Eat So They Can Blog
And the winner is....
On January 22nd, the GVN team gathered around our local policeman for our annual Grand Prize Draw! All our 2012 Eat So They Can hosts who had raised more than $500 for Eat So They Can were entered into the Draw and it was an exciting moment when our policeman pulled out the lucky name...
Congratulations Sarah Orr!
|Grand Prize Winner, Sarah Orr|
Sarah has won an expense-paid trip to Uganda on our Eat So They Can Distribution Trip. She will be part of a small team of committed volunteers who will learn about how the GVN Foundation distributes funds to our projects. She will spend time with the women and children benefiting from Eat So They Can, learn about how non-profits operate on the ground, visit the source of the Nile, and be involved in an incredibly rewarding experience.
|Sarah and the Distribution Team will meet the women's group that has benefited from our cow project|
Sarah has been hosting Eat So They Can events every year for the past six years and has raised thousands of dollars for GVN Foundation’s projects around the world. She says:"Hearing I had won this trip definitely made my night!! I couldn’t type fast enough to tell all my ESTC guests and thank them for all their support. I already am thinking about the ETSC 2013 dinner party, the theme has simply got to be UGANDAN food! :) It really is going to be pretty awesome to see the funds in action, meet the people on the ground, and to get a firsthand look at what is being done with the results of everyone's hard work. Thanks GVN and Thanks to all the ESTC Supporters and Hosts."
|Sarah's 2012 Eat So They Can event raised over $1,300|
Sarah first connected with us in 2006 when she volunteered in Vietnam for a month. Upon her return to Canada she hosted her first ESTC event and has hosted one every year since. She has been living in Toronto, Canada for the last 13 years however she is originally from Tauranga, New Zealand. She loves to travel, cycle and hike.
~ Eliza Raymond and the ESTC Team
P.S. For more information about our Distribution Trips, visit http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/distribution_trip/
Guest Post: Hadley Warner
This is a guest post by Hadley Warner, one of our fantastic International Interns!
One of my favorite parts of being an International Intern in 2012 for the GVN Foundation and the Eat So They Can campaign has been working with amazing people! From the beginning the other interns and fellow fundraisers were bouncing ideas around on creative events to host while the ESTC staff expertly helped to guide us to our actual events and goals. I have greatly enjoyed working with this organization for that reason because seeing so many people excited about making a difference in the world is an incredible gift in this day. I was thrilled to be partnered with the “Noon Meal Program” based out of Kigali, Rwanda. My goal was to raise funds and awareness for the Noon Meal program, which provides a nutritional lunchtime meal for 70 children. This meal is important not only to help them grow and develop properly but also to help them excel at school and life.
|Hadley Warner, 2012 International Intern|
I hosted an event in November called “Pizza Tuesdays for a Cause” to help raise money for the program. It was based off the idea of inviting friends and family to gather and create pizzas together within a community feeling. I made the dough ahead of time and had various toppings, hors d’oeuvres, and drinks while everyone that came brought a unique topping and a donation for ESTC. It helped to play the Eat So They Can DVD a few times for various people to see first hand the work the organization does. I also had laid out pamphlets and information for those who wanted to pick up and read information about ESTC or the Rwanda Noon Meal program.
|Noon Meal Program, Rwanda|
The event was a huge success and over 25 people attended. Everyone that came left with very full stomachs and a happy heart to have been surrounded by such warmth while helping a good cause. To end the night everyone migrated towards a roaring fire and I brought out warm chocolate chip cookies and brownies to enjoy!
|Pizza Tuesdays for a Cause|
Some good lessons I learned from this event included writing very detailed and thorough directions in the initial invite email. I had one friend get lost in the dark and arrive much later. I also will remember to create a “donation box” to put out in the center of the kitchen table in order for it to be easier for people to donate money or checks. Luckily these mistakes were not huge and I learned a lot from them.I was very happy with the outcome of this event and had a great time planning, preparing and hosting it! We raised over $1,030.00 for the Rwanda Noon Meal Program and had a great time doing it!
|Pizza Tuesdays for a Cause|
|Pizza Tuesdays for a Cause|
~ Hadley Warner.
Guest Post: Lauren Schaefer
This is a guest post from Lauren Schaefer, one of our fantastic International Interns!
The GVN Foundation began the Eat So They Can campaign with a simple idea: that people around the world could help end hunger for people in other parts of the world by hosting events in their area. In order to build support and spread the word, this year for the first time the team recruited twenty-five International Interns. We International Interns truly are taking action around the globe—in eight countries across five continents, including Canada, Brazil, Australia, Switzerland, India, the United States, and China. Some were lucky enough to team up if they are in the same area. Our actions go beyond hosting events, though there have now been several in each of these countries thanks to intern efforts. Roles also include recruiting hosts to increase the number of events, spreading awareness of the campaign, and teaming up with local companies and media to keep up the momentum. The range of events truly displays immense creativity across the board. From a benefit concert and themed dinner parties to an art auction and busking, these efforts have managed to raise over $17,000 in six months. Mariana Rocha of Brazil even took the time to set up a translated page and newsletter in Portuguese to keep the donors and hosts she recruited in the loop with huge success—over 70 subscribers and counting!
|International Intern, Lauren Schaefer|
Each intern was assigned a specific project for which to raise funds, giving us a closer connection to those we would be helping. I advocated for the Nalusse School in Uganda, while others raised funds for children in Kenya, Guatemala, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, or Vietnam. Talk about global impact! We were able to see pictures of and hear stories about these children, not only to help appeal to those at our events but to motivate us with a more specific target for which to do good.
