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Peter Bihl's Fundraiser:

Help us support our students! ¡Apóyanos!

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BENEFITING: Marina Orth Foundation

ORGANIZER: Marina Orth Foundation

EVENT DATE: Jun 11, 2016

Peter Bihl

THE STORY:

Dear Friends,

I´m writing you to ask you to support an organization that has become very dear to me.  Over the past four months,  I've worked as furiously as I can to support the Marina Orth Foundation's goals to bring a globally competitive education to Colombian public schools.  

Every day I experience the positive effect we have on the students and the whole school community.  Our most challenged students are often the first ones to greet me with hugs and shouts in the morning, and our best and brightest students are the ones who stay working on our projects late into the afternoon, after most of their teachers have left (FMO employees at each school work longer hours than the other teachers).

In addition to our English and technology instruction, we administer the One Lap Top per Child program,  providing each student with a specially designed computer to use throughout the semester.  The XO computers we provide generally represent the students' only access to a computer.  By incorporating parents into the program so that parents and students together are responsible for the computers, the foundation builds new relationships between the school and parents.  The computer also becomes a powerful new disciplinary tool in the classroom. 

I see everyday the renewed passion for school that my corworkers, our foundation and I bring to our students.  I also see how effectively the foundation is led and managed.  I'm blessed with wonderful friends and family back home in the U.S., and I know that they are the kind of people interested in giving to a foundation doing the kind of work that the Marina Orth Foundation is trailblazing in Colombia.  Asking for your support is one more way I can help this organization that is doing such great work here in Medellin.  Thank you and God Bless!

Love,
Peter

Marina Orth Foundation wrote -

The Marina Orth Foundation (FMO) is a US-registered 501(c)3 non-profit based in Medellin, Colombia and committed to creating a replicable education model for disadvantaged students in Antioquia, Colombia. We believe that English, technology and leadership education are critical tools to complete in the globalized world.  Through the Step by Step and Forward programs, FMO partners with public schools to provide laptops to students through the One Laptop per Child program; English and technology instruction by sending its Colombian employees to teach in the schools; and various leadership activities for students organized by international volunteers.  The SparkTIC program offers free computer programming and other technology courses to young, unemployed Colombians in Medellin´s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

FMO, the passion project of founder and former Colombia Peace Corp. volunteer Maureen Orth, was founded in 2005 to support the Marina Orth School in Aguas Frias, a mountain neighborhood high above downtown Medellin. Since its start the organization has grown to unforeseeable proportions both in terms of reach and breadth of programming. The foundation currently supports seven schools through the Step by Step program, with immediate plans to expand into two more, in addition to the Forward and SparkTIC programs.  Today, we provide a globally competitive education to over 6,000 students in eastern Antioquia.

Likewise, the number of volunteer fellowships offered by the foundation has grown rapidly, even within the last year: FMO hosted five volunteers in first semester of 2015, while it currently hosts nine.

Volunteers play critical roles for the success of FMO´s initiative, especially in the Step-by-Step program.  Besides aiding the foundation´s English teachers in the classroom, volunteers organize after-school “clubs” for students, ranging in themes from art and sports, to cultural exploration and organic gardening.  They also lead English classes for teachers and administrators at each school, as well as classes directed toward the community and personal tutoring and mentoring offered to the foundation’s scholarship students.  They even chaperone offsite field trips, such as the annual spelling bee. 

Our volunteers profoundly affect the lives of our students.  Indirectly, volunteers support students´ entire school system by training teachers and offering classes to the community.  Directly, they teach new skills students would otherwise not have access to.  They engage students in new ways, inspiring them to love learning and to pursue their new skills.  Perhaps most of all, volunteers offer students a window into a foreign culture, a link to another part of the world and a role model from outside their own communities.

One graduate of the Marina Orth School, currently a scholarship student studying systems engineering at Medellin´s Pontifical Bolivarian University, recalled his experience as a fifth grader with one of the first volunteers:

“He taught me a lot about English, providing me with a good base knowledge.  But his influence was not limited to class.  It went beyond the classroom, as a mentor and friend.  He expanded my view of my life and the world, and made me curious.”

