“Education is like a mountain, the higher you climb, the more you can see.”
-Riaz Abeid : Teacher, Lugalo Secondary School : Iringa, Tanzania
Yesterday I attended the 2nd Birthday for The School Fund, a global youth development program started by a group of college students to help kids in Africa and other parts of the developing world attend school. (Amazingly, this is often possible with as little as $150/yr for a uniform, books and tuition.)
There were several aspects of this organization that are especially impressive:
– Volunteer Led: Matt Severson, the founder who began this work while he was an undergrad at Brown, works full time at Google and manages a team of volunteers split between the East and West Coast. (It’s also a family affair with Matt’s Dad working on the website and his Mom facilitating the trips.)
– Transparency: Allows donors to see their funds directly put to use by posting receipts in the fund history in the student’s profile page.
– Building Relationships: The journal feature enables donors to connect with the student(s) they sponsor and get regular updates beyond the information they share in their bio.
– Youth Engagement: High schools students have built clubs on campuses to spread the word about TSF & raise funds, and have traveled to visit some of the students to deepen their relationships.
– Partnerships: Recognizing that other nonprofits could benefit from the tool they created, the team realized the best way to scale their impact is to partner with other organizations such as Goals Haiti, Children of Kibera, Education for All Children and many more…
The Team has gotten the attention of the Clinton Global Initiative as well as the Skees Family Foundation. They are well on their way to increasing access to education for the millions of kids who don’t go to school. I’m truly inspired by the work Matt and the team are doing and hope others will support their work!