|ESTC reaches Brazil!|
While some interns are professional event planners or social media experts, others were clueless as to where to begin what felt like an overwhelming project. As one of those in the latter category, I am grateful to be able to say that the GVN Foundation team and those with more experience were exceedingly helpful through the entirety of the process. We attended online seminars covering topics such as fundraising tips, using social media, and details about our specific projects. A Facebook group was created for us to bounce ideas off each other and share inspiration and success stories. Provided with templates, letterheads, certificates, and relevant knowledge, all it then took was the dedication to begin and keep going!Kelly Holyoake, Advocacy Manager for for the GVN Foundation, believes the International Intern Program is “very important” because it “creates awareness of the campaign in areas of the world that would otherwise be hard for us to reach. This is our first year running the program and we hope to continue it, expand it and improve it.” I hope so, too. Being an international intern has been educational in many ways, both personal and practical, and I encourage anyone interested in making a difference or learning about non-profit work to apply. It is a powerful cause and inspirational experience.
|Nalusse Hot Lunch Program, Uganda|
- Lauren Schaefer
Guest Post: Lauren McPhee
This is a guest post from Lauren McPhee, one of our fantastic International Interns!Although my event had a rocky start due to a flood in my venue the day before my event, it was a huge success with the help of some wonderful friends. My South American Dinner Gala was held at my home in Calgary on October 13th, 2012. The evening started off with a presentation about ESTC and how everyone could get involved. The 2012 ESTC DVD was also presented and a prepared slideshow was left on for the rest of the evening. After the presentation about ESTC and how people could become involved, dinner was served. A variety of foods that are common in South America were served including ceviche, papa a la huancaina, chicken and beef empanadas, and more!
After dinner a spectacular performance by some students from the Mambo Productions Dance School who donated their time were supposed to perform a dance for the event but due to the limited space in my home and nowhere to do it outside, they were unable to perform, but they will hopefully be involved in any future events that I do. Luckily I had a backup plan. I had some trivia questions ready so my guests would be able to learn some interesting facts about the world, world hunger, and a little more about South America. The winning team’s names were put into a raffle for a round trip flight ticket for two, which was graciously donated by Escape the Ordinary. Once we finished trivia, a passionfruit mousse cake was served for dessert and the rest of the raffles were drawn. I was lucky to receive donated items from Pink Lime Salon, The Calgary Hitmen, Aussie Rules dueling piano bar, and the Cattle Baron Restaurant. Although we experienced some hiccups along the way the evening was a success and we raised $500 for Eat So They can. Hopefully the guests and businesses that were contacted also became more aware of world hunger and how just one little act can change a life. Some of the venues that I had contacted for donating space for the events so I could make it a large scale dinner party did not get back to me until it was a little too late for this event, but there is some interest for future events. Hopefully with the help of these large scale venues I can make the South American Dinner Gala an even better success next year!
- Lauren McPhee
Guest Post: Michelle Strong
This is a guest post from Michelle Strong, one of our fantastic International Interns! As I write this post I am guided by the hope to share with everyone who reads an important lesson I learned which has greatly helped me along my way in my endeavors to raise money for the women and children of Huchuy Yachaq, Cusco, Peru.
As I dived headfirst into my fundraising efforts I soon realized that in order to keep my head above water I couldn’t do this alone. In fact that was my first mistake in thinking I could possibly stay afloat without any support.
One thing I have learned and will carry with me in my future efforts is to seek help. There is nothing wrong with sharing your task. In sharing the work load for your event or any other task you undertake, not only are you increasing your chances for success, you are also gifting to those who help you an opportunity to make a difference and get involved in something they might not have otherwise involved themselves in had you never asked for their help.
I am really grateful for the help I have received along the way. I would like to share an event that my mother and good friend back home in California put together to help me raise money for my project. Even though I was oceans away in Sydney their efforts have touched me and carried me through the rest of my journey as an intern. I am sharing their event as a thank you!
I was truly impressed by my friends and family back home who without hesitation jumped at the opportunity to help me raise money for my project. All of them had never heard of Eat So They Can before and I can easily say their willingness to help and spread the word about ESTC has instantly made them advocates for life.
They held a fundraiser at Painted Earth, a local pottery studio in Menifee, California. Painted Earth graciously donated 20% of pottery sales to ESTC. Not stopping there my mother also secured a food donation from Chic-fil-a and was able to raise additional money for ESTC from food sales. Everyone I knew from back home got involved, from my friends’ children, parents and grandparents. They all well and truly immersed themselves in the event and made it happen and for that I am so grateful and full of many thanks!
I would also like to thank all my friends here in Sydney that helped me with my own event that occurred over the Eat So They Can weekend on October 20th. I could not have done this event without their support and help. When I first began the task of planning the dinner cruise I was so absorbed in my own little world that it didn’t even occur to me to ask for help and to share this experience of planning my event. Just a month out from the event I realized I needed help in order to spread the word about the dinner cruise and to sell tickets.
My friends all graciously offered support, posting on their face book pages and sending emails out to their co-workers. It was truly amazing how much of a turn around I had in my event when I simply just asked for help. I went from having sold 2 tickets to 18 and raised $600.00 for my project. People who couldn’t come wished me luck and told me that having heard about Eat So They Can for the first time they were inspired to get involved in any way they could and asked for more information.
By sharing the workload my message about Eat So They Can and my project has reached so many more people than I could have imagined both locally here in Sydney and internationally in my hometown in California.
A quote from Leo Tolstoy reflects so perfectly on what I have learned from my time as an intern for Eat So They Can.
“My piece of bread only belongs to me when I know that everyone else has a share, and that no one starves while I eat.”
Applied to my time as an intern, my success in my fundraising efforts is only truly my success when I know that I have had help along the way, and those who have helped me share in the success. So as the season of giving quickly comes upon us with the wise words of James Durst I say “Help one another; there’s no time like the present and no present like the time.”
