This past year has been an exciting one for Everyone’s Child, Inc. We started the year with several goals and managed to achieve some very important objectives.
In the beginning of 2010 the Board of Directors decided that our first priority was to continue caring for the 600 students in Kenya who benefit daily from the Orphan Feeding Program. Throughout the year we were able to sustain this program by raising between $600 and $700 each month. In addition, EC made donations to earthquake victims in Haiti, students in Jamaica, and the building of a secondary school in Kenya.
Our second priority this year has been to work toward the completion of a borehole in Kampi ya moto, Kenya. Ruth presented the need for potable drinking water at Rotary Clubs in the USA and in Kenya. A sponsor from the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia expressed an interest in contributing funds, and Rotary Clubs in Nakuru, Kenya and Hagerstown, MD are currently considering a matching grant to raise funds to complete this project. Ruth’s presentations were aided by a new DVD produced by Micah Dudash at Many Mountains Studios in Vermont. Micah and his wife Kelly also spent many hours designing a logo and a creating a brand package for EC.
Several fundraisers were held throughout the year, allowing EC to raise $25,000. Dinners were held, coffee breaks were sponsored at rest areas on I-89 (Vermont’s interstate highway), coin banks were placed strategically around the region, computers were donated to students and schools, and several table presentations were made at the University of Vermont. Juniper’s Fare Café, a restaurant in Waterbury, Vermont, began donating a portion of their daily proceeds to EC, giving their clients an opportunity to have a “meal with a mission”.
This past year more students from the USA and Kenya became involved in the “Messages of Mercy” writing program, sending expressive letters to each other across the world. A middle school language teacher in central Vermont confirmed that the best writing she had ever seen from her students came from this writing program.
Some American students also became involved in fundraising efforts. Two elementary school sisters invited family and friends over one wintry evening to learn about EC. They baked up a storm and raised over $200 for the Orphan Feeding Program.
Another middle school student decided that she could save pennies in a jar. Within a year’s time she had saved $50, which she donated to EC.
The stories don’t end there. Toward the end of the year, a Vermont high school senior came up with an innovative fundraising idea. He called it “Walk 4 Water”; an event that simulated the journey of a Kenyan child for their daily provision of water. Thirty people walked for a total of two miles on a rainy Saturday morning with buckets and water carriers, filling their containers at a nearby river, and raising over $700 and a lot of awareness about the plight of African children who have no choice but to use contaminated water every day.
Of all of our accomplishments, the one that we are the happiest about is that all of these funds are now tax-deductible, as our 501(c)(3) status was granted in September of this year!
2010 ended with EC’s second annual Kenyan medical clinics. American doctors and nurses worked alongside clinicians from the Kenyan Ministry of Health, diagnosing and treating over 1200 patients within a four-day span. At the close of the clinics it was clear that the greatest value of these clinics was the AIDS screening, education and worm medications that the ministry provided. Additionally, some important connections were made with provincial administrators who want to see clinics built in areas where residents have few opportunities for prenatal care and immunizations.
2011 presents new goals and objectives. We need to continue caring for the students who rely on us for their daily provision of food. We are still waiting to dig and complete the well digging project in Kampi ya moto. We want to construct an orphanage and a medical clinic in Lanet Umoja, and we also want to raise funds to complete the building of a secondary school just outside of Nakuru. In other parts of the world, our hope is to continue supporting students in Jamaica, who struggle to receive an education in one of the poorer parts of the island. We also hope to conduct medical clinics in India where we have connections with people who run an orphanage for school-aged boys and girls. We would also like to continue our contributions to schoolchildren in Haiti.
We at Everyone’s Child realize that none of these accomplishments from this past year could have happened without the support of our donors, and for that we want to express our deepest appreciation. Their contributions have helped to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of school children in developing nations. We are all changing a generation through education, one student at a time.