A Special Message from Gwen
I never intended on starting an organization. After working in Tanzania for two years and seeing countless organizations squander funds on overhead and administration, I strongly believe in local solutions whenever possible. But then I met Rabia, Scolastica, Rahma and Nureen. Smart and motivated, with true desire to study in order to become professions that not only benefit their families someday, but also their communities and entire country. It was clear that they need to continue with school – yet without help there was no way they could achieve their dreams. So my hope was that together we could make it happen.
What started as a draft email to friends and family became so much more thanks to a reply to a facebook post from Kelly Kirk, a good friend from 7th grade that now runs her own marketing firm. Kelly offered to create a website, but in order to do that I had to come up with a name. Scolastica seemed fitting since she was one of the girls I was trying to help and her name means “scholar” in Latin. Then we wanted to put a PayPal link on the website to make it easy for people to make donations, but in order to get a business bank account we needed to register a non-profit company. This required a Board of Directors, which thankfully was easy to find people I trust, value, and who are truly committed to such a great cause. (Please see our “Meet Our Board!” page to learn more about these amazing individuals).
In September 2013, Scolastica registered as a non-profit corporation in New Jersey, U.S. And in August 2014, Scolastica received 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the IRS — which means all donations are tax deductible! So everything came together and now we have an organization. It’s been wonderful to see it evolve, and especially to see how incredibly generous and committed people are. We’re just a bunch of people working together to help these girls receive an education. And what sets us apart from so many other organizations is that with a volunteer Board and no employees or salaries, there are no administrative costs. That means every donation goes directly to the girls’ school fees, health care, uniforms and school supplies.
Please read on about Scolastica, Rabia, Rahma, and Nureen – who are now in wonderful schools and thriving. Because of your generosity, we’ve also been able to help Maryam, Lillian, and Beatrice – and hopefully more girls that truly need assistance in order to receive an education. If you’d like to help please designate which girl and whether you plan to commit to seeing these incredible girls through to the end of high school. It will be worth it. I have personally met and spent time with all of these girls and it’s clear they are capable of achieving amazing things for themselves, their families, and their country if given enough support.
Thank you so much!!