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Poverty Alleviation Projects

2007 Projects

February 10, 2007

Dear Friends:

Before we review the details of this month’s project, I want to congratulate you on two remarkable milestones that we will reach with this grant. Today, The $10 Club is funding its 50th project—our golden anniversary of philanthropy and poverty alleviation. Furthermore, the funding we provide the program below will push us over $100,000 in project funding since our inception. Four years ago a small group of compassionate folks took a chance on this new endeavor—decided they could spare $10 each month to save lives across the globe—and we’ve now funded 50 projects worth more than $100,000! It’s a truly amazing return on our investment. Together, we really can do a world of good; together, we already have done a world of good. Thank you for making our work so successful and uplifting.

Now, welcome to your February 2007 report for The $10 Club.

In eastern Guatemala, considerable and lengthy drought conditions have reduced the amount of food that farmers can grow to feed their families or sell for their livelihoods. Poverty and malnutrition are serious problems.

According to the 2005 UN Human Development Report, “the poorest 20% of the population in Guatemala have an average income of $550 a year, or 46% below the $2 a day international poverty line. Indigenous people in Guatemala are far more likely to live in poverty, but rural indigenous people have an incidence of poverty almost five times the average for urban non-indigenous people.”

As a result of this poverty, poor health and malnutrition are systemic. The UN reports further that “2.4 million people, or 20 per cent of the population, are still outside the health system,” and UNICEF adds that some “67 percent of indigenous children suffer from chronic malnutrition.” Children often have to quit their schooling by age 10 to work and help support their families.

In rural areas, sick villagers have to travel considerable distances to visit clinics in the cities. And while they are diagnosed for free, they are often unable to pay for the treatments or medications. Poor children are especially vulnerable, frequently dying of diarrhea and dehydration.

Outreach for World Hope, a nongovernmental organization based in Wisconsin, provides health support teams to operate in Central and South America including Guatemala. They are focused on making health care available within villages where children and adults are dying needlessly. They have established a Mobile Medicine Program to provide basic health care through weekly visits to sixteen individual Guatemalan villages. Endorsed by the national Ministry of Health, they will assist in child birthing, treating common illnesses and infections with antibiotics, providing first aid and CPR, and helping malnourished children before it is too late.

Their volunteer teams have already hosted several field medical days, treating hundreds of children for worms and parasites and providing antibiotics for many diseases for which care is otherwise unaffordable. The parasite treatment is the first step of the Mobile Medicine Program since many children die of dehydration due to diarrhea caused by the parasites. The worms and parasites also compound the malnutrition problem because children are unable to absorb nutrients efficiently.

This month, 352 of us joined together to donate $3,520 to Outreach for World Hope to provide anti-parasitic drugs to the villages in which they operate. The drugs that they use are called Albendazole and Mebendazol. One two-day course of treatment can keep a child free of worms and parasites for up to six months. This makes a significant improvement in their overall health and nutritional status. Thank you.

Each village served has between 100 and 150 members. One treatment costs 89¢ and lasts six months. So they need treatment twice a year. Our grant will keep every member of the 16 initial villages free of parasites for a year! What an amazing improvement this will make in their nutritional and health status.

It’s still quite amazing to me that so many people can lack adequate sanitation, sources of safe drinking water, and access to health care. But it’s that much harder to understand when those affected are young children. Can we really live in a world where children die because they can’t get access to a dose of drugs that cost less than $2 a year? I suppose the reality is that we do. But thanks to each of you, 2,000 people in Guatemala will be protected against internal parasites this year. Their lives might possibly be saved as a result. It’s such a small price to pay to give life to a child in need, and I thank you for stepping up and again meeting the challenge.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,


PS. Please get your March contributions in right away—especially as February is a short month and I need to prepare for our next terrific project!

If you receive this letter by mail and would prefer to get your reports by email (which is faster and cheaper) just send your email address to me at adam@thetendollarclub.org and I’ll add you to the electronic mailing list.

The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org