- Michelle Strong
Guest Post: Janine Viret
This is a guest post from Janine Viret, one of our fantastic International Interns!
On Saturday November 17th, 2012 Shannon Henry and I hosted our major event, Local To Global Art Show for Eat So They Can. We spent many months planning ahead of the show and to say we had a rough road would be a major understatement. Hosting events in major cities has its pro’s and con’s and in the end the pro’s far outweighed the cons, but we found finding donors for most things was very difficult in a city where companies and individuals are asked daily for donations or sponsorships.
In the end we had an amazing event with up to 9 art donors including (Jasmine Gates, Marlene Etheridge, Randy McAllister and Mikal Davis). Food was donated by Urban Source Catering and yummy cupcakes and squares Donated by Something Delicious Baked Goods.
We got our wine from Niagara Wine College at an amazing price and by the end of the night there was no bottle left untouched.
At the end of the night we had around 40 people in the building and every piece of art was bought up, some for prices much higher than we anticipated!
As people strolled around bidding on art and munching on goodies while sipping wine, we had the pleasure of a wonderful piano player named John Feldman who played both classical and much loved classics (including a little Queen) nonstop all night.
Feedback from the Art Show was very positive and everyone was very excited to hear more about the cause and to find out what our plans were for next year’s event, which is very encouraging as Shannon and I have bigger plans for hosting the art show at a winery next year and we already have plans to start scouting locations this January.
In the end the event was a huge success with us raising enough money to feed more than 10 children for a year which makes us very happy and proud.
I can’t wait to do even better next year and continue with all my awareness campaigns for this year.
- Janine Viret
A step-by-step guide to hosting your event!
Here at the Eat So They Can office we're busy preparing for the festivities this weekend! If you're still thinking about how to organize your event, here's a step-by-step guide to ensuring your event will be a success!
Choose your venue: This is the first step you should take as it will affect everything else. Your venue can be your home, a community hall, a park, a beach, a church hall, a restaurant, a cinema or anything else you can think of!
Decide on the date and time: Although the official weekend is October 20-21, remember that you are also welcome to host your event later in the year. Our only request is that you submit donations by December 31.
Start promoting your event: You can do this by updating your personalised webpage and sending this around as an invitation to your event. If it's a public event you might also want to put up posters and ask your friends to help you spread the word.
Think about how you want to raise money at your event: You can raise money in many different ways depending on the type of event you're organizing. Some examples include: charging a ticket price, a suggested entry donation, a collection box which you pass around after showing the DVD, a raffle, an auction or items for sale at your event.
Think about what you want to offer your guests: If you're planning on charging an entry price you will need to think about what you can offer your guests. Will you provide free food, drinks or have a raffle? Remember it's completely up to you so do what you feel comfortable with and make sure it's appropriate for your venue.
Host your event! Good luck and remember to have fun! You worked hard so give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy it!
Submit your donations to the GVN Foundation:
You can do this either online through your personalised webpage or by writing a check/cheque made out to the GVN Foundation. If you write a check make sure you put ESTC and your name in the memo and post it to: PO Box 602, Bellefontaine, OH 43311, USA. New Zealand donors should make cheques out to GVN Charitable Trust, and send them to Global Volunteer Network, PO Box 30-968, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.
Good luck to everyone hosting an event this weekend - we hope you have a fantastic time!
Introducing...the Eat So They Can Sticker Competition 2012
We are excited to announce the arrival of the inaugral 2012 ESTC sitcker competition! This is an opportunity for you to let your creativity shine and compete with other ESTC hosts around the world.
We are searching for the most creative photo of an ESTC sticker, and you will be the judges! The photo with the most ‘likes’ on our Facebook page will win an awesome prize consisting of:
• An ESTC hoodie
• An ESTC t-shirt
• A $100 voucher to spend on jewelry from the GVN Foundation online shop
Entering the competition is really easy. If you've signed up to host an ESTC event this year, you will have received an email with a link to enter your address to receive a party pack. Once you've filled this in, we will be posting out party packs containing resources for your event, such as a DVD, ESTC balloons, thank you cards for your guests, further information, and, of course, the all-important stickers. Then you'll need to get snapping, and send us your photo with a description of up to 150 words about why you should win the competition, by the 22nd of October. We will then post the photos on our Facebook page, and it will be up to the public to decide who wins by 'liking' the photo on Facebook. So make sure you get your friends and family voting too!
If you're not signed up to host an ESTC event this year but would still like to take part in the competition - you can! Just send us an email at email@example.com and we'll send you some stickers so you can join in the fun. But remember, there's still lots of time to register to host an event - just go to our sign up page
, fill in your details and you're done!
Good luck - we can't wait to see what you come up with!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
Guest post: Shannon's Beyond the Crystal Ball event
This is a guest post from Shannon Henry, one of our fantastic International Interns, who has recently hosted a very successful Eat So They Can event at Niagra Falls!
On Friday September 7th, I had my first event, 'Beyond The Crystal Ball'. It was an evening of enlightenment, insight and empowerment.
