First order of business, rate ups for anyone posting in this thread. I appreciate your time and attention. In about two months, my sister will be leaving for Rwanda to serve as the headmistress of a school in Nsinda. One of the many difficult tasks she has taken on is to attempt to gain as many sponsors for children to attend school as possible. My support for her is a given, considering how many genes we have in common. However, I wouldn't be posting this here if I didn't believe it was genuinely worth your consideration. I think many of you know how private I tend to be.
There's no shortage of charities eager to accept a donation. I don't just believes she's presenting you with a worthy cause, but is also the pick of the litter: your chance to do the most good for the least cost. This isn't about charity; this is about competition!
1) More Bang for Your Buck. She has set up her donations to funnel through an organization called CTEN (Commision to Every Nation). This organization gives her the infrastructure to accept donations and allows you tax deductible status for your contribution. However CTEN is not funding her and your donation does not go to them; it goes to her and the children directly. This means less of your donation goes toward overhead than just about any other cause out there. The organization does ask that she give a small percentage back (she's tentatively set this at 7%), but this is completely under her control. Additionally, because she is not working for an organization she is not being paid what is commonly called a"missionary salary." She will be an employee of the Rwandan school earning a salary they would pay any other Rwandan, which is to say, very little. This means even more of your money goes directly to the kids.
Rwanda is also one of the poorest countries in the world (ranked #22 on the UN's 2011 Human Development Report). As sad as that might be, it's also a great opportunity for giving. $2 USD will buy you two Cokes from a vending machine in America. $2 USD will buy you health insurance for a year in Rwanda. There are few places where a single dollar can make more of a difference in someone's life.
2) Your Decision to Donate has a Materiel Impact. Again, she is not being funded by CTEN or any other organization. She is individual trying to do as much as she can on her own. This means means anything you choose to give is not going into a larger pool of money where some small percentage comes back to to the children at her school. Should you choose to sponsor a child, your donation goes to that child directly and literally is the difference between whether he attends school or does not.
She has found and created profiles for about 50 children. Any that receive sponsorship will attend her school and she will see them nearly every day.
3) She's Incredibly Passionate and Capable. She's already worked at the school as a teacher, and has a lot of plans for improvements once she is made headmistress. She graduated from college Summa Cum Laude with distinction and won her school's yearly mathematics award. She had plenty of other job opportunities, and she chose to go to Rwanda. She's always wanted to be a teacher since she was little, and I was forced to sit through many a pretend class since I was 10.
If you would like to know more you can check out her blog at http://sarahpullen.wordpress.com/.
A direct link to her donation page can be found at http://www.cten.org/sarahpullen/ or if you'd like to look at some of the children's profile you can view them http://sarahpullen.wordpress.com/sponsor-a-child-2-2/.
Thank you for your time, and if you have any questions I'll answer them to the best of my ability, I could also not be lazy and just go over and ask her for you.