction and much more. I have worked extensively in Nepal and so am familiar with the work of many NGO's there. ETC's ability to do a lot with a little and be an integral part of the community puts them head and shoulders above most NGO's.

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2

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board member on Educate the Children, Inc. for two years and can say it is the finest group of people with whom I have ever worked. The organization supports women and children by empowering them with the dream of education and a better future. All members of this organization strive tirelessly to bring hope to people in the most remote parts of Nepal and do so with the courage of champions.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with this organization for 25 years, in many capacities (volunteer, staff person, and board member), and both in the US and in Nepal. Educate the Children (ETC) is a very high quality small nonprofit organization running terrific programs in cooperation with communities in rural Nepal. The multifaceted programs are adjusted according to local needs and priorities, in full cooperation with the communities. Each program component (ie, women's groups, literacy classes, microfinance, health, school support, scholarships, agriculture) supports and reinforces the others, ensuring real impact and lasting positive change. I highly recommend Educate the Children.

Previous Stories
4

Board Member

Rating: 5

Having lived and worked in Nepal, I've seen these projects first-hand many times over many years, and have talked to participants and observed community meetings, literacy classes, women's group meetings, etc. Based on that, as well as on external evaluations and on over twenty years of personal involvement with the organization, I can state with confidence that Educate the Children's work with individuals and communities in Nepal is very high quality and has a long-term impact. Of particular significance is the ability of this relatively small organization to adjust interventions to the needs and desires of the communities, working in real partnership to address local needs, thereby truly empowering participants and creating strong local ownership of the projects. This is something that is difficult (if not impossible) for larger organizations -- driven by restricted funding -- to manage, and yet is absolutely essential for success.

I also would point out that it is noteworthy that supporters of (and donors to) Educate the Children include a good number of US-based academics (professors) whose field is Nepal, as well as many former Nepal Peace Corps volunteers, and also former ETC staff members (myself included). These are folks who have an insider's viewpoint and know how to critique what's going on. The fact that they are themselves donors speaks volumes for the quality of the organization's work. I've been involved with Educate the Children since 1992, serving in a wide variety of capacities including volunteer, staff, executive director, and board member. This group does good work! It would be great to have you join us in the effort!

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I had heard of and donated to ETC before I joined its board but in the time since I have become even more impressed by how effectively the organization works in remote communities in Nepal. Ithaca-based staff do an extraordinary job on less than the proverbial shoestring, and staff in Nepal have gained recognition locally and more widely for being absolutely committed to working closely with community members on a variety of projects aimed not only at educating children from minority populations but also at educating and empowering their mothers and families. Few other nonprofits accomplish so much with so little. Working on the ETC Board has been an inspiring experience.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

ETC does great work in Nepal with focus on low caste and ethnic minority women and children in local communities. It is small and highly effective, and I support them enthusiastically.

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.

Previous Stories
6

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

2 Charles51

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.