The event consisted of a presentation to start the evening off entitled 'Do You See What I See? Shifting your perspective to allow the love within' by a wonderful woman named Cheryl
. I met her early on in the planning process while looking for volunteers and it was amazing how she stepped up and really helped the evening come together. She helped me turn the event into something much larger than I originally intended and I am so glad! After the presentation guests then had the opportunity to circulate the room, enjoy the sweets, bid on the silent auction and have readings/exchanges with a few of the nine gifted intuitives (clairvoyants) who graciously donated their time. Each guest had an average of three 15-20 minute readings. Not knowing a lot about the 'psychic' community when I started planning the event, it took some doing to find people but when I did I was very pleased with the responses I received. I am so grateful for everyone who donated their time and gifts to benefit Eat So They Can. I was touched by how genuinely welcoming and open everyone was.
|One of the intuitives who donated their time|
What surprised me most about planning this event is the spectrum of people you meet. I heard a lot of 'no's for the venue and was getting discouraged until I changed my approach and went big. The DoubleTree Fallsview Resort and Spa
in Niagara Falls said yes almost instantaneously! The staff was incredibly helpful in the planning, room set up, supplying the tea, coffee, water, wait staff and more. They made an exception of their no outside food rule to allow The Frosted Cupcake
to set up a delicious display (which was completely donated as well). The Frosted Cupcake is also the sponsor of my next event - 'Hungry for Change' cupcakes will be available at their location every Wednesday in October with all proceeds going towards ESTC!
|The Frosted Cupcake|
The evening was a huge success and we raised $1300 for Eat So They can. Hopefully we also raised a little awareness. I had programs printed up with upcoming events, general information and how to become a host; I spoke about the charity in my welcome speech, and had the DVD playing on loop by the silent auction for anyone interested in more information. We were operating on a $0 budget, meaning that I didn't spend a single cent organizing this event.
|A silent auction table|
The media was helpful, we were on many radio stations, in many event sections of local papers online and in print, Niagara This Week ran a story. Word spread. The best part? This was only year one! The DoubleTree has signed on for next year also - September 6th, 2013. Mark your calendars!
|The welcome table|
- Shannon Henry
Guest post: Mariana's experience as an ESTC International Intern!
I wanted to share a little bit of my experience so far as an International Intern of Eat So They Can. First of all, becoming an International Intern of ESTC was exactly what I was looking for – since I couldn’t leave this year for any volunteer work for GVN Foundation. I wanted to participate and help even if only a little bit and even if from far, which is amazing how globalization made this possible nowadays.
Being from Brazil, however, I knew it was going to be more challenging than it normally should. Not only the language and currency are different, but the culture, especially if we’re talking about fundraising, is amazingly contrastive. For example, Brazilians are not used to donate things – let alone money – to people or organizations they are not aware of or trust based on their knowledge of the organization’s activities. Furthermore, our mentality is still ancient: we still see ourselves as a poor developing country, that NEEDS help instead of PROVIDES help. The government, in this matter, is ahead of the majority of the population.
With that being said, my first months as an International Intern for ESTC involved translating everything I could to Portuguese. I had a couple of meetings with some companies, such as McDonald’s, Applebee’s and they all had an issue with the use of English in the flyers, website and other sorts of promotion. So, I started translating from flyers and PowerPoint presentations to certificates of appreciation and even subtitles for ESTC videos.
That is how the whole idea for the Eat So they Can Brazil’s website came up. I’ve created a simple website in Portuguese as a tool for people to know more about the campaign, our projects, and even donate through the website! Also there are news that I’ve been updating according to the ESTC news and also from our events and donations here.
You can check out the website by clicking here
. Hope you like it!!
So far, ESTC Brazil has had two great events: participation in the “Month of the Nutritionist IPGS”, an exciting congress about a healthy and nutritive lifestyle, and the “Eat and Drink So They Can”, a gathering between friends to raise funds for ESTC’s program Nutrition for Change in Peru.
In both events, consciousness and funds have been raised, as well as more than 70 subscribers for our Newsletter Eat So They Can Brazil – another way I found to keep donors and people interested in touch with the campaign and our actions. Every month, they receive updates, curiosities, testimonies and more from both ESTC and the GVN Foundation (all in accordance with the original Newsletter).
So, here it is the efforts made so far from ESTC Brazil! Even if there is still a long way to go as far as raising funds, I believe we can change this Brazilian way of dealing with fundraising, making them realize how CLOSE we are to the whole world and the difference we can make in each other’s lives. And Eat So They Can is the tool for that!
- Mariana Rocha
Guest post: Arianna's ESTC Dinner Party
This week we have a guest post from Arianna, one of our fantastic International Interns, who has just hosted her main Eat So They Can event. Sounds like it was a lovely evening, and a great example to follow!
Hi everyone! My name is Arianna Governatori, and I am one of ESTC’s international interns in San Francisco, California! I just hosted my main event this week and it was super successful- I was able to raise twice the amount I had hoped for. Since it was an almost last minute decision to host this event, I only had a few weeks in order organize it all. I’m glad to say that friends, families, and sponsors all came through to help this classy and delicious dinner happen.
The dinner party was hosted in my house, as that was the easiest venue, which is why I was happy to have an event planner take care of the details to ensure that my backyard could be transformed into an elegant place for the intimate dinner I had in mind. Instead of inviting everyone I knew, I carefully selected a group of twelve to invite to make sure that they could converse and enjoy themselves, as well as supporting ESTC. The event planner placed candles everywhere, including on floating rose petals in the pool, and provided fabulous lily centerpieces.
The food was provided by a variety of different sources. I was able to secure Freixenet as a sponsor, so upon arriving, each guest was served sparkling wine, as well as hors d’oeurves of cheese puffs and chili spiced almonds. The salad (as you can see in the picture) is a make-your-own Senalese salad, as an appetizer with avocado, mango, jalapeno, and coconut. The main course was prepared by a small-time chef that a friend of mine knows, which was baked fish accompanied by saffron purple potatoes and a fava bean puree topped with seasoned peas (all provided by Whole Foods). My father’s restaurant kindly donated the wine for the main course, and the dessert, which was a fabulous tiramisu. I used my espresso machine to serve coffee, as I always feel that is a nice touch to end a meal. Overall, the guests seemed very satisfied with the meal and impressed with the different courses and pairings of wine.
Before the dessert, I spoke of the cause I am raising money for to ensure that everyone knew where his or her donations were going. I am raising money for the Manamani community in South Africa, specifically for a program that provides nutritious lunches to 140 elementary school children. I had been hoping to raise enough money to feed 12 (the same amount of guests), and managed to raise almost twice that! I was thrilled with how everything fell together so quickly and with such great support from my sponsors, as well as my family.
