Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two Ways You Can Make A Difference Right Now

On this trip, we have shown you several places where we can work together to eliminate poverty. Some are just in the planning phase. But yesterday we kicked off two programs at Little Rock Early Childhood Development Centre that we have been working on for three years. These programs are ready for your help today.

Little Rock is an extraordinary preschool, where children from one of the world’s worst slums are given love, support and a great educational foundation on which to build.

As soon as it opened in 2003, founder and director Lilly Oyare realized the community had unserved needs that extended well beyond pre-school. Today, Little Rock has grown to include a day care center so that teenage moms can finish school, after-school tutoring for older siblings, a sewing center where parents can earn income, and deaf and handicapped units for children who are precluded from attending public school. Read more about this amazing place at

Now for the two programs we kicked off today:

The first graduates of Little Rock nursery school are about to finish 8th grade, and take the national exam. For children who score below a certain cutoff their academic career is over. How far they score above the cutoff determines whether they qualify for admittance to local, regional or national schools. Only the best students qualify for the national schools and get the very best teachers and training. While these schools are public they are not free, and most Little Rock parents could never afford the $700 annual cost. So each year Eliminate Poverty Now will award a full 4-year scholarship to the top scoring girl and boy. But there are ten Little Rock graduates who are doing so well in primary school they are likely to qualify for national schools!

We announced the program yesterday. Today, Lilly told us that mothers were already coming to find out more about the scholarships. With your donations we can give them a chance to escape the extreme poverty of the slums.

Click here and help build a bright future for another Little Rock Scholar.

Pads for Peace. Here in Kibera, people are well aware of the challenges that girls face in finishing secondary school, including lack of access to sanitary pads. Through our Pads for Peace program, the Little Rock sewing center is beginning to manufacture RockPads, high quality reusable pads in vibrant, fun colors. Today, we met with 60 women – Little Rock mothers and tailors, and representatives from two girls’ groups (Carolina for Kibera and Miale CSP). They had seen our prototype pads, and were overwhelmingly excited about them. These women prefer reusable pads because they last 5-10 years, and are much less expensive in the long run than disposable pads.

Each RockPads kit will provide enough pads for a monthly cycle and cost about $25. We’ll distribute them free of charge through girls’ groups which will provide the pads in conjunction with reproductive education and empowerment training. Additionally, Little Rock parents will earn income by manufacturing the pads and also by selling them to women in the community.

Through Pads for Peace, girls will have the chance to finish school. Women won’t miss a day of work. And their children won’t miss a day of food. Join us to make this happen.

Click here to donate. For $25 you can give a girl a future.

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