One of my dear friends, Mimi Nguyen, is a founding member of Pencils of Promise, a wonderful 501(c)(3) organization based in New York, that partners with local communities and organizations to build schools of early-stage education in developing nations for some of the world’s most impoverished and undereducated children. Sadly, there are more than 75 million children in this terrible situation worldwide.
I have been thinking about what I can do to help since the first time Mimi told me all about this amazing organization. I devote my blog to sharing inspiring people and places and I am hard-pressed to find a more inspiring cause. As I thought about it, I realized that bloggers have an incredible platform for getting the word out about wonderful causes such as this one. In an effort to try to make a difference, I contacted many of my blogger friends and they were just as inspired by Pencils of Promise as I was.
Last December, the Pencils of Promise team visited a small village in Laos and by July 2009, they had built a new school for the village children who started attending classes on September 1st. This month, Pencils of Promise will be opening their third school and they hope to open the doors to education for more children in 2010.
Our Blogger Collaborative Project will benefit the females students of Champet, a village in Laos that is home to the only high school in the area for surrounding villages. In order to attend this high school, the students must leave their families and homes to live in dormitories. However these dormitories are worlds away from what comes to mind when we think of Western boarding schools. Most importantly, PoP wants to point out that girls are moving and living in these unsafe dormitories which consists of make shift bamboo huts in order to get an education. It is heartbreaking but so courageous at the same time.
The goal for Bloggers Taking Action today: To build safe, legitimate housing for the female children of Laos in order for them to have the opportunity to further their education. Currently, some parents are unwilling to send their kids to school because of how dangerous the bamboo dormitory huts are. This dormitory Pencils of Promise hopes to build will accommodate about 200 Laotian girls.
In the spirit of the holiday season, we are asking for your help today on behalf of these children. Just think of the enormous impact we could have if each person who reads this post makes a donation. Whether you give $10 or $100, every little bit helps ($35 buys shelves for a classroom, $50 provides pencils for one year, $100 provides a teacher’s salary for three months and so on)! We are in the midst of the giving season and hope that you will find it in your heart to make a donation to this worthy cause today.
If you would like to stay informed about the difference Pencils of Promise is making, be sure to become a fan on their Facebook page.
Image Credit: Nick Onken, the gifted photographer who so generously donated his time and talent by traveling to Laos with the PoP team to capture their progress on film.