I loved being able to use some of the ESTC resources at the event- it gave a great professional touch to the dinner. I attached my ESTC business card, as well as the event planner’s, to a menu I provided each guest with, and put the balloons in the trees and floating in the pool. As the guests left, I was told that I should host more dinners like this to raise money- maybe I will! I think that a dinner was a great way to get people I know involved in donating because they receive an excellent meal and ambiance, in addition to helping a great cause. I find that it is harder with events that have specific targets or larger events to have large donations, but with the small, intimate vibe that was created, it was perfect.
- Arianna Governatori
Eat So They Can - at school!
Since most of our nutrition projects around the world are targeted to children, for example by providing a hot lunch during the school day so that the kids have energy to concentrate and do well in school, we thought it fitting that other school children around the world should also be involved in Eat So They Can. One of our International Interns, Shannon Henry, has produced a lesson for primary school aged children called Local to Global, to promote empathy and curiosity in foreign cultures, while increasing geographical and cultural awareness.
At the same time, the lesson allows the kids to relate their new knowledge to themselves, examining how family histories and traditions contribute to and enrich society.
Activities include choosing a country and learning about it together as a class, discovering languages spoken, games played by children, family structure and other aspects of life; and then comparing your home country with the one you’re researching. This lets children see how parts of the way of life they are so used to can be completely different in other countries, and other parts might be very similar.
Another activity involves each child picking a country and learning about what a normal day would be like for a child their age. Firstly, they write a journal entry recounting what a typical day in their own life is like. Then, with their newly acquired knowledge, they write another journal entry, this time from the point of view of someone living in the country they researched.
You can find the lesson plan, as well as a letter for approaching schools, here
. If you have contacts with any schools in your local community, it would be fantastic if you could ask them to get involved in Eat So They Can!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
As the Eat So They Can weekend is now just over two months away, you might like to think about where you would like the funds you raise at your event to go. You can choose to support one of our main causes – Immediate Needs, Sustainability Projects, or Greatest Need – or otherwise, you can support a specific project run by one of the GVN Foundation’s partners.
We are proud to be actively supporting various projects run by our partner organizations in Peru. Each of these programs has had a significant impact in improving the lives of women and children and ensuring that they are on the right track for a brighter future. We’d like to share with you a couple of the projects that we support in Peru – it’s easy to see how the funds raised through Eat So They Can are having a really positive impact on these deserving communities.
Huchuy Yachaq Snack Program
This project is located in Hermanos Ayer, in the outskirts of Cusco, Peru. Huchuy Yachaq is a community centre that serves 200 families suffering from a variety of challenges like accessibility issues, a lack of basic facilities, unstable housing, and social problems. The community centre, which was established in 2006, has been a great success. Providing services such as a kindergarten, a community library, a homework tutoring club and a women’s empowerment program, it also runs a nutrition program which provides a daily hot snack to the children who attend. The GVN Foundation would like to improve the program by providing a complete meal for the kids. These children are reaping the benefits of the extra nutrition, reducing their hunger and increasing their ability to concentrate while doing their homework. In addition, more children are attending the community centre and making use of the library and tutoring services, as the snack acts as a positive incentive for children to attend – now around 110 children are making use of the centre every day!
Nutrition for Change, Hogar Mercedes de Jesus
Hogar Mercedes de Jesus is an orphanage in a small village called Anta, which provides a loving and supportive home to 25 girls who are aged 4-17. The orphanage has made a fantastic improvement since our involvement began six years ago – back then, the level of nutrition, education and healthcare was suffering due to the lack of funding. Now, having improved in leaps and bounds, the orphanage has become a model orphanage, providing a shining example of what can be achieved.
The GVN Foundation has been supporting the Nutrition for Change project, which provides a daily nutritious lunch and vitamins to both the children who live in the orphanage and children from the surrounding community. This has the added benefit that the orphanage children are better integrated into the community. In addition to the 25 orphanage children, around 75 children from the community have been benefited from the project.
We hope this has inspired you to pick a cause or project to support for Eat So They Can this year! You can also choose from projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda, Nepal and the Phillipines - check out some previous blog posts for descriptions of these. Also, keep an eye out for your host Webinar invitation next week, and we'll be in touch soon to get your address for the Party Packs!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
Boosting Child Nutrition in Uganda
Malnutrition is a serious problem in Uganda. With children born in 2010 having an average life expectancy of 54 years, it is easy to see that basic nutritional and health needs are not being met in the land-locked East African nation. Poverty and corruption are widespread, particularly in the rural areas where around 85% of Ugandans reside, most of whom are dependent on farming.
Children’s nutritional needs are of paramount importance, as when children are malnourished, their ability to concentrate in school is reduced and the poverty cycle continues. The GVN Foundation’s partner organization in Uganda has been providing a hot lunch for 160 students and 9 teachers at Nalusse Success Primary School in Mukono Town since February 2008.
Having a hot lunch at school is very important to these kids, as many come to school without breakfast. Before the nutrition program started, most of the kids only ate a small dry bun for lunch, but now they are served a cornmeal-like cake (posho) with beans. The program has been hugely successful – the students are now much more energetic and their learning has significantly improved. Moreover, the program is contributing to the students’ personal development, as well as the development of Uganda in the long run.
The approximate cost for running this program for one year is US$7,000, which includes all ingredients, cooking materials, salary for the cook and distribution costs. The funds raised from Eat So They Can this year will enable us to continue supporting the program in 2013, so together we can continue to help these children out of the poverty cycle, one meal at a time.
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
The Grand Prize Draw!
