Greetings! For the 2019-2020 school year, we are funding 56 private-school scholarships for Dalit (“Untouchable”) caste children from two villages in Nepal. Since Nepal is one of the poorest of countries, these low-caste kids are among the neediest of the needy. Since government schools are notoriously dysfunctional in Nepal, a private school education offers any Nepali child a way out, an avenue to college and a better future. Without our help, the Dalit children we support would have no way of accepting that offer. By all reports, our children are taking good advantage of this opportunity. A number of them rank at or near the top of their classes.
This December, Greg Thoma, one of our board members, will be making the rather arduous journey back to our villages with his family to see first-hand how things are going. We mention this in order to emphasize two principles that govern our operations. The first is our commitment, as far as possible, to on-the-ground, personal participation by board members in our projects. In practice, this has sent one or more of us to Nepal, and out the bumpy dirt roads to our villages, every two years. Each time the result has been an assembly of students, parents, school officials and village dignitaries, out on the school green, to honor us. When two of us board members were there a couple of years ago, we were welcomed by speeches from two young level-three students, one male and one female. In English! Impressive performances, to say the least. Something similar will no doubt be in store for Greg and family around Christmas time this year.
I also want to emphasize that this trip will be self-funded by Greg and his family. That’s a reflection of our commitment to zero overhead. None of our activities in support of our projects are paid for by donor contributions. Every cent of the contributions we receive goes into the scholarships we provide for these kids. That’s a principle we have honored since our inception. We hope that commitment, in addition to the worth of trying to help some of the world’s truly disadvantaged families, will make us contribution-worthy in your eyes.
Thank you for your continued support.