Thoughts about 2011

It has been a year of progress for Pencils for Kids despite very challenging economic times. We continued to build meaningful relationships with our partners that will definitely have a lasting impact on the people of Liboré, Niger.

The Farmers of the Future sign that shows partnership of EPN and P4K

The Farmers of the Future sign that shows partnership of EPN and P4K

P4K has developed an approach which balances direct funding and sponsorship for a small number of model programmes (Scholarships for Girls, Sewing Centres, Farmers of the Future), with very active networking and partnerships at all levels (INGO’s, UN, governments, private and corporate funders) to leverage additional resources. We will continue to develop this two-pronged strategy in the future.

Eliminate Poverty Now (EPN) with P4K and the girls from the Cooper's Clothing Sewing Centre

John and Judy Craig of Eliminate Poverty Now (EPN) with me and the girls from the Cooper's Clothing Sewing Centre

We have committed this coming year to fund 72 scholarships for girls in the middle and secondary levels, to pilot a literacy project in five schools for grades 1 and 2, to expand our Cooper’s Clothing Sewing Centre so that more girls can participate, and to fully pilot our Farmers of the Future program (FOF) in three villages in Libore: Galbal, Gueriguinde and Gonzare Beri.  This FOF is an exciting initiative in agriculture and education – teaching children in grades 4 and 5 how to be successful, educated farmers using agriculture as a business and not merely as a way to subsist. We are preparing curriculum in 7 topics including water management, vegetable gardening, tree nurseries, economics and the environment, and we are working with education officials at every level to ensure we have the support we need. P4K is honoured to partner on this FOF program with Eliminate Poverty Now, an outstanding NGO in New Jersey. We are optimistic and hopeful that the FOF has the potential to one day help eradicate poverty.

Farmers of the Future

Farmers of the Future

Our partnership with Veahavta, an NGO dedicated to doing good deeds around the world,  is also tremendously exciting.  Last week a forty foot container left Toronto for Niger filled with 4,000 kinderkits, all donated and shipped by Veahavta! They will arrive sometime in January or February!  On the container were also generous donations from Superior Medical Canada consisting of medical supplies for the midwives in Libore and also for the empty medical clinic.

It is these relationships with like-minded organizations that have sustained us this year, both in impact and in spirit.

However we still have commitments to honour for our programs and we are looking for new and creative ways to bring in funds.

A huge thank you to our many friends, supporters and sponsors who have helped us in the past and give us strength for the future.

As the holiday season approaches, we hope that you will join us in thinking of the children in Liboré — their wish is for an education, and a better life. We can all make that happen, together.

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