Monthly Archives: September 2010
HYTES receives several letters each year from sponsored students, their families and teachers, thanking you, our thoughtful contributors, for providing the gift of education. Even after HYTES students complete their education and go on to higher learning or employment, many continue to update us on their wellbeing. The following letter was sent to HYTES by the parents of a current HYTES-sponsored students and it’s our pleasure to share their words of gratitude with you, our kind supporters, who have made this – and more than 400 other – scholarships possible.
We are the parents of student Beryl Awour Onyango of Ngara Girls High School in Nairobi, Kenya. We send our sincere appreciation for giving our daughter this years’ scholarship. We believe it is well-deserved and will ensure that she utilizes it well for her future life. We wish you the best as you endeavor with this worthy cause. Thank you for your efforts and kind hearts. Long live HYTES.
Francis Onyango Agunda and Pamela Onyango
It’s said that ‘we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone, but we don’t know what we’re missing until it arrives’. It’s difficult for many North American students – who have had the opportunity to attend school – to fully comprehend what it means to be denied an education. They know what they’ve got. There are many children, youths and adults around the world who, for many reasons, believe that their dreams of attending school, learning to read and having a career are out of reach. At HYTES, we believe that access to education is a right, and one more step in helping young people achieve their dreams. We receive multiple letters of thanks from HYTES students who are grateful to you for the gift of education.
This is the case of Mfaume, a Tanzanian student who is facing his future without his parents. Through your donations, HYTES is working to support Mfaume and provide him with a worthy education to help him achieve his goal of becoming a lawyer. “I would like to work with the magistrates and advocates in order to make sure the laws are followed effectively,” says Mfaume, who dreams of working with his people to overcome poverty in Tanzania.
Resources are limited for Zambian young population too. Edina Phiri is a Zambian girl whose father struggles to pay tuition fees for his eight children. Your support helps HYTES fund Edina’s education as her family cannot afford her school uniform or notebook to write in. When her education is complete, Edina plans to be an accountant to help improve Zambian banks.
Like Mfaume and Edina, more that 150 children in four countries are realizing their education dreams through your support of HYTES. Their school tuition, textbook and uniform costs not only see students through their education, but also help to pay the salary of teachers, local publishers and textile workers. Through your support of HYTES, you’re not only funding children’s education, but giving hope and security to hundreds, if not thousands of workers in Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya and Guatemala.
In late 2009, Edmonton HYTESters experimented with the production and sales of a brand new fundraising item: jars of East African Chai tea mix, a spiced tea brewed with a mixture of aromatic spices. Labelled ‘OpportuniTEA – bringing educational opportunities to the [global] South with every sip!’, the jars contained a mixture of loose Assam black tea leaves from East Africa, along with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and white pepper. The jars were beautifully decorated with African fabric, simple ribbon and beadwork and made perfect stocking stuffers.
Chai tea is the beverage of choice in many of HYTES’s partner countries, so it seemed only fitting to work this into our fundraising efforts in Canada as well. HYTES supporters who attended Edmonton fundraising dinners over the past few years really seemed to enjoy the East African Chai served at those events, thus the idea was born to create a Chai tea mix product that folks could enjoy at home. The most authentic way to enjoy this recipe is to boil the tea mixture on the stove with milk and a lot of sugar.
Approximately 40 jars of OpportuniTEA – which were lovingly handcrafted by our team of very creative and resourceful volunteers – sold out at a weekend-long Edmonton event known as Just Christmas, garnering over $600 in fundraising revenue for HYTES. Just Christmas is a festive, fair trade global marketplace for arts, handmade crafts and other goods sold by not-for-profit or charitable organizations working to help build healthy communities and promote social justice around the world. For more information, check out justchristmas.org.
Watch for HYTES to brew up another batch of OpportuniTEA and showcase at Just Christmas again in 2010!
On behalf of the HYTES Board of Directors, I would like to welcome you all to the new HABARI Times blog. While we have been remiss in sending out regular newsletters so far this year, HYTESters have been busy behind the scenes ensuring that this years school fees were paid for all of our 126 successful HYTES scholarship recipients. Profiles on a few of these students will be available on the HABARI Times blog throughout the year. Some of the 2010 students are new while most are past HYTES recipients who have moved on to the next grade, but each and every one is in school right now because of the continued generosity of our amazing HYTES supporters and donors, and for that we offer our profuse thanks.
2010 is a big year for HYTES as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Helping Youth Through Educational Scholarships. Since 2005, HYTES has invested in the futures of incredible young people who desperately want to attend school but who live in countries where, sadly, access to education is a privilege, not a universal right.
Over the last five years, while the HYTES bank account and student roster has grown exponentially, the organization has consciously maintained its 100 percent volunteer-run operational model. HYTES remains a small, grassroots, Alberta-based charity, but we continuously work to enhance our organizational capacity in order to ensure that we are operating in a smooth and sustainable manner. Some recent examples include changes implemented in the 2010 school year to streamline the scholarship payment process. To do this, we set a standard scholarship fee in each of our countries of operation, established policies addressing student responsibilities and performance expectations, and increased responsibilities for Country Liaisons and Country Representatives to ease the workload of the HYTES Board. We are also striving to keep in touch with HYTES graduates – of which there are now several – to track their progress as they move on to the next stages of their lives.
One of our strategic goals for the year ahead is to grow our volunteer base, and I’m pleased to report that we have recently welcomed a large number of new volunteers on board, including an outstanding HABARI Times editorial and production team. I am sure you will enjoy the new energy flowing through the The HABARI Times under the leadership of our new volunteer editor, Shannon McClennan. We have also recently recruited new volunteers to fill Country Liaison, Legal Advisor, and Student Database Developer roles. Stay tuned for more new volunteer opportunities to be posted soon on hytes.org.
Please watch the website as well for several upcoming fundraising events, including the annual family FUNdraiser in Calgary. We hope to see you at this and other events, and invite you to champion the work of HYTES any time through hytes.org/donate. In the words of Stephen Lewis, HYTES believes that “education is the world’s greatest force for good,” and we hope you agree. On behalf of the HYTES Board, volunteers, and most importantly, the students in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Guatemala, their families and communities, we thank you so much for your ongoing support in 2010!
VP Internal Operations, Director