We hope you are getting excited about Eat So They Can and that you’ve started planning your event. This year we’ve got some extra incentives to encourage you to host a fantastic event and raise money for our deserving causes!
If you raise $500 at your Eat So They Can event this year, you will be entered in the Grand Prize Draw
to win an all expenses paid trip to Latin America or Africa! Last year only 43 hosts raised over $500, so your odds of winning are pretty good! The prize is a place on one of the Eat So They Can Distribution Trips, during which you would be able to see first-hand the impact that the funds you raised is having on vulnerable women and children around the world. If you would like to find out more about his year’s Distribution Trips, check out the participant report of the Peru trip here
; or the Kenya trip here
$500 might seem like a lot of money to raise, but in reality it’s not as hard as you might think. We’ve put together a few ideas to get you started on the right track!
Firstly, how about selling tickets to your event? This way everyone will be donating towards Eat So They Can by simply coming along and enjoying themselves! If you can get some sponsorship for food, drinks, or live music, that means you can keep costs down as much as possible.
Another great idea is to hold a raffle or an auction as part of your event. You could start by asking local businesses if they would be willing to donate items or services towards the cause. It’s worth asking a variety of places – we’ve even got a dentist on board who will be donating a teeth-whitening service worth $750! Artwork from local artists can make a lovely prize, as can vouchers for specialty stores. Otherwise, instead of guests purchasing tickets for a raffle, you could hold an auction where guests could bid for the items.
It’s always fun to include different activities during your event – a popular choice is to have a quiz to raise awareness about Eat So They Can and the projects we support around the world. And, of course, don’t forget to show the Eat So They Can 2012 DVD which will be part of your Party Pack this year! We’ve just had a sneak preview and it’s looking amazing – it’s safe to say you and your guests will be in for a treat.
Check out last week’s blog post
for lots of different event ideas, and inspiration from our International Interns and previous hosts! With some careful planning and preparation, you’ll find that it’s a breeze to reach $500 and be entered into the draw – not to mention having heaps of fun at your event!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
As the official ESTC weekend is gradually coming closer, we thought we’d share with you all some ideas and inspiration for hosting an event! If you haven't signed up yet, you can do so here
Last year there was a huge range of Eat So They Can events around the world, from smaller intimate dinner parties to glamorous cocktail parties and everything in between! Here are a few samples of previous Eat So They Can events:
• Sunday Best Trivia
: this event took place in Newcastle, Australia. With 85 guests, the trivia night raised funds towards women’s empowerment projects around the world, and was a huge success!
• Cocktail Party:
this party was in Lima, Peru. All guests made a donation of any amount, which served as the entry ticket and one ticket for the raffle. Guests could then purchase additional raffle tickets for a set price. A variety of artists and designers donated generous raffle prizes, a local DJ provided the music and a company donated the drinks.
• Peruvian Dinner
: the guests at this dinner party in Canada were treated to a range of traditional Peruvian dishes, a quiz to raise awareness and a raffle with donated items.
• Bush Brekky
: a group went hiking in beautiful New Zealand bush and then had a gourmet breakfast of bacon, eggs, coffee, bananas and pancakes!
Remember, your Eat So They Can event can be anything at all – the only limit is your imagination! For more ideas, check out our Past Events page
Here's the breakdown of the types of events hosted last year:
• 50% hosted a dinner party
• 10% hosted a cocktail party
• 10% hosted a lunch
• 30% hosted some other kind of event – including wine tasting, picnics, High Tea, guided tours, talent shows, online events, and brunch.
Here are the different fundraising methods used by hosts last year - many hosts used multiple methods.
• 51% had an optional donation
• 35% had a suggested donation
• 25% had a set ticket price
• 22% had a raffle
This year our International Interns are doing an amazing job of organizing events all around the world! Some ideas currently in progress include:
• A multi-school art auction, selling children’s artwork
• A fashion event at a boutique hotel
• An art show
• Wine tasting at a vineyard
• Yoga classes
• Silent auctions
• A formal ball
• Casino night
• Harbour dinner cruise
• An international food festival
• An Eat So They Can Amazing Race
You can see the huge diversity of events that will be taking place this year! We hope this has given you a few ideas for hosting your own event. If you have any questions or would like some advice on hosting an event, please get in touch with us!
Good luck with your event planning,
Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
Feeding Minds and Bodies in the Philippines
The official Eat So They Can weekend is now only three months away! We’ve heard of some amazing events being planned and some have even already taken place. Thank you so much to everyone who is helping us achieve our goal of feeding 2,000 children this year. Remember, if you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still plenty of time left! Go to the sign up page here
- it only takes 10 seconds.
Here's an example of where the funds raised through Eat So They Can will go. Located in San Agustin, in the Romblon Province of the Philippines, the Center for Volunteerism in the Philippines is starting a project called Feeding Minds and Bodies.
San Agustin is a small coastal town in the archipelagic province of Romblon, around 350km south of the capital city Manila. Romblon is the fifth poorest province of the Philippines, with 68% of the population living below the poverty line and 55.7% below the food threshold. Children are particularly impacted by these statistics.
The Feeding Minds and Bodies Program will provide a daily nutritious snack and vitamin to the San Agustin school children during morning recess to compensate for not having a nutritious breakfast at home beforehand. This will help to increase the children’s concentration and comprehension in class, allowing them to perform better, as well as improving school attendance and reducing malnutrition in the area.
With your help, the GVN Foundation and Eat So They Can would like to support this program, which will benefit 250 primary school children in San Agustin, and help to feed minds and bodies in this impoverished area. Together we can work towards a brighter future for these children!
