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Kiara Downey


I am an America teacher currently working at a remarkable high school in Ghana. The school is a part of the SOS Villages system - a massive program that creates thriving villages for children who have been orphaned or abandoned due to violence, illness, poverty, etc.

SOS Villages exist throughout the world, but this particular village in Tema, Ghana is also home to a college preparatory secondary school that offers a competitive and highly selective academic curriculum. Students not only study rigorous courses in the IGCSE and International Baccalaureate programs, but they frequently score at the top of the world average in classes such as math, chemistry, physics, history, and geography. The students are ambitious, diligent, and eager to learn.

One of my classes is comprised of nine young people who are studying English as their "second" language (but two of them are tri-lingual and one is actually learning English as his fourth language). They come from SOS Villages in Ethiopia, Burundi, and Tanzania. They are the bravest, funniest, and most sincere people I have ever had the opportunity to teach.

I am (with a heavy heart) returning to the United States to resume my teaching post in New York City in the fall of 2011. I would like to bring my SOS class to New York with me, but I know that they want to spend their Senior year here in Ghana, so I've convinced the Principal to let them travel to The Big Apple for a one-week field trip. They would arrive at my school (The United Nations International School) just in time for our annual UN celebration in mid-October. It is a week of cultural dances, singing, and ethnic food and fashion fiestas. I want my students from Africa to not only enjoy the festival and some of our regular classes as passive observers, but I also want them to come to New York as "SOS Ambassadors". They will participate in symposiums, engage in organized debates, and take part in the talent show.
Here is the problem: AIRFARE!
Flights from Ghana to New York run about 1,500 dollars per person. For nine students and one chaperone to travel across the Pacific would be an impossible expense for the school. Because the kids have no parents to support the financial end of things, it is necessary to look to CROWDRISE for support.

With a donation, you could help us fund the field trip of a lifetime for nine very cool kids.

I hope to raise $15,000 by August 15, 2011



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