Friday, June 30, 2006

How YOU can help Edward //Garoeb Primary School (email from Amy)

Well, today we revive the topic:

How YOU can help Edward //Garoëb Primary School with a copier/printer:

About the school and Amy's home

This is the 8/9/06 update:
All the money for the copier has been collected! We now have $1100 (US) and have deposited it into an account with a non-profit organization called "GreatDeeds". Anyone who sent a check (even if it was made out to us) will get a receipt for their gift. This group also pledged an additional $900 (US) to pay for some future projects Amy will identify. As soon as Amy purchases the copier, they will send the money to her account. Thank you everyone who donated to this project. We will send photos and information to everyone as soon as we get it. We will also keep you up to date about future projects Amy may have.

This is the 8/4 /06 update:

There is some really good news about the copier project—it looks like we almost have enough to buy the copier. I’ll probably buy it when I get to Windhoek this term break. I am writing to Jason (the IT volunteer in Windhoek) about it. I want him to send me some info (if it isn’t too much trouble for him I’d really like to get a couple of choices so my headmaster and the people at my school feel like it’s their project and their choice and not the copier that the Peace Corps volunteer picked out and purchased.)

This is the 7/23/06 update

First of all, I talked to Jason who is the IT volunteer in Windhoek and he suggested that we try to get a copier-printer, which is like a regular computer inkjet printer with a scanner and a fax machine connected to it. He said that it breaks a lot less often and if it does break it’s a lot easier to fix, so it’s a better option for a school that is as rural as mine. The good news about this is that the machine is a lot less expensive than a regular copier. The bad news is that the toner cartridges are a little more expensive, but if we take some of the money that would have gone to buying the copier and buy some extra ink cartridges with it, it will still be cheaper than the other one. Here’s the breakdown

· Jason has a quote for a copier for N$4,830 (about US$745)

· He suggested that we add at least an extra N$1,000 (about US$150) for ink cartridges and some paper

· That means we need about US$900 to buy the copier, but a little extra for bank fees and any changes in the exchange rate would be a good thing too.

· My mother currently has collected about US$350 for the project (by the way, thank you so much everyone who has donated so far)

That means we need about US$550 more to buy the copier. Even if you only want to donate a few dollars, contact my parents. Lots of little donations can really add up. It was brought to my attention that I didn’t really give specifics about how to get a hold of my family to donate, so here you go. You can send the money or get more information from my mom and dad

Their email is ppedersen6 at charter dot net

They will collect the donations and once they have enough to cover the copier I’ll make a trip down to Windhoek and buy it with my American credit card. Jason has kindly offered to try to accompany me and the copier back to Anker to set it up and show everyone how to use it. My parents will use the donations to pay off my credit card. Thanks everyone for your support for me and for Anker. I really do appreciate it.

This is the original June 30th email announcing the project:

Edward //Garoëb Primary School is currently without any working copier (we used to have one that would break with surprising regularity about once a month for three to four weeks, but late last term it finally gave up the ghost and went to the place where all good copiers go--- the living room of my headmaster.) Now, I'm not sure you're aware of this, but it is incredibly difficult to teach without a copier--no worksheets, all tests are copied off of the board, and in classes without textbooks (and there are some) all lessons and homework of any kind must be meticulously copied into exercise books. We're all a little concerned about what we will do when exams start. The teachers have found a very old used copier for a little under N$3 000 (US$500) but even that is beyond the budget of the school. The current plan (if the copier is actually available.) is to put about US$200 down on it and pay the rest off later, all while keeping our fingers crossed that the machine actually works. Now, this is a workable plan, but it has many problems, not the least being that it is likely that the copier will not last long (as I said, it's very old), and it is possible that the debt might even last longer than the copier. This is a very fixable problem. Early this year while I was attempting to hunt down a cheap copier early this year I got a quote for a new copier from Minolta for N$10 000 (about US$1,500.) Now this is ridiculously beyond the budget of the school (if everyone paid their school fees, and they don't, the school would have a little over
US$3,000 for the budget for the year.) But I realized recently that it is not that much in an American context. Raising that much money is a very achievable goal. I am used to everyone asking me to "borrow them one dollar" so I know how annoying it is to be asked for money and I am very sorry that I am doing it to you, but it is all for a good cause and if you feel uncomfortable you can always close this email and pretend you never read it. If we, together, can raise US$2,000 that should cover the price of the copier, several ink cartridges, transport from Grootfontein, and possibly even a few reams of paper.

Some ideas for raising money---

*Put a tin in your school office, local shop, or church

*Have your church group, school, or office collect money

*Hold a bake sale or a garage sale

*Randomly ask friends, relatives, and complete strangers
for money. Yay!

Once you collect the money, talk to my mom. She is has wonderfully agreed to organize everything as they say, stateside, and she will figure out how to get the money to me. Once we get enough money several teachers will go to Grootfontein and buy the copierof thank you notes. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Information about Edward //Garoëb Primary School

· Edward //Garoëb Primary School is located in Anker, Namibia and serves roughly 300 students in the 1 st through 7th grades

· It is located in a very rural part of Namibia and although the students see wildlife often (one student asked me if they have elephants in America and when I told her "no" she gave a knowing nod and said, "Oh, just giraffes.") they don't often have contact with the outside world. Books can help provide that contact.

· About half of the student at the school live in the hostels (dorms for students who live too far away from the school) and many of the students have faced problems that result from the Aids crisis and the remnants of apartheid.

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