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Roots & Wings In
 

Roots & Wings In

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    Roots & Wings In Roots & Wings In Document Transcript

    • Welcome Dear Supporter, 2009 has been a great year for RWI. We raised over $35,000 in cash donations. In addition, we received a Google advertising grant worth $120,000 and a Microsoft software grant worth $15,557. This year, we added 5 corporate partners and grew our volunteer base from 2 to over 15. The growth of our organization is dependent upon the hard work invested by our dedicated team of volunteers. We launched a revamped website in December, and we have created more ways for donors to contribute towards our cause, such as naming a scholarship after a business or loved one, automatic monthly recurring donations through our website, and making online purchases through our GoodSearch toolbar. We have also expanded our reach in the media, i.e., monthly press releases and newsletters to keep supporters updated of our progress and campaigns. All of these efforts have allowed us to expand our education initiatives in rural Guatemala. In 2009 we provided university scholarships to 24 students, provided academic counseling to over 150 secondary students, and provided after-school tutoring to over 200 elementary students. We also opened a small computer lab with 17 used laptops donated by RWI supporters. This makeshift technology center has allowed us to provide computer literacy programs to hundreds of children and adults alike. In 2010, we will continue to change the lives of impoverished children by providing access to education. As always, we couldn’t have done this much without your generous support. Thank you. Sincerely, Erik Swanson President and Founder 2
    • Our Mission Our mission is to encourage social and economic development in rural Contents Guatemala by promoting educations at all levels—from elementary school to college. We believe that development must be based in the local culture and responsive to locally identified needs. Our Mission 3 The population we currently serve is made up of indigenous youth who Program Developments 4 come from families earning $2 per day growing coffee. We work with these youth to develop the critical thinking skills necessary for putting their own Initiatives 8 communities on a path to development. To that end, the goal of all our Our Volunteers 11 programs is to give these students the tools they need to obtain a college degree. Challenges 12 The Future 12 Thank You 13 3
    • Program Developments We’ve increased the number of services we provide to our students and increased the number of volunteers who ensure their success. The volunteers we recruit make RWI’s accomplishments possible. Below, you will find a summary of the progress made in each of the programs we offer. University Scholarships The number of applicants for our scholarship program has increased as word of its success has spread throughout Guatemala. In 2009 alone, RWI received 52 applications for our university scholarship program. Out of these 52 ap- plications, 7 applicants were admitted to the program. This is a sharp increase from 2006 when we received only three applications and accepted all three applicants. Every scholar accepted into our program must demonstrate financial need, academic promise, and a commitment to the development of the commu- nity in which he or she lives. These criteria are assessed by a panel of judges who have a difficult time each year selecting scholars among a pool of so many qualified applicants. Unfortunately, as RWI does not have sufficient funds to award a scholarship to each and every qualified student, the number of exceptional applicants we reject remains high. “ The children...develop skills very rapidly and easily when they are motivated and driven to remove the fear and the idea that ‘I can’t.’ The parents are very much convinced of the importance of being up to date with the modern world demand. Learning to handle a ” computer is one of the beginnings. RWI Director Cristobal Guarchaj 2006-2009 female and male acceptance and rejection rates 4
    • After-school Tutoring RWI’s after-school program helps children aged 5-11 to finish school. From our offices in Pasac, Nahuala, Soloa, we serve up to 250 students. More importantly, we help our students retain their native culture by tutoring them in their native language of K’iche and Spanish. Our tutoring program operates each weekday. Students come in two times per week to receive assistance with homework, computer training, and rein- forcements in reading, writing, and mathematics. Unfortunately, our program operates with the bare minimum of resources. RWI needs donors to contribute to the tutoring program by making cash donations so that we may purchase books, school supplies and pay for tutors. Although our need for donations is constant, our program has had a tre- mendous educational impact on the indigenous children we serve, and we are thrilled with every successful step they take. RWI plans to expand the program to the neighboring cities of Pacanal I and Pacanal II within the next year. Computer Lab RWI opened its computer lab in the village of Pasac in May 2009. The lab serves the village’s 1,500 residents. Both elementary students and scholar- ship recipients use the computer lab for studying, but the lab is also open to the general public. We offer general computing courses to Pasac’s villagers, helping them make the transition to the digital age. We’ve acquired 11 computers through donations to our 25Computers pro- gram. We hope to accumulate 25 donated computers to assist our users in Top: 2008 Scholarship recipients at dinner Middle: Scholarship recipients, with Pascual their path toward technological knowledge. (2nd from left), studying Social Work Bottom: Children in our tutoring program 5
