Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rotary Approves a $68,000 Grant To Support Farmers of the Future

As 2013 comes to a close, we are so happy to have some wonderful news to share with you. 

Last March, the Rotary Club of Carbondale Colorado provided $10,000 to build a tree nursery at the Farmers of the Future pilot school in Galbal, Niger. Since then, the Carbondale Club has joined with 7 clubs in North America (3 more in Colorado, and 4 in Toronto, Canada--thanks to Pencils for Kids!), plus the local club in Niamey, Niger. These combined 8 clubs have granted Eliminate Poverty NOW and Farmers of the Future $68,000 to create a tree nursery at the Gonzare school and a vegetable garden at a 4th school, Ecole Centre!

Mango tree saplings at the Galbal tree nursery,
similar to the one that will be created at the Gonzare school
With this grant, EPN will have the full Farmers of the Future program for primary school students and their parents running in the 3 original pilot schools, and begin expansion to a 4thThe grant includes club contributions, plus matching funds at the Rotary district and international level. It covers infrastructure costs for the two projects, agricultural supplies, plus two years of training and technical support for the participants. A total of 40 women (mothers of students at the schools) will be selected by their local communities to participate in the businesses and begin earning much needed income for themselves, their families, and their local schools. 

"Before" at the Ecole Centre vegetable garden site...

6 months after the project start-up, this is what the garden will look like.

By the end of 2 years, we estimate participants will be earning $500/year of extra cash. While this might not sound like much to us, for people who live on less than $1/day, it’s a major increase in household income to use for food, clothing, shelter, and education. Implementation begins immediately: digging a well at Gonzare, connecting to a municipal water pipe at Ecole Centre, and bringing in construction materials for the nursery and garden. Meetings with members of the local COGES (parent/teacher) committees are being held to explain details of the program and requirements for individual participants. We expect the nursery and garden will be fully operational by the end of the first quarter in 2014.

Please join us in thanking Rotary for this generous grant and wonderful opportunity. It is truly gratifying to see Farmers of the Future get such huge support. If this is any indication of what 2014 has in store for Eliminate Poverty NOW, we can't wait!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Time for Thanks and Reflection

The days are getting shorter, and the weather colder, here on the East coast. It is a season of twinkling lights from candles and strings, a time to reflect on the last year, and to surround oneself with family, friends, and food. It is a season cloaked in abundance for so many, but that abundance should never be taken for granted.

As the year draws quickly to a close, it's a season of goodwill and thanks, no matter what your traditions might be, so here's a list of some things the people who make up Eliminate Poverty NOW are thankful for:
  • We are blessed to work with extraordinary people who inspire us every day, from our partners in Africa to our Advisory Board Members. They dedicate their lives to making a better life for others.
  • We’re thankful to our volunteers, especially our Board of Directors. Their generosity ensures 100% of public donations go to work directly in Africa.
  • We are truly grateful to the 150 individuals and organizations whose support makes our work possible. 
  • We’re thankful to be reminded daily how fortunate we are for things we take for granted:  food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care--the list goes on and on. 
  • We’re thankful for the opportunity to make a difference, that we who have so much can help those who have so little.
And, of course, YOU. We are so very grateful that you read this blog and keep up with our news, for the support you offer in any way you can. We've said it before, and we'll keep on saying it: EPN's work and success truly would not  be possible without you, and for that, we thank you.

Here's a list of some of EPN's highlights from the last year:

If you're not on our mailing list, here is our Annual Appeal letter, and the brochure we sent with it: