Live at the Giving Tuesday Event in Vancouver

Hey Echoers!

We’re live at the VanCityGives event for Giving Tuesday!

I’ve joined over 10 other non-profit organizations who are all here for a big announcement: the official declaration of today as Giving Tuesday Day in Vancouver. City Councillor Michael Wiebe stopped by to make the declaration providing us all with a official plaque.

There will be over 2 billion social media impressions made throughout Canada today for Giving Tuesday, which Amanda Burrows, the coordinator for VanCityGives said is a direct response to the extreme consumption culture of Black Friday.

 VanCityGives coordinator Amanda Burrows (left) with Vancouver City Councillor Michael Wiebe (right) with official municipal declaration of Giving Tuesday in Vancouver

VanCityGives coordinator Amanda Burrows (left) with Vancouver City Councillor Michael Wiebe (right) with official municipal declaration of Giving Tuesday in Vancouver

Be sure to check out our profile page on Giving Tuesday below. We are trying to break last year’s fundraising record!

https://givingtuesday.ca/partners/esthers-echo


 Rocking the Giving Tuesday threads

Rocking the Giving Tuesday threads

 All the participating organizations for VanCityGives

All the participating organizations for VanCityGives

Donate for Giving Tuesday!



Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

Hey Echoers!

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering that follows Black Friday each year. Considered the start of the giving season, it is a day for organizations, like Esther’s Echo, to rally its donor community, YOU! Giving Tuesday was celebrated in over 150 countries last year and generated over 21.7 billion Twitter impressions. Tomorrow we’re celebrating Giving Tuesday here in Canada, specifically Esther’s Echo will be part of the local Vancouver chapter of Giving Tuesday called VanGives. We’ll be joined by other local organizations who are all telling their story throughout the day and raising money for their causes.

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Last year’s Giving Tuesday was our single largest donation day in the history of the organization at $2,300 CDN. I am hoping we can match and surpass that record this year! Esther has already begun work on constructing their own building. While we don’t have the funds to complete the school yet, she does want to complete the foundation as soon as possible and any amount of funding sent helps. Construction is FAR CHEAPER in Sierra Leone. Every dollar goes a really long way.

Building Esther her own school is a dream shared by both Esther and myself. With their own building, Esther and Women in Action wouldn’t have to rely on making rent payments that could otherwise be reinvested into growing the school, reducing student fees, and paying teachers and the work has already begun with Esther at the helm. We still have rent to cover while doing the construction, so donations will be prioritized there while Esther also begins saving portions to continue the construction project.

Let’s ensure that Esther’s dream can be realized and let’s break that fundraising record! I’ll be updating tomorrow from the VanGives headquarters in Vancouver during Giving Tuesday!

You can find our Giving Tuesday profile on the Giving Tuesday Canada mainsite here:

https://givingtuesday.ca/partners/esthers-echo

Also check out the Giving Tuesday Canada Promo Video below and please consider giving us a shoutout on your social networks with hashtags #VanGives, #GivingTuesday, and #GivingTuesdayCanada

-Matthew

Donate for Giving Tuesday!

We Kept Women in Action Open Another Semester! Now On to Giving Tuesday!

Echoers!

Great news! In August we were running a fundraising campaign to see if we could close out 2018’s rent for Esther. And we did! We got all the funding we needed by the end of the month and transferred the funds. Through September, Esther brought the funds to the landlord and we waited as Esther negotiated with the landlord because we were late and they were starting to threaten legal action. But I recently received confirmation that we are okay at least until the end of this year.

 Wire transfer receipt to Women in Action for the balance that YOU helped fundraise! Hoorah!

Wire transfer receipt to Women in Action for the balance that YOU helped fundraise! Hoorah!

So here is where I share our next two fundraising goals. By April, I’d like to ensure Esther has all the rent paid for 2019 which will be another 7,000 USD. 2500 of that we need by the end of December to allow Esther to remain for the Spring semester.