    • Top row: Two Guatemalan women at the market, Extended Guatemalan family Second row: Local children, Locals pose for a photograph, Workers sorting coffee beans Third row: Erik welcoming 2009 scholarship recipients Large photo to the right: Stu- dents we serve Bottom left photo: Children in our tutoring program 6
    • Development Meetings RWI holds monthly community-development meetings. RWI students and youth from surrounding regions attend these meetings to voice their concerns and brainstorm ideas that could potentially improve their academic and personal lives. The chart below exemplifies the topics discussed: Students determine the subject of the meeting, ensur- ing that the ensuing discussion addresses their most pressing needs. RWI engages an expert to lead each discussion. These developmental meetings are crucial because they allow RWI to gage the obstacles our students face and to tailor our programs to help students meet those challenges head on, resulting in more effective plan- ning and programs. Development meeting topics Counseling Program For most of our indigenous students, the unchartered waters of higher education can be daunting. Our students face discrimination in the classroom because of their indigenous backgrounds. That’s where our counselors step in, of- fering services providing emotional and technical support. All of our counselors provide counseling in the students’ native language of K’iche. These are just a few of the services our counselors address: • Academic tutoring • Home visits once per semester • Advocacy for the students when encountering any difficulties at school • Family counseling to encourage family support throughout the academic process Despite the hurdles our students face in the classroom, we are proud of their achievements. They’ve succeeded in fields—such as law, medicine, technology and social work—that will benefit their respective communities. Monthly Newsletter Our monthly newsletters are vital to keeping our audience informed of RWI activities. RWI’s volunteers research events, write and edit the newsletter and finally format the letter prior to distribution. Newsletters serve as instru- ments for acquiring donations. 7
    • Initiatives We undertake new initiatives regularly to publicize and promote RWI to the general public. The majority of our programs are financially dependent on donations, so our initiatives revolve around securing these donations. Ninety percent of our funding goes into programs. 25Computers Campaign In the summer of 2009, RWI began its 25Computers Campaign. The goal was to acquire 25 donated computers in ad- dition to the 5 already in place in our Guatemalan computer lab. The campaign brought in 11 computers. Though 14 shy of our goal, the donated computers were flown to our computer lab, where they were immediately put into use. Corporate Outreach RWI reaches out to corporations for financial support. We have implemented five sponsorship levels to help position our corporate sponsors appropriately. The following monetary denominations illustrate the various levels of support: • Diamond ($25,000 and up) • Platinum ($10,000 to $24,999) • GoldPlus ($5,000 to $9,999) • Gold ($1,000 to $4,999) • Silver ($200 to $999) Corporate donors receive recognition for their donation via the following ways: • A Membership certificate • Recognition in our bi-monthly newsletters • Company name and URL displayed prominently on our corporate website for Diamond, Platinum and GoldPlus partners; company name and URL for Gold partners; company name for Silver partners. • Detailed corporate write-up in our membership newsletters for contributions of $500 or more • Right to use our logo, student profiles and photographs in advertisements, events, press releases and other pro- motional materials for contributions of $1,000 or more • Privilege to name the scholarship for contributions of $3,500 or more Corporate donors are given the privilege to allocate their donations to a specific initiative, such as four-year college education, university preparatory school, tutoring program, annual cocktail benefit or computer lab. RWI also offers the option to make donations through in-kind donations (such as donating advertising space), events and promoting us on a website. 8
    • University Outreach In June 2009, we launched our University Outreach program. The goal of the program was to obtain gently used computers from local universities. Though we did not receive many computer donations, the program had another benefit: it increased our organization’s visibility. It’s possible that we might receive future donations because of our efforts in this program. Virilion Cocktail Fundraiser Virilion, of Washington, DC, held a successful cocktail event on August 20, 2009, to raise funds for Roots and Wings International. Virilion garnered publicity for RWI and managed to raise $200 by serving Green Lion cocktails (proceeds from each cocktail went to RWI). Virilion began a partnership with RWI and has plans to continue to host similar events to raise funds for RWI in the future. Jolkona Partnership Jolkona is a non-profit that focuses on connecting small donors with high im- pact charities. Every donor receives a proof of the effect of their donation. We have partnered with Jolkona to promote our tutoring and computer literacy programs. We provide a picture and description of each child a donor sup- ports. If the donor makes a larger contribution, we provide an end of the year report card on the student’s progress. This partnership has led to sponsorship of dozens of students. Press Releases RWI sends out press releases regularly to encourage the media to take an interest in our charitable activities. As of the date of this writing, RWI has sub- mitted press releases on the 25Computer Campagin, the Jolkona Foundation partnership and one on our growing university scholarship program. Top: Erik Swanson speaking at the Annual Cocktail Reception Benefit April 2009 Second: RWI Scholars at the Cocktail Ben- efit in Pasac, Guatemala December 2009 Third: RWI Cocktail Benefit in Pasac, Gua- temala December 2009 Bottom: RWI Cocktail Benefit in Pasac, Guatemala December 2009 9
