Seasons Greetings from Togo!
We are pleased and proud to report that our roof on the final classroom has been constructed!
Some thoughts on where we are and where we are going:
We have learned soooo much in this process and as we begin to wrap up the building phase, we now turn our attention toward income skills generation, so that these villagers can sustain a first-rate education themselves. This is a critical element of the plan, in that, if these villagers take ownership and responsibility for funding the school going forward, it is certain to last for generations of students.
We have all seen what happens in other projects where outsiders see a need, spend hundreds of thousands, in some cases millions of dollars, plop a school down on the locals and move too quickly to the next site. Eventually the building becomes a grain silo or barn…
Instead, we have entered into an agreement with these local people to develop self-sustaining funding for curriculum costs and maintenance. Without their buy-in to the program, and indeed, without their voice on the manner, we would not have had confidence in moving ahead with the project.
This is a key element to success.
Perhaps you have been waiting for the right time to donate and wanted to see how things went? Well, if the holiday spirit moves you, and you would like to support a program that is lifting kids out of poverty for generations to come, now is a great time to donate. Here are four things we are looking to do with the next round of fundraising:
- Continue to implement an Income Skills program for both the Men AND Women in the village of Dédékè
- Develop LeapingStone’s project plan to locate other qualified villages in Togo and beyond if possible
- Create a $3M endowment that will provide funding for sustainable development of future education projects
- Hire staff to help Natalie Huberman grow this charitable effort
This blog wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t send a deep note of gratitude to all of you that have made this project possible! We hope you are as inspired as we are!
Thanks for reading and please pass this along to those people you know who believe in the power of positive change in a challenging world!