Keep an eye out for the Eat So They Can July Newsletter, which should be released sometime next week - it will be full of updates, advice and information on the campaign. We wish you all the best in your event planning!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
Sarah's reflections on the Peru Distribution Trip
This week we are excited to have Sarah Burnley as our Guest Blogger! Sarah recently returned from our ESTC Distribution Trip to Peru and has written a post about her experience on the trip.Now, upon reflection after having been on my amazing adventure to Peru and back, I think I was graced with what I was expecting but also so much more. I feel no words can grasp the scope of the emotions I felt. From looking into the children’s eyes which said so much and then into the vast wilderness of Peru’s breathtaking landscape.
|Sarah and Tina at Huchuy Yachaq Community Center in Peru|
These children, even though little people who have so much life ahead of them have taught me so much about what is really important in life. They understand how and why to make the most out of what they have instead of focusing on what they don’t have. They showed me that reaching out to others even in the smallest way can really make a difference.
The people of Peru are living a world away under total eye opening conditions to someone like me, who has had a pretty sheltered and easy life in terms of a living environment. I’ve never had to struggle to find warmth, food or a loving helping hand the way the beggars that lined the streets of Peru have had too.I was humbled seeing firsthand what differences GVN are making in these children’s life. The thought of GVN not existing and these children being left to defend for themselves is unthinkable.Our distribution team had amongst it some of the most genuine people I have met. I truly feel blessed to have been a part of this team. It was a shame it went so fast, just as everyone was really getting to know each other. Eliza and Caitie (our leaders) are amazing people and I don’t think this trip would have been the same without them. Their dedication to this project and the ongoing work they do for GVN is admirable.
|Two girls enjoying lunch at the Lamay Nutrition for Change program|
Before I embarked on this journey someone said to me life begins at the end of your comfort zone, for me this really was the case. I had such an inspiring and unforgettable time in Peru. It really made me think about what is important and to appreciate everything I have. Peru is truly beautiful and will always hold a special place in my heart.
|The 2012 Peru Distribution Trip|
|Maytee and Maricielo enjoy some fresh tomatoes from the orphanage greenhouse!|
Thank you Sarah for sharing your reflections and thank you to all our ESTC supporters for making our work in Peru possible!
~ Eliza and the ESTC Team
Brighter Future Children's Home, Nepal
Today we're featuring a project which the GVN Foundation currently funds in Nepal – Brighter Future Children’s Home, located in Bistachhap, just outside Kathmandu.
Nepal is one of the poorest counties in the world. Amongst its population of 27 million, one million are children without parents. The country’s past history of political instability has further intensified the pressure and harsh conditions on the people of Nepal. These conditions have the worst effect on the most vulnerable members of society, and the ones who have the least resources to help themselves: children.
Brighter Future Children’s Home provides a home to five girls and nine boys, aged from 10 to 22 years. Their goal is to meet all the children’s needs in order for them to become successful and compassionate adults who contribute positively to their community and country. The GVN Foundation is committed to providing quarterly grants to Brighter Future Children’s Home in order to ensure that the children receive three nutritious meals each day.
The GVN Foundation's Fundraising Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in September is supporting Brighter Future Children's Home this year. Participants will hike for 16 days to raise money for the Home's 14 children, ensuring their health, nutritional and educational needs are fully met. They will also have the opportunity to visit ancient temples and palaces in Kathmandu, as well as the highest Buddhisht monastery in the world - safe in the knowledge they have made a real difference in the lives of these Nepalese children. We'll be sure to hear all about the trip closer to the time, and we've already had reports of training sessions taking place to prepare for the challenging 16 day trek in the Himalayas!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
Introducing our International Interns for 2012
We are proud to introduce our brand new International Interns who will be working on the Eat So They Can campaign this year!
The Interns will be working closely with the ESTC Team to promote ESTC in their own local communities around the world, raising awareness and organizing fundraising events. They have already started training sessions to prepare for the exciting challenge ahead, and the planning of events is well under way! We are extremely impressed with the enthusiasm and willingness that our Interns have already shown and we can’t wait to see what they will achieve this year.
We’ve already heard of some fantastic ideas – movie fundraisers, raffles, wine tasting, sausage sizzles, trivia nights, fashion shows and much more!
We have a truly international group this year, with Interns from 11 different countries – USA, India, Canada, Australia, UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Turkey, Brazil, Switzerland, and China.
A big congratulations to:
- Arianna Governatori
- Ashley Kalynchuk
- Bex Murch
- Bianca Odhiambo
- Bonnie Chipp
- Chantelle Gregory
- Edmond Sacre
- Estelle Roux
- Graeme Russell
- Hadae Kim
- Hadley Warner
- Ingrid De Assis
- Karthik Krishnamoorthy
- Kayla Thomson
- Kelly-Louise Warner
- Kelly Ann Buddecke
- Lacin Idil Oztig
- Lauren McPhee
- Lauren Schaefer
- Lennon Cameron
- Mariana Ceia Ramos Mariano da Rocha
- Michelle Strong
- Natalia Monroy
- Olivia van Wetering
- Punkhuri Chawla
- Raleigh Dickinson
- Rasika Uplekar
- Samantha Summers
- Sasha Geschwind
- Shannon Henry
- Shelley Bragg
- Vivian Nosti
- Samantha Walmsley-Barlett
Thank you to everyone who applied, and we wish our Interns all the best in their efforts. To read more about each of the Interns, have a look here
. Each Intern will also be writing a guest post here on our blog so keep an eye out!
-Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
Eliza's update from Peru!
Our Executive Director, Eliza Raymond, has been leading the week-long Eat So They Can Distribution Trip, which has just come to an end. From Peru, Eliza has shared with us the highlights of the trip which distributed funds raised in ESTC 2011 to various projects aimed at improving the lives and futures of women and children.
We have had such an inspiring and memorable week in Peru! Thank you so much to our Distribution Team for all the energy, enthusiasm and love they have brought to our projects. I know they will always be remembered and they will always be welcomed back to Peru with open arms!