The talent and labor lent by volunteers is felt throughout the foundation in other ways, as well.  Over the past year, volunteers have led the social media and marketing efforts of FMO; have designed Step-by-Step´s first internal evaluation system; and have led volunteer recruitment and coordination.

The Marina Orth Foundation not only does not charge its volunteers for expenses incurred during their stay, but even pays a monthly stipend for the cost of living, as well as organizing home stays with local families, if the volunteers choose.

Volunteers receive between $250 and $300 per monthly stipend.  For a six month fellowship, the foundation invests up to $1,800 in each volunteer.  This semester, the Marina Orth Foundation will invest over $15,000 in living expenses alone for its team of nine volunteers.

The foundation will continue to increase the number of volunteers it hosts.  Each new school the foundation supports demands another volunteer to realize the foundation´s programs.  The foundation hopes to rely on the expertise of volunteers to expand several administrative efforts, including marketing and course evaluation.  The foundation is also currently seeking to add additional volunteers at one of its schools, where its two volunteers each offer 25 hours of weekly classroom instruction without satisfying community demand.  

Those numbers do not include additional incidental expenses necessary for the volunteers´ work.  $50 covers the cost of basic classroom supplies for ten of our volunteer´s students.  $100 covers the costs of supplies for one club hosted by a volunteer.  $500 purchases two XO computers for our students, a critical tool for all the initiatives within the Step-by-Step program.

As employees, volunteers and friends of the Marina Orth Foundation, we ask that you support the foundation by contributing to these volunteer efforts.  Volunteers are a critical element in the Marina Orth Foundation´s mission to bring a globally competitive education to the students of Colombia.  We need your support to ensure that FMO can continue to host its volunteers, even as the foundation continues to expand its programming and ambitions, and the demand for volunteers continues to grow.

DONATE

To This Fundraiser

$2,815

MONEY RAISED
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  • Amy and Dave Bihl

    $250

  • Dave and Amy Bihl

    $250

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Robert

    $200

  • J. DOUGLAS JOHNSON

    $250

  • Gwen and Scott Bihl

    $500

  • Wilson

     

  • David Alpert

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Tim

    $150

  • Erin Kwon

    $50

  • M

     

  • Erin & Andy

    $75

  • Maddy

     

  • Anonymous

    $15

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Liza Baron

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Rob Sniezek

    $25

  • Brian Asher

     

  • Max Lowenthal

    $50

  • Ana

     

  • Carlos Aguirre

    $100

  • David Ashinoff

    $100

  • Sally Holbert

    $100

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94% Raised of $3,000 Goal

Fundraise for this Campaign

The Team: $8,161 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

JOIN THE TEAM
Fundraiser Title

Peter Bihl

Amount Raised

$2,815

 

94% Raised of $3,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Jack Leathers

Amount Raised

$1,230

 

82% Raised of $1,500 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Andreas Miguel Mork Afseth

Amount Raised

$1,000

 

100% Raised of $1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Lucy Barrett

Amount Raised

$922

 

92% Raised of $1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Timothy Jacob

Amount Raised

$850

 

85% Raised of $1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Martin Karlberg

Amount Raised

$799

 

80% Raised of $1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Maritza Gardner

Amount Raised

$435

 

44% Raised of $1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Marina Orth Foundation

Amount Raised

$100

 

1% Raised of $8,000 Goal

Donor Comments

Sally Holbert

Sally Holbert

DONATION: $100

In Memory of Jean E. Johnson 1 year ago

David Ashinoff

David Ashinoff

DONATION: $100

1 year ago

Carlos Aguirre

Carlos Aguirre

DONATION: $100

1 year ago

Ana

Ana

1 year ago

Max Lowenthal

Max Lowenthal

DONATION: $50

In memory of time volunteering at Llanaditas 1 year ago

Brian Asher

Brian Asher

Norman John Asher 1 year ago

Rob Sniezek

Rob Sniezek

DONATION: $25

Keep up the good work and good luck brother! 1 year ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $50

1 year ago

Anonymous

Anonymous

DONATION: $50

That Maritza Gardner chick is a babe 1 year ago

Liza Baron

Liza Baron

DONATION: $100

Buen trabajo, chic@s! Especially you, Peter Bihl! 1 year ago