Happy New Year, everyone! We hope you had lovely, peaceful and fun-filled holidays. This was a very successful year for ONE; although we did lose Glenda to marriage, unfortunately (for she was an early member of our team and we had high hopes for her), we gained Maria and Alicia from Guatemala, and all our other girls are doing well. We are even considering helping a new young lady, Husna, with her studies. We’ll tell you more about her as we have all the information, but Christa met her in Tanzania, and she is a lovely young lady with a serious desire to study.
Thanks to all of you, we had our best fundraising year yet! This means that we will not have to worry about how we will support these girls. We have promised ourselves that we won’t take on more girls than we can support (even though that would be an easy thing to do!), and we are in a comfortable position right now for the girls we do have, and perhaps even one or two more. We are so grateful for your support; literally every dollar helps, so we are so happy with every donation that comes our way. If you are wondering what your money purchases, go to our donation page and you can get a sense of what various donation amounts will cover for a girl’s education. If all you can donate is $5 to buy a pair of shoes, there will be a young lady who will be the happiest person in the world to receive them!
We are looking at new and exciting fundraisers for 2015, and more and more people are learning about the organization and wanting to help however they can. We still could use someone who knows how to write grants and, more importantly, has the time to research them and actually pursue that. Everyone on the board is pretty busy with jobs, teaching, writing and kids, and we don’t have the time to work on that.
We are also looking for people who have the time to do some French translating for us. We’d like to get our agreements translated into French for Bencille in Haiti, so that if our contact Laura is not visiting at the time, we can still send them to her via Facebook and she can sign them.
We’ve been able to stay in touch with some of our girls via Facebook, and even just regular email. Some of the girls have access to computers at school or occasionally at Internet cafes in town, and so we can communicate with them that way. Sometimes, modern technology is a great thing!
We’ve written up some specific questions that we want the girls to answer in the their mid-term and year-end letters to us. While we love getting thank you letters, we want to know more about what is going on in their lives and how they are doing with classes, what some of their short-term goals might be, and how they think they might be able to use their studies to help friends of people in their families right now, not just in the future.
We are always looking at ways to improve the website, our message, and the way we do what we do, and we have some good friends with a lot of experience at this that are helping with some ideas. 2015 will probably include some analyses of the organization, including a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to help us better chart our path into the future. In March, we will be four years old (!) and we want to keep growing in a healthy and sustainable way.
Our annual report is posted on the website (under “annual reports” on the ‘”About” page) so please check it out. Thank you again for your support of our mission. We always love to hear from you and if you have any questions or concerns, please do contact us.
All the best to you and yours in 2015 from the team at ONE!