October 15, 2002 - Deep Roots: RPCV Founded Deep Roots aids Namibian Students

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Namibia: Peace Corps Namibia : The Peace Corps in Namibia: October 15, 2002 - Deep Roots: RPCV Founded Deep Roots aids Namibian Students

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, October 20, 2002 - 12:59 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Founded Deep Roots aids Namibian Students

Read and comment on this story from Deep Roots which was founded by Namibia RPCVs in 1999 to help needy kids pay for school at:


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Deep Roots, Inc., the first global and 100% virtual charity, can be found at www.deeproots.org. Deep Roots dedicates at least two-thirds of all scholarships to young women, and was founded by Namibia RPCVs in 1999 to help needy kids pay for school. The organization was named in honor of a PCV who died in a car accident while serving. Deep Roots has now expanded to include 34 volunteers. Deep Roots uses at most 10% of all donated funds for unavoidable costs. The other 90+% goes directly to student scholarships. When compared to the national charity expense ratio of 25% it becomes clear that Deep Roots is one of the most efficient charitable organizations in existence today.

Deep Roots has awarded scholarships to over 120 Namibian junior high and high school students since the year 2000. Applicants must submit an essay, letters of recommendation and grades from the last school year in order to be considered. They must also explain why they can't afford school fees. Due to the incredibly low cost of living in the developing world, a donation of only US$200 can send a child to secondary school (typically a boarding school) for 2 years. This $200 normally provides a surplus to help with other school related expenses such as calculators, uniforms and costly exam fees. One of the best things about DR is that it gives PCVs a sustainable way to help needy youth efficiently. Before DR, helping one kid entailed letters home, costly bank transfers and finding someone to trust with money after COS. Now it takes a letter of recommendation. All that extra energy can be used to raise money for DR which will help many many more people.

Many people have asked why two-thirds of donations are dedicated to women. Historically, women in both developing countries and cultures worldwide have been expected to stay in the home and care for family rather than pursuing an education. These traditional pressures are still strong in Namibia As an organization committed to advocate for rights, Deep Roots has made a conscious decision to support the education and advancement of women. As UN Secretary General (and Nobel Peace Prize winner) Kofi Annan writes in his book, "We the Peoples': The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century." "About 60 percent of children not in school are girls. Female enrollment in rural areas remains shockingly low. Short-changing girls is not only a matter of gender discrimination; it is bad economics and bad social policy. Experience has shown, over and over again, that investments in girls' education translate directly and quickly into better nutrition for the whole family, better health care, declining fertility, poverty reduction and better overall economic performance."

Recently, Deep Roots entered into a partnership with other like-minded organizations, AKIN and ZANK. AKIN (Adopt a Kid in Need) adopted a DR-like structure in Zambia and needed better stateside infrastructure. The DR professional team, website and 501c3 status are exactly what they needed. When they asked DR how they had done it, DR just invited AKIN to become a part of the organization- DR now changes lives in two African countries. At the same time RPCV Kelly Kirschner decided to start his own NGO in Guatemala to help to community he had become a part of. Just like AKIN's founders, he asked for guidance from Deep Roots, and two RPCVs who had never met decided to join their efforts. By welcoming these social entrepreneurs into the DR organization, they were able to focus on their projects more and their infrastructure-legal, tech, finance-development less. The challenge for DR is to grow these critical corporate functions now to meet increased needs. More volunteers are always welcome.

Our staff of volunteers includes RPCVs, World Teach alums and others who find Deep Roots' mission compelling. These are people currently living all over the US and in other countries. Among others, we have a CFA, CPA's, PhD students and numerous professionals dedicated to maintaining this unique online group. You can read their biographies online. Deep Roots now raises funds to change the lives of children in three Peace Corps countries and the only limit to their impact is time and money. If you would like to give some of either to their cause, please get in touch via the website: www.DeepRoots.org.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Service; COS - Namibia



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