Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Little Rock Scholars #3: Meet Millicent

 Little Rock Scholars- Millicent

At fifteen years old, MIllicent is a compassionate, spiritual, earnest girl with forgiveness in her heart.  Her inspiration comes from God, from her mother, and from Little Rock Early Childhood Development Center.

When we listened to Millicent tell her story, we were struck by the maturity with which she spoke of her unsupportive father. She spoke of him often in her story, and did not try to make excuses for his disappointing behavior, yet she includes him in her prayers and wishes to take both of her parents out of the slums someday.

My goals are to make good decisions in my life. I should not make bad decisions in my life, I should make good decisions so that I can help my parents, so that I can move them from where they are living right now. When I grow up, I’d like to help those students who can’t help themselves, who are in the streets, who don’t have food. And that is my wish to God, that one day he will give me courage so that I can help them.  

We have no doubt that given the opportunities and resources she deserves, she will do all she dreams of.

She WILL help students in need.
She WILL take her parents out of the slum.

It would be a privilege to send Millicent to secondary school.
She WILL change the world.

You can help by clicking

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

EPN is Registered with USAID

We are very pleased to share with you all that EPN has been accepted as a registered Private Voluntary Organization with USAID (the United States Agency for International Development), and we've been included in the 2012 Report of Voluntary Agencies Engaged in Overseas Relief and Development (VolAg Report)! Being registered means we are eligible to apply for funding from this very important U.S. government agency, which sponsors many worthwhile projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Below is the letter we received, giving us the news. It provides more information and a couple of links you may find interesting.

"I am pleased to inform you that the 2012 Report of Voluntary Agencies Engaged in Overseas Relief and Development (VolAg Report), produced by the Local Sustainability (LS) Division in the Office of Innovation and Development Alliances, is now available.

The 2012 VolAg Report is the culmination of one year's effort by the IDEA/LS Division staff to collect, validate, and disseminate a clear, factual report about the private voluntary organizations (PVOs), cooperative development organizations (CDOs), and international PVOs (IPVOs) registered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as of April 1, 2012. The report is a compendium of PVO/CDO/IPVO activities and finances for fiscal year 2010 and contains information compiled from data provided to USAID during the annual registration process. 

The 2012 VolAg Report is available online and can be downloaded from the IDEA/LS Web site at http://idea.usaid.gov/organization/ls/.

IDEA/LS also maintains the online PVO Registry, which is designed to complement the annual VolAg Report. The online Registry is an interactive database that gives the public access to a subset of the registration information available to USAID staff. Updated nightly, the database can be searched by activity sector or country and provides users with PVO contact and program information as well as financial data. The database, at http://pvo.usaid.gov/usaid/, also provides e-mail addresses and links to PVO Web sites."

Monday, July 23, 2012

EPN Receives Grant from the Rotary Club

We are thrilled to announce that EPN has received a $1000.00 grant from the Carbondale Rotary Club, where Judy and John are members. The money will go towards RockPads, and with it, we will be able to supply 40 more girls with kits! 

This means that 40 more girls will be able to stay in school while they have their periods. If they can stay in school, they can earn more income and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. 

Secondary education for girls has the following effects:
empowerment of women, economic opportunity for women,
increases gdp, reduces infant mortality, reduces overpopulation,
reduces malnutrition, reduces the incidence of HIV/AIDS

The club has been very supportive of EPN, inviting John and Judy to speak to the group, and now donating $1000.00 for the RockPads project. Many thanks to everyone at the Carbondale Rotary Club, but most especially to the members of the international committee who reviewed the grant: Ann Harris, John Baker, Ted Miller and Tripp Adams. We are so grateful for your support.

We hope that you will all join us in thanking the Rotary Club for this generous grant. 

You can join the Rotary Club in supplying even more young girls with these kits by donating to the RockPads project. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Little Rock Scholars #2: Meet Vincent

 Little Rock Scholars- Vincent

Vincent is an intelligent, gracious, and hard-working young man.

We met him in that same classroom where we met Jane and the other candidates for the Little Rock Scholars program. He did not speak for as long as the girls, but the words he did share were powerful and well-spoken.

“Unfortunately, my father died in 2007. I only live with my mom. I remember that my father used to tell me that hard work pays. So I am working hard so that I can be a pilot. I take art, mathematics and social studies, all to help me become a pilot. My favorite sport is football because it keeps you busy. My mom supports me in all that I do. Thank you for being here."   

We have no doubt that given the opportunities and resources he deserves, he will go on to make his dreams come true.

He WILL become a pilot.

It would be a privilege to send Vincent to secondary school.
He WILL change the world.

You can help by clicking

Monday, July 9, 2012

EPN 2011 Annual Report

Hello! We have completed our annual report for 2011You'll get an overview of our projects all in one place, and a way to see what we've accomplished and where we're going. Thanks to everyone who helped make the amazing achievements of 2011 possible. EPN would not be what it is without you. As John says in the wonderful executive letter that you'll read below, it's not easy, but progress is possible. And YOU are an absolutely integral part of that progress. We appreciate your support more than we can say, and we are proud to share this report and our accomplishments with you. We would love it if you would spend a few minutes of your time to scroll through and let us know what you think! 

2011 Annual Report Final (1)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Songhai Women's Capital Fund #4

Alice Chadare

Alice views herself as an integral part of the development of her country. As she says, “Everyone chooses their goals, their work. You can make that contribute to society or not, but I want to see my country improve so I chose a career in agriculture.” 

After finishing her training with Songhai, Alice started a small soap business. Now, the loan from Eliminate Poverty is providing the means for Alice to purchase her own land to start a market garden. Very few women actually hold a land title in their name, so this small act of purchasing land has major implications. The acre of land Alice will start her garden on even came with some perks already in place that will set Alice up even better for success! It has a well, and Laurel trees, which are very profitable; the leaves (bay leaves) are sold for profit and used in sauce. There are also a few avocado trees on the property, another source of profit for Alice. 

Alice plans on planting leafy greens, tomatoes, and spicy peppers during her first season. We look forward to visiting Alice in her garden as she changes the area into a vegetable oasis.

"People always talk about famines here in Africa, but we have the natural resources to develop and avoid starvation. People just need to value and use all their resources like Songhai teaches."

Here is the video of Alice telling her story from our Songhai visit, with the translator. We hope you get a sense of where Alice is coming from and where she is going.

Join us in supporting Songhai and women like Alice by visiting our Donate page.