"Should I save or savor the world?"

If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world.

This makes it hard to plan the day.

E.B. White

Monday, January 5, 2009

Project Narrative

Omprakash Foundation: Project Narrative

-Location: Golok Sengcham Drukmo Home for Girls, Qinghai Province, Tibet, China

-Timing and Duration: March 1, 2009 – June 1, 2009 (Three months total)

-Focus of service: Teaching English, Geography, Personal Hygiene, general care of thirty girls

Description of the mission of the organization I will be working with:

The “biggest dream” of the GSD Home is “to enable every Tibetan girl to get an education. Then they will be able to stand up and choose whatever they want to do in their life. Until that day, we won’t stop working.” GSD provides thirty impoverished and disenfranchised girls with:

  • An education, emphasis on literacy
  • A loving home, quality health care and career options
  • The tools to become an empowered woman, rather than a subservient household figure

Type of service I will be doing and the issue I will be addressing through the service:

-Maria, the co-director of the home, has asked me to teach the girls English, Geography, personal hygiene, and be flexible in terms of the other tasks that will present themselves. I am prepared to work hard at all service that will be needed at this home.

Additionally: As I prepare to volunteer in March, there are a couple different things I am working on to supplement this process.

-I am investigating a partnership with the Tibetan Women's Association, more specifially with their Tibetan Women Leadership Program (TWLP) in the hopes that some of the older girls from GSD can attend the leadership program. TWLP also has unique ideas for self-improvement (in terms of quality of life) for young Tibetan women, and I would love to implement some of their ideas. I have also contacted the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

-Longfellow Elementary School, Susie Knowles' 5th Grade Class will be writing a book (each student providing a page) about a typical American school day. I will have this book published, hopefully through charitable donation of a publisher, or through my fundraising efforts. I will bring copies of this book with me to the home in Tibet and share it with the girls there. Then, the girls in Tibet will do the same, I will publish it upon my return (same procedure and company), and use that book to share with the Longfellow classroom, as well as to raise awareness about the GSD Home. Copies of each book will be given to the community library (Curtis Memorial), as well as to all local, participating school libraries. Books will also be available for sale (or free with suggested donation), with all proceeds going to the GSD Home.
I have established a great rapport with this 5th grade class as I was their long-term substitute teacher while Mrs. Susie Knowles was out with neck surgery. Mrs. Knowles and I are also planning on maintaining contact while I am in Tibet, (through blog, and maybe video chat depending on technological capabilities) so that her classroom will see this other culture and these other school children, as well as the results of their book.
-I have created the Brunswick Scholarship fund for the post-secondary plans and education of girls at GSD.
-Curtis Memorial Library has most graciously agreed to become the partner to the fledgling library at GSD, and I am excited to participate in an upcoming Friends of Curtis Library board meeting in order to discuss the details of that relationship. It will, at the very least, involve the annual donation of children's books to the GSD Library.

-I am planning book drives, book swaps, movie and discussion nights, and other similar activities in order to boost the amount of educational material at the home.
-Beyond those particular project initiatives, I will be writing letters, hosting dinners and using all resources in my grasp to talk to people about this home and raise funds to donate for the good of the home.

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