What about the second goal? Here is where things get more exciting. Over the last year, I’ve been talking about plans to build Esther her own building. I’ve wanted to do this for years because it means that our funding dollars aren’t just paying rent, but actually providing a space that BELONGS to Women in Action itself. That would mean that future donated dollars can ALL go directly to expanding curriculum, paying teacher salaries, and lowering student fees. Some of our funding already accomplishes these more exciting budget line items, but a majority of the funding goes to landlords. Rent is important. It keeps the school operating. But ultimately we want something more sustainable. How much will that cost? Originally, I thought the costs would be much higher – in excess of 100,000 USD. However, Esther has drawn up a plan with an engineer and it is more like 35,000 USD which is amazing. The school already has a plot of land to construct the new space which we helped to purchase a few years ago.

 Activities resume for the Fall Semester at Women in Action

Activities resume for the Fall Semester at Women in Action

In addition, to help get things started, the staff and students have already started to construct parts of the building that they can do on their own.

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How can you help? Giving Tuesday is coming November 27th! Please consider us again this year. Last year’s Giving Tuesday was the single largest fundraising day we ever had. Our first goal is to cover the more immediate need which is Esther’s Rent. Anything in addition to that goal we raise between now and April will go to the construction project. You can find our profile at: https://givingtuesday.ca/partners/esthers-echo.

Thank you all so much again for your continued support! Also, welcome to our new donors who helped us during the August fundraising push!

Sincerely,

Matthew

Donate Today!

A Letter from Esther Herself...

Hello Echoers,

Today, rather than hearing from me, I've asked Esther to write all of you, our donors and supporters, personally about Women in Action and meeting our rent target. We were at 4000USD still to go. This past week, with your support, I was able to send 2400CDN which translated to 1725USD. That means we only have another 2275 dollars to go! 

Below is Esther's letter to you about the importance of Women in Action, what your support means, and Esther's vision for the future in her own words. The letter is a scanned image. Below the image is the raw text if you are having trouble seeing the text in the image itself. Also, today, June 14th is Esther's Birthday! For her birthday, let's hit that funding goal!

-Matthew

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We started (The Women in Action Development Project) in Freetown Western Area District just after the civil conflict in Sierra Leone. The project was and still aims at empowering children, girls and young women through skills training and capacity building for self-employment and economic reliance to help reduce the high dependency rate. Women conscious of their high illiteracy rates makes them very vulnerable in communities especially in urban and peri-urban communities, settlements and Districts. Children, girls and young women were and are still been raped, molested, and beaten by their male counterparts with little or no effective response as a result of limited or no knowledge on rights issues, high illiteracy rate, and therefore, remains extremely vulnerable and can catch to whatever is provided to them. Women in Action saw the urgent need and is trying to bridge the gaps.

At the school, the fund/support help to register and engage adolescent girls and young women into formal and informal education and life skills training or economic development and also position them to speak out on their own right issues which is still a challenge due to limited or no formal education which male counterparts take advantage. The school provides for both urban and rural children, girls and young women the space and enabling environment where they become empowered through formal and informal education and acquire meaningful life skill that enhances rapid economic development. Informatively, the school is improving because it has educated girls and young women who are now acquiring higher education in other teaching and learning institutions. The school is also improving because it has trained girls and young women who are now engaged in their own works and businesses for economic development. The school is recognized as it serves as a hope for all hopeless children and women in Sierra Leone.

The fund/support has shined a light on the school and its activities. It has also sent strong signal to women that this is a place to be if you want a bright future. It has given hope to hopeless women and has also informed the Government and public about the work of the Women in Action Development Project. This support has opened new windows for expansion to new areas. Registration is currently ongoing with the high aim of opening a “Pre-School” at Waterloo (rural community) in September to extend program services to rural children and girls where the provision is the most needed now. The agricultural activities are ongoing and the program wishes to start an animal husbandry at the Waterloo axis.

At this end, we humbly request for our balance (US 4000) to help complete the rent and implement our planned tasks and activities in 2018

We appreciate your support over the years which has created all the impact highlighted in this letter

I am yours

Faithfully

Esther Kanu – National Coordinator