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