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Louise Cummings' Fundraiser:

Educate 1,000 Children in South Africa through Universal Promise

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BENEFITING: Universal Promise

Louise Cummings

THE STORY:

I was asked by my former high school teacher and diversity champion (Martha Cummings) to assist with a fundraiser her organization is doing. Of course I said YES! We have one goal: to restore a community's access to proper education and to eliminate the crippling effects of apartheid. 100% of the funds will go toward finishing the construction of the Vusumzi School Academic Centre, which will have an immediate and measurable impact. What do we believe in? Education, financial independence, and proper healthcare for all, not for a few. For that reason, as you consider making a donation to Universal Promise, please note that we do not fund unsustainable projects, individuals who are not part of a broader sponsorship program, or any program to remove children from their homes and families to care for them elsewhere. Instead, we fund the following. Traditional School Education and Access Would you like to see the progress thus far? http://www.universalpromise.org/academic-center/ The Academic Centre will house the school's first-ever library with locally sourced literature and new computers, three new classrooms, and a central dining, tutoring, performing arts, and community meeting space. Overnight, the percentage of children attending schools with dilapidated facilities will fall from 60% to 25%. The academic centre will also be home to educational summits that focus on teacher advancement and student differentiation, as well as school and community life skills curricula addressing wellness, treatment compliance, and nutrition. High school students have submitted a proposal to provide afternoon tutoring in the space, which would enhance the younger children's success rate, as well as the older students' self-worth. All of the above would allow students to move from Grade 7 to 8 with an improved academic viewpoint and preparation. Older students would experience the power of disseminating information and nurturing learners, which might even inspire them to become educators themselves. The project would have an immediate impact on 1,000 learners but - in a township of thousands - so many guardians and community members, as well. MORE BACKGROUND on UNIVERSAL PROMISE'S Relationship with the School: We have a long history in Nomathamsanqa. To form a trusted partnership and solidify a shared vision, over the past six years Universal Promise has funded and overseen numerous vital projects at Vusumzi School, including the construction of a green water collection and purification system (granting children unfettered access to clean water), a 31-station state-of-the-art computer laboratory, a playground for 100 kindergarteners, 20 renovated classrooms (electricity, roofs, etc.), a live security system, and educator training. Over that period, UP has monitored the evolution of the principal’s leadership, the educators’ expertise, and the sanctity of education. We are assured and encouraged by the progress. At the same time we funded other academic, career, and medical initiatives, including, but not limited to, the renovation of a local clinic serving thousands, a permaculture garden to feed an entire nursery school and the ill, a wind turbine to bring first-ever electricity to an informal settlement, laptops for university students, and hundreds of school uniforms and shoes for young learners.

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