Question: How would your life be different if you were illiterate?
Wait. Stop. Think about it.
You probably wouldn’t be able to do your job. Good luck following tonight’s dinner recipe. Forget about that email you need to send your mom about rescheduling your coffee date. No more bedtime stories.
Your life would be totally different. You’d be a different person, right?
This post isn’t about a guilt trip. We don’t want to get you down. It’s just nice to take a moment to reflect, to appreciate how reading and writing has shaped you into the person you are and shaped the life you live.
Illiteracy is a bigger issue than a lack of reading skills. It is a predictor of poverty, illness, and disempowerment. If all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. This is equal to a 12% cut in global poverty.
We are officially 4 weeks into our #BagWalkers campaign with 4 weeks left to go. 36 #BagWalkers have been walking, running, cycling, playing soccer, travelling, camping, exploring,hiking, fishing, DJing, teaching yoga, dancing, golfing and playing music with their bags. These bags are living the dream! Check out some of the wild and wonderful adventures they’ve been going on.
Our #BagWalkers are inspiring and surprising us daily with their passion, creativity and sheer determination to raise the funds needed to build this school for the children of Gitumba. We are just under half way to our goal of raising $80,000. With 4 weeks left of the #BagWalkers campaign we know we can reach our target. Keep up the posts, passion and perseverance #BagWalkers!
On this lovely Tuesday morning, we’d like to leave you with this hilarious and inspiring video put together by #BagWalker Derek Grossi. He’s trekking 40km with this bag wearing whatever his highest donator tells him to wear…we are eagerly awaiting how this turns out! Stay tuned.
Today is an uncommon day. It is a Leap Day and that’s not going to happen again for another 4 years. How special! So, instead of letting this extra day pass us by we are taking advantage of our bonus 24 hours to reflect and to share some updates!
Exactly 3 months ago we leaped (pun obviously and shamelessly intended) into our dream. It was on that day that Duncan and I went full time into Classroom of Hope, full time into our passion and full time into bringing education to children in developing countries.
We were over the moon to embark on this journey and everyday we learn, we grow and we love what we do more and more.With full and grateful hearts we’d like to tell you about the last 3 months.
Back to where it all began.
Over the years Cambodia has become a home and our local NGO partners have become family. We arrived in Cambodia on the 29th of November to spend 3 weeks checking out impact and researching future projects (exciting details to come!). We’re supporting 15 schools in the province of Kampong Cham which were all officially Child-Friendly and complete in July 2015 (yay!). This trip however, was about visiting our other 7 schools in the province of Battambang which are set to be complete by October 2016 (Yay! Again.).
We were on cloud-nine touring the schools, seeing their progress and catching up with our dear friend Racky, who is the inspiration behind Classroom of Hope and the founder of Children’s Action for Development (CAD).
The CAD team took us to visit all 7 schools in the Battambang region. We soaked up all the beautiful rural-Cambodian landscapes as we clocked 160km on our motorbike, carrying our camera gear so we could report on the impact at each school.
Our founding partner Navitas supports these 7 schools in Battambang. Check out the impact video we made for them.
Whenever we see the impact that education makes in lives of the children we support, we get totally pumped to keep on going! It inspires us more than anything.
We were ecstatic after visiting Cambodia and all the wonderful kids. Since our trip we’ve been focused on fundraising for more projects so we can impact the lives of more children through quality education.
#BagWalkers Walk Again!
Last year, our #BagWalkers walked for girls’ education and raised over $32,000 to provide scholarships to girls in rural Cambodia. We were blown away by the support we had for this campaign and by the love and dedication of our amazing #Bagwalkers. So, we’re going for #BagWalkers round two!
For the last few months we’ve been planning our next #BagWalkers Campaign which launches March 7th. This year #Bagwalkers are walking for the children of Gitumba, Rwanda who currently walk 5 hours a day to get to and from school. Crazy right? We think so too, so we’re going to build them a school. Wanna help? Send us an e-mail at [email protected] We’d love to have you on the team!
We are extremely happy to announce this year’s bags have been created and designed by Freeset and Liminal Apparel – a fair trade social enterprise that only uses sustainable or organic materials and reinvest all profits into the communities that produce their products.
Impact in Rwanda
Our first bit of impact is coming through from our Schools for Excellence project in Rwanda where our local partner African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) has built 8 toilets for boys and girls and a water facility at Nyamatete Primary School. Classroom of Hope volunteers Geoff and Sheryl Bartlett have been in Rwanda, working with our local partner to gather content, data and stories from the field. Check out these beautiful new toilets!
Last week Classroom of Hope was incredibly humbled and honoured to receive a grant from 100 Women. This grant will support our STEM4Women project to empower 10 young women to undertake Science, Technology, Engineering and Math studies in 2-year tertiary-vocational degrees. Personal development training and career counselling will also be provided to ensure high employment rates upon graduation. We’re so excited to follow their stories and tell you all about it!
Leaps and Bounds
So there it is folks! That’s what Classroom of Hope has been up to. We know we still have lots to do, but we’re stoked about the impact and progress we’ve made so far. We’re also incredibly grateful for all of our amazing supporters and donors who make everything we do possible! Thank you for believing is us and our mission.