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Poverty Alleviation Projects

July 31, 2010

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your July 2010 report for The $10 Club.

In 1951, Nepalís literacy rate was 2%; today it is just over half of the population. And the 1990 Constitution guarantees a right to education. But as is the case in so many developing countries, access to education in Nepal lies outside the reach of most poor, and there is a profound ongoing educational disparity among people in rural and urban settings. Sadly, where educational opportunities exist, the quality of both the physical buildings and teaching can be poor and access to educational supplies and teaching tools limited.

A little over a year ago, Brooke Laura traveled to Nepal to work at an orphanage outside Kathmandu, living in a remote region with an indigenous family. Many children in the village and throughout the region completely lacked opportunities to attend school at even the most elementary level. Instead, they had no choice but to work from sunup to sundown with their families out in the fields, sowing, tending, and harvesting crops that are their primary source of food. Instead of math, reading, spelling, and recess, there was hauling, stooping, scraping, lifting, and digging.

In mid February 2010, Brooke teamed up with a local guide named Sudan and started building a boarding school in the village of Archale (Nuwakot). They held a meeting with the village elders, and presented a proposal for opening a school that would teach English and other important subjects to the local children. Sudan and his family gave up their clay house and in 2 short months it was turned into a school. Brooke, Sudan, and a female elder visited every home in Archale and met with parents, encouraging them to enroll their kids in the school; most agreed.

Tuition must be kept low so families can afford the education for their kids; as a result, the tuition from their 55 students barely pays the salary of one teacher. Twelve of these students had never attended school before, because their parents were unable to pay for their school fees and uniforms. The cost of running this school, the Shining Star Academy, is about $10,000 per year.

This month, 320 of us joined together to donate $3,200 to the Shining Star Academy in Nuwakot, Nepal to fund the salary of two teachers, an assistant teacher, and a school aid for a full year. We will additionally be able to fund some school supplies and a portion of the principalís salary. Thank you.

About two weeks into building the school, a woman and her daughter from the next village visited Brooke, along with 12 children, dressed in rags for clothes and not wearing shoes. They were covered in dirt and all had copious mucus running from their noses from having hiked in the cold of the morning. One young girl had been living with her grandmother after both her mother and father had died. The woman asked if they could be admitted to the school. Now they are all receiving an appropriate education that just might help them break a vicious cycle of rural poverty.

And thanks to you, they will be able to continue to receive this vital education for the next year.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

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