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Raise Your Hand Foundation
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Organization Details
FUNDRAISE

Programs

Description
Project REACH provides emergency funding in times of crisis for our Liberian college students. Supplemental stipends are also made available through REACH when poverty is so extreme that it threatens a student's health, safety, or ability to continue in school.

All special circumstances requiring REACH funds are verified by our Liberia Leadership Team.  Transportation stipends are typically small monthly awards of $30-$40, larger amounts may be granted to cover other emergencies such as urgent food and medical needs, and temporary housing.

The impact of poverty cannot be underestimated - we have seen students suffer academically when their desire to attend school has forced them to choose bus fare over food. We evaluate every students' need on a case-by-case basis. Stipends are distributed monthly.  When emergencies happen, resolution assistance and funds are provided as quickly as possible (usually within 24-48 hours). To qualify for special financial assistance, the student must be in good standing with his/her campus administration.  

Typical Stipend/Emergency Costs:
$30/mo.($120/semester) bus fare, $40/mo. food stipend, $50 Malaria medications, $75-$100 semester books/lab materials, $150 temporary housing for 3 months, $100-$300 medical emergency cost per event.
Budget
$15,000
Program Successes
Success in RYHF is always measured in hope, graduation celebrations, and healthy, productive lives. Emergencies happen, especially in a land with deep infrastructure challenges, severely limited health care options, and a rainy season so extreme that flooding and travel difficulties are a regular experience for our students.

To date Project REACH has carried dozens of Liberian students through hardships. Here are just a few of their stories:

JONATHAN: In his third year in the Social Work program, a flood wiped out Jonathan's home, making it uninhabitable. Through Project REACH we provided 3 months of temporary housing for Jonathan and his daughter until he could make other living arrangements. This past August Jonathan completed his BSc degree, with his daughter proudly at his side, equipped to launch a new career in Social Work.

JEFFERSON, DARLINGTON: These two bright young men were plumbing and masonry students at our Vocational School in Bomi County. Upon completion of their certification programs, they were accepted into the Building Construction Engineering program at Stella Maris Polytechnic in Monrovia, with the long-range goal of becoming trained instructors at their alma mater. The long trek to classes to Monrovia from Bomi is physically difficult and financially prohibitive, but both are fully committed and continue to endure the long bus rides with the help of REACH funds. With two of their five years behind them, both are excelling, excited about the future, and deeply grateful for the opportunity.

MARK: During the Ebola crisis, Mark (Building Construction Engineering student) had a medical emergency - an appendectomy - at a time when medical resources and staff were stretched to capacity. He developed a serious complication and for months was out of school. While he was recovering, he couldn't work, so his health was further compromised by malnutrition and lack of medications. When we realized how grave the situation was, we stepped in with food, medicine, regular visits, and advocacy where needed. What should have taken Mark 5 years to complete took 8, but in August he went through graduation ceremonies (pictured in his cap and gown), happy and healthy.

We don't quit on our students when times are hard, we walk alongside them. Project REACH helps us do that.

Description
SPECIAL NEED: One Social Worker to work with Light Academy Model School (LAMS), a "free" school in Paynesville, Liberia that serves young children living in extreme poverty conditions. Most of the boys and girls at LAMS have been abandoned, orphaned, or are children of single or widowed mothers - most enter LAMS malnourished, with significant health challenges.

We are looking for a donor or donor group to sponsor a young man or woman to pursue a BSc degree in Social Work at our partner university, Mother Patern College of Health Sciences in Monrovia. The selected student would commit to volunteering at LAMS during the program, using his or her developing knowledge and skills to help the families of these children secure resources and other critical services. The average semester cost per student is $600 and the program is 4 year (8 semesters) in length.

Goal: A student will be chosen from applicants who reside in the LAMS community and upon selection, will begin the program at the first opportunity. Funding gifts are flexible - by the semester ($600), annual ($1,200), or paid in full in advance ($4,800).

Budget
$4,800
Program Successes
"Success" would be the additional support the Social Work student would offer the children and staff of LAMS, gleaned from study, practicum, and the network built throughout the four year program. The sustainability goal would be that staff and administration of LAMS would adopt strategies and an understanding of resources available to them that could be furthered and fostered in the years to follow.