We also relaunched our YouTube Channel. You can find it here:
And to get the blog caught up, here is the letter that was sent out to all our donors below.
I wish you an incredible 2019!
For those of you who have been tracking our online fundraising campaign on Facebook, we made our initial goal of $1500! For those of you who contributed on Facebook, thank you so very much. Because we hit the goal with more time to go in the Holiday Season, I've decided to raise the target to 2000 dollars. Let's see if we can make it!
Where do these donations go?
All of your donations go directly to Esther's school, the Women in Action Development Project, which Esther founded herself in 1996. A small transaction fee of $30 is charged by the bank each time we do a wire transfer which is typically once a quarter. I offset this cost myself. Our only other overhead expense is the monthly cost of our website on Squarespace which is also about $30 and I offset that too. The Esther's Echo staff work for free, thankfully, so that doesn't cost anything! (Our staff of one ;) ) The rest goes overseas to cover Esther's expenses in operating her school which typically graduates 20-25 students per year depending on enrollment numbers and environmental, political, or financial disruptions such as the Ebola outbreak in 2014 or the heavy flooding in 2016. The largest expense is the rent on the building that Esther's school currently resides in.
Why do we keep paying rent?
Great question. Unfortunately, when we first started Esther's Echo, the rent rates on Esther's building were less than half of what they are now but rising rent rates are a continuing problem in Sierra Leone. Rent doesn't sound like an exciting fundraising goal, but ultimately what we're really fundraising for is the education of vulnerable people in one of the toughest places in the world to live. Our goal, in the future, is to build Esther her own school. A small portion of what we fundraise goes to this end as does the money raised by Esther locally. This year, we finally broke ground on the new location!
How much is left to fundraise this year?
Esther needs to pay the rest of the 2018 rent off by the end of the month, which is coming up. $3500 US is outstanding. We have about $2500 of that raised so we are close! If we get that in, the school stays open, if not, the landlord can force the school out. We've gone through that once before when we transitioned to the current location after Women in Action was forced to leave their original location when the landlord decided to tear the building down. It is not something we want to repeat as the process usually costs the school an entire semester of class time if not more.
The education of young women is one of the most effective ways of transforming a society. I am asking you help us make that possible. Our donor community is a small one, so every donation makes a huge difference! It also means we always welcome new donors so if you are willing to share our campaign with others, I would be ever grateful. I will write them and thank them personally for donating. I also give public presentations on international development to schools who are interested in fundraising for Esther's Echo. The cost of a presentation is simply a donation to the organization. If your school or classroom needs a speaker, let me know!
All my gratitude to those of you who have already donated. I know there are so many charities tugging at your sleeves this time of year. That you choose to donate to Esther's Echo means so much to me, Esther, and the women and girls of the Women in Action Development Project.
You can find our Facebook Donation Campaign here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/204167650489110/
Or donate on our website by clicking the donate button below!