– We were able to do it as a family! Many organizations look at families volunteering abroad as a philanthropy “vacation”, and charge insane amounts, for short periods of time. This was not the case with Org4Peace. They realize that the time you spend with the students matters just as much, or more, than your money. It was affordable and extremely safe. We NEVER felt unsafe and were treated incredibly well.
– We were able to see exactly where the money goes. There is nothing hidden. The money does NOT go to administrators, it goes where it matters most, towards the children’s educations and ensuring that they are safe, healthy and happy in their homes. We gave money for 10 of the neediest children to be fed lunch daily, and voila, there they were immediately eating lunch every day. We gave money for children’s uniforms and school supplies and voila, there they were! The best part was being able to go with them to buy their new items. They were overwhelmed with excitement and joy. We gave money for them to build a canteen shelter and it is now completed and it was built by students’ parents who were in need of work. Our friends and family members sponsored students and we were able to bring home videos and photographs of the students and we were able to visit their homes and meet their families.
– They understand the importance of empowering women. There are approximately 5 different single mothers now employed by the school, through Org4Peace. With there being no child support, spousal support, welfare, unemployment or widow’s pension, single mothers struggle to supply their children with the basic necessities of life. This is recognized by the organization and when there is an opportunity to fill a position at the school, they look within the school community to fill it. We were even given the opportunity to create a position for the mother of our daughter’s sponsor child. We outfitted the school with all of the necessary equipment (not nearly as costly as you would think) and provided her with a beginning supply of stock. Now she is available to offer lunches and basic supplies to students. She now has her own little business!
– They do not wait for students to be “sponsored” to allow them to attend. There were many students attending the school, who are still awaiting sponsorship. They do not want to turn any child away. They truly believe that every child deserves a right to be educated, despite their caste, their sex, their family situation. There are children attending from wealthier backgrounds and extreme poverty, but they are all treated the same. When looking at the student body, it was very difficult for us to “see” who needed our financial assistance the most. Thankfully the chairman knows every student, their families, where they live and their needs. We visited their homes, met their families, saw the difference that sponsorship was making to their quality of life.
– The staff, students and families are extremely welcoming and generous. We have made friendships that will last a lifetime. We may have been their to “help” them and to “teach” them, but we were the ones who learned so much. We all hope to volunteer with the organization again.
– The goal of the chairman and staff at the school is to continue to learn and improve their teaching. I can see the new approaches I shared with them continuing in the classrooms, through videos and photographs. It is so rewarding to see them updating their practices and striving to improve the quality of education they provide.
– It is a small, personal organization. There are 3 main people running the entire thing. One being the chairman of the school and the other two are young working professionals, from Toronto, Ontario. They saw a need and have worked to address it. They do not do it as a source of income, they do it to make a difference. They work tirelessly to raise money and enlist volunteers to do the website, organize fundraisers etc.
Thank-you Org4Peace for becoming such an important part of our lives. We may have left Nepal, but we left a piece of our hearts behind. We will always be a part of your organization and look forward to seeing it grow!