    • Fundraising Initiatives RWI’s fundraising efforts have spanned throughout the entire year and brought in much-needed funds to support our programs. Below is a summary of the fundraising successes we have met with over the course of the year. Our fundraising efforts have been constant and have proven to produce positive results. We will continue our efforts to obtain funding for our programs. Our income includes all revenue earned and/or donated. Our expenses include all overhead charges to sustain our program. In 2009, we raised $55,688.51 in total donations, of which over 90% goes directly into programs in Guatemala. In 2008, we raised slightly short of $25,000. 10
    • Our Volunteers “ To me, there’s nothing better than doing work Today, RWI operates with over 15 dedicated volunteers who help sustain the without asking for any- organization’s mission. thing in return. Volunteers pursue social media efforts through Twitter, Facebook, and Word- It’s the best thing we Press to publicize the organization and obtain possible funding. can do to connect with our local and global ” Our president, Erik, is working with volunteer grant writers to produce viable grant requests to fund RWI. In the past, we have secured a $5000 grant from communities. TECO Energy. Our efforts to sustain that level of success continue. RWI volunteers have created a shop on Amazon.com, where a small percent- Shadi Mirza, age (usually 1%) of funds from merchandise purchased goes to RWI. RWI volunteer RWI is fortunate to have the opportunity to utilize the skills of one webmas- ter and one web programmer. Both volunteers have been instrumental in effecting positive changes in our web page and monthly newsletters. RWI continues to bring in new volunteers on a regular basis. We advertise for volunteers through the well-known website Volunteermatch.org. Through this website, RWI has been able to successfully recruit nearly all of our current volunteer staff. We thank all our volunteers for their continued support. Their skills are highly valued and beneficial to the promotion of our organization. We hope they continue to show their support and offer their skills for the betterment of RWI’s students and programs in Guatemala. RWI Key Volunteers Erik Swanson President and Founder Tammy Chiang Director of Marketing Riya Aarini Director of Communications Edwin Lunandy Webmaster Steve Long IT Director Agus Dillon Translator/Blogger Shadi Mirza Twitter Lead Anna Heatherly Digital Strategist Ed Wooldridge Assistant Webmaster RWI volunteers 11
    • Challenges We still struggle to acquire funds. Our fundraising efforts through both our newsletter and with fundraisers need to be aggressively retooled to attract more financial support. Our volunteers are working on creating newer and better programs that will elicit support for our programs. With an increase in funds, RWI would see the expansion of our tutoring services, an increase in the number of scholarship recipients, and the expansion of our services to cover greater geographical areas in Guatemala. The Future RWI will continue to focus its energy on obtaining donations. We are confi- dent that as the word of our organization spreads, we will be able to secure the necessary funding to complete the programs outlined below: RWI will continue to focus its energy on obtaining donations. We are confi- dent that as the word of our organization spreads, we will be able to secure the necessary funding to complete the programs outlined below: Learning/Technology Center With increased funds, RWI plans to purchase additional computers for our Guatemalan computer lab, thereby expanding our tutoring services to an even greater population. Further funding will allow RWI to build an entire technology center, which will allow us to further expand the reach of our services. Internet Connectivity Currently, our computer lab lacks internet connectivity. We hope to have it available within the next year. Sufficient funding would make internet con- nection a reality for our students. 12
    • 50 Scholarships for 2010 In the long term, we hope to extend our reach into neighboring rural com- munities in Guatemala, once our program stabilizes in the region of Pasac. We hope to expand our scholarship program in the near future, giving more students the opportunity to participate. Overall, the future looks bright for RWI. The number of university scholar- ships we’ve awarded has increased dramatically; computers are starting to trickle in; and, funding is being pursued aggressively to support our growing programs. Thank You Volunteers Adriana Baranek, Agustina Dillon, Alison Manche, Dyanne Kruger, Erik Swanson, Edwin Lunandy, Jeanne Santos, Le Hong, John Tai, Julia Lera, Laurie Klotz , Nithin Betegeri, Riya Aarini, Steve Long, Sarah Reichanadter, Shweta Munshi, Shadi Mirza, Tammy Chiang, Vanesa Vivono Top: Children we serve Middle: Two kids and their pets Bottom: A group of women in traditional dress 13
    • ©2010 Roots and Wings International Design by Edwin Lunandy www.population-2.com Copy by Riya Aarini www.aarinicopy.com 14