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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

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned about ETC and met volunteers in the nineties while I lived in Ithaca NY, and I was impressed by their focus on how to empower people. Since then, I have sponsored ETC rural women's groups. The members of these groups prosper by helping each other, by improving their farming skills, learning management, and acquiring literacy! They are proud to send their children - especially their daughters - to school.

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3

Donor

Rating: 5

ETC is making an invaluable contribution to improving life in rural Nepal by educating women, thus improving the life of their families. In women's cooperatives that are supported for several years by ETC, members acquire literacy and accounting skills, they learn about nutrition, improved gardening, and sanitation. With starting funds given to their group they implement these skills in their homes and gardens and raise their standard of living. They send their daughters to school. After a period of initial help from ETC, these groups continue independently, and often help new cooperatives to form. Time and again, reading letters from cooperatives that I helped to support, I have sensed joy and pride of achievement!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We've donated for about five years and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing our contribution goes really far.
We've helped individual children attend school and have supported a classroom; we've always received great feedback on how the money is being spent.

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

Donor

Rating: 5

We have supported ETC Nepal for a decade and a half, and will continue to do so. While other groups have "micro-lending" ETC actually has a plan to effect dramatic social change through their system of economic involvement in marginalized communities, with support on the ground and in-country experts. The letters we have received from the women's groups we have supported told the story—they have learned how to read, to add and substract, to become self-supporting. The women have become producers in their villages and their daughters are going to school as a result. Organic change over the long haul.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

With 4 friends, I had the privilege to see in person ETC's positive impact on the lives of Nepali women and children. ETC is one of the most efficient and effective nonprofit organizations among the many I am familiar with. When women learn literacy, numeracy, leadership and how to improve their family's economic standing, it's clear that ETC's work brings about real change

3

Donor

Rating: 5

ETC is a small NGO working with women and children, and hence, entire communities. I have been involved with them for 16 years and am so impressed with all that they do. I was originally drawn to their work with education of children, where scholarships, teacher training, and school improvement were making a difference. Over the years I have seen the development of their focus on women's groups, using an amazing six year plan in literacy, sanitation, animal husbandry, kitchen gardens, scholarships, and community organization including micro lending that has noticeably changed the lives of the women, the children, the families and the entire community for the better. I met a woman who had learned to read and to write who had opened a small store for her village. She showed us her ledger where she kept track of her business. I shall always remember the very proud smile from ear to ear that she had. I was also impressed with the changes I saw in the communities where ETC had been involved with double crop gardens, animals kept in neat pens, the villages overall cleanliness. and the sense of empowerment in the women's groups that welcomed us. The staff of ETC has worked diligently to improve life in Nepal.
This is the organization that I feel does the most with the money it is able to raise.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

The Educate the Children NGO is making a difference in Nepal. They arranged a trip for us to visit Nepal and meet the employees that are making a change in peoples lives. We visited 5 months after the earthquake and they were busy rebuilding what had been destroyed in the villages where they work. They have a sustainable model for change. Thank you for the work that you do.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

As an Ithacan, I have long supported this wonderful group. Although unlike others I have no direct link to Nepal, I know people who have Nepali adopted children and who themselves have worked in Nepal. I know how great the need is, and how helpful ETC is to women & their families by helping them to help themselves, not simply with handouts.

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!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

As an adoptive mother to two Nepali-born children, after adoption, I looked for a trusted Nepal-oriented non-profit, so that I could give back to to better the lives of poor Nepali women. My hope is that they would be in a better position to keep and raise their children than the birth mothers of my two children. My search led me to Educate the Children, where I have sponsored women's collectives and also donated following the earthquake. ETC's small, on the ground dedication to women and children in Nepal is impressive. Its been a privilege to sponsor a local group of women committed to pooling finances, cooperative ventures, improving literacy, etc. The accounting, personal letters and pictures that sponsors get is highly impressive. I have no doubt that every dollar is going exactly to where it does most good.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Pamela Carson, the founder of Educate the Children, was a dear friend. I have shared her commitment to educating children and women in Nepal from afar. What this small, effectively managed non-profit does for the people whose lives it touches, should be a model for other non-profits. These people are helped and learn to help others. What more could we ask for our financial support?!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported Educate the Children for over 20 years, and have seen the organization grow and expand its focus from supporting individual students to working on a regional basis to improve the lives of women and children through adult and childhood education. I'm proud to be a donor and supporter.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

ETC really stepped up in the wake of the devastating Nepali earthquake in April. With the scramble for donor aid, and horrible mismanagement and allocation of funds by the government, it was extremely important that organizations with an already-established presence in the country step up to the plate. ETC did so, expanding the scope of their operation to include relief and rebuilding for the rural communities they were committed to. I have heard positive things from my friends in Nepal, and am amazed by their work.

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.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Educated the Children is exceptionally knowledgeable about the areas it commits funds to. I have full confidence that any money I donate is carefully used.

2 kathrynsmarch

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked as an anthropologist in one of the communities assisted by ETC. In that community/region, ETC helped schools and students, built educational facilities, established local women's groups that are now undertaking development works on their own, ran literacy and numeracy adult education classes, built latrines, and assisted households to install bio-gas plants for cooking gas. In short, ETC accomplished more than any of the much larger projects that have worked in the region.

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4

Donor

Rating: 5

Through tough and changing times, Educate the Children has continued to provide engaged on-the-ground assistance to children, women and their communities in Nepal. I am an anthropologist and have supported ETC in various ways since its inception.

The work they did in the community where I originally did fieldwork is testament to the ETC vision and mission. In that community, the assistance ETC provided to schools, to women's literacy & economic development, and to community health is still evident and functioning--now without ETC support--even though it's been over a decade since ETC operated there. For example, the community today operates and staffs preschool opportunities, has a free-standing women's community building and programming funded in part by a small shop they run in the village, and the sanitary toilets at every house that were funded partially by ETC are still maintained and used by all.

All this in a community where, in 1977, 46% of the children died before the age of 5 largely due to diarrhea and other diseases attributable to lack of sanitation and clean drinking water, where the first girls only began to attend primary school in 1977 and no child had ever passed the national School Leaving Exam of the 10th grade, and where no adult women were literate. Anyone who has worked with very poor third world communities knows that these are dramatic changes. And, equally important, appear to be community sustained changes at this point.

This is not ALL the work of ETC, of course; much credit must go to the energies and commitment of the community itself. Still, in a world where nonprofits come and go, and where poor communities are sometimes increasingly dependent upon outside aid, ETC's history in Nepal has spanned the shift from a child sponsorship organization to a much more far-reaching--but still (and I think this is important) topically and geographically focused one very admirably indeed.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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!