It is hard to summarize the week in one post, so for now I will just mention a few highlights:
- Taking the 24 girls from the Mercedes de Jesus orphanage to a huge playground in Cusco and then taking them out for chicken and chips!
|Playing with the girls from the Mercedes de Jesus orphanage at the park in Cusco. |
- Distributing bread and balloons to the children from Pampallacta, a remote village in the mountains of the Sacred Valley. The kids then did a beautiful dance for us and even sang a song for us in English!
|A content recipient of the goodies distributed in Pampallacta |
- Organizing an event called a Tombola in a community center called Huchuy Yachaq on the outskirts of Cusco. It was more than a little chaotic but so much fun! One kid was so excited and happy with the gift he won that he roared with joy!!
|The very capable Distribution Team who ensured the trip was a success!|
Funding from Eat So They Can 2011 is being used to support the girls at the Mercedes de Jesus orphanage, continue our partner´s Nutrition for Change program, and continue our women´s empowerment program at Huchuy Yachaq. We are confident that with funding raised this year we can expand our programs to help even more Peruvian kids. Muchas Gracias to all our hosts and supporters for making our work possible!
Kenya Distribution Trip 2012 - a summary!
Guest post by Simon Hart, Kenya Program Advisor
Well, it has been a couple of weeks now since the distribution trip finished, and I just wanted to share a few trip highlights with you, and give you an update from the projects! We had a really enjoyable trip, and it was great to see such a diverse group of people of all ages, nationalities and travelling experience. It was great to meet such a generous bunch as well, with some of the participants bringing all kinds of donations on top of the money and time they had already donated to the Eat So They Can cause!
With a few jet-lagged heads, we left early on Monday to deliver milk to the 50 babies at Happy Life Children’s Home. The participants instantly took to the smiling young faces, and it was a struggle to get them all to leave! We then headed over to our HIV program, where we were given a fantastic reception from the director, who had arranged for the various project managers from across the country to come and give us a presentation into what they do, and how the donations will benefit their patients.
|Pipeline IDP Camp|
On the Tuesday we left to visit the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps in the town of Nakuru. This was a very humbling and emotional experience for everyone, to see the plight of those who were displaced from their homes as a result of the election violence of 2007. However, it was also an uplifting experience in some ways, to see the benefits the porridge program are having in the camps, and to see the ESTC donations make a real difference. We were able to donate enough to keep the porridge program going for a whole year!
|Rongai IDP Camp|
We took a well deserved break on Wednesday to go on safari at Lake Nakuru national park. In almost 18 months of being in Kenya, I have never seen a leopard, and so it must have been a piece of ESTC luck which enticed one out of the bush, and right out into the road in front of us!
|The Children at Cheryl's School, singing a welcoming song|
We had a very active day on Thursday, which was probably the most enjoyable. First we visited Cheryl’s School, where every class insisted on giving us a welcoming song to thank the participants for their donations of mattresses and food, and then we had an hour long soccer match at the next children’s home, complete with livestock needing rescuing from the goal nets! On Thursday, the participants finally got to visit the Nairobi Java Coffee house as well, to quench their caffeine needs!
|Playing soccer with the children from Shelter Children's Home|
A tired group headed to the Elephant orphanage on Friday, before visiting to a local clinic. This clinic has no water supply, and so they were delighted to receive materials for a water pump and pipes from the ESTC donations. On the Saturday we had a lovely leaving meal at Trattoria’s Italian restaurant, before saying goodbye to everyone on the Sunday, as they went their separate ways.
Today our Kenya partner visits the final project with the final ESTC donations. We have received a lot of thanks from the various project directors who benefited from ESTC and the distribution trip, and in this time of real economic hardship, instability and inflation in Kenya, the donations are needed now more than ever. Over the next few weeks we will be visiting the projects again to see how things are going, so watch this space!
|Visiting the Providence Centre Clinic|
On behalf of everyone at GVN and to those in Kenya who benefited directly, I want to thank the participants for coming, and for making it such a great week! Asante sana!
Saving the Starfishes
Statistics shows us that there are an estimated 150,000 children living on the streets in Ethiopia. The average age at which children first become involved in street life in Ethiopia is 10.7 years.
Many of us have heard the starfish story by Loren Eisley. A man was walking along the beach when he noticed a little girl picking something up and gently throwing it into the sea. Approaching the girl, he asked her, “Little girl, what are you doing?”. The little girl replied in a matter of fact, “I am throwing the starfish back into the sea. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they will die.” To this, the man replied, “My child, the beach goes on for miles and there are hundreds of starfish. You are not going to make a difference!” After listening politely, the girl bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the sea. Then she turned to the man and said, “I made a difference for that one.”
And that is exactly what you, as a GVN supporter, have been doing – saving street children and their families, one at a time.
GVN has been supporting the Mercy Ministry Happy Children Home Association with a grant of $5,000. That funding has helped 15 children raise their living standard above the poverty line. 71 children have also benefited with educational support to prepare them with skills for the future. In addition, families have gained as a result of this fund. Training for families and guardians has been handed out to 60 families. 30 families have been provided BBS (basic business skill) and funding to support their small enterprises.
There was a most anecdotal and amazing testimony from this programme. Out of the 30 families which MMCHA helped, nine of them have managed to establish their micro businesses within a short amount of time. They came back saying that they did not require further help from MMCHA, as they are in a stage where they are able to provide for their families. This is very encouraging for the organisation to see families being able to stand on their own two feet.
Equally, there are challenges as well. The one difficulty is encouraging and motivating families to follow up on their trainings and moving towards being independent.
All in all, this project has been a huge success. Thank you to everyone who, like the little girl in the story, is taking the time to save one child at a time.
-Guest post by Michelle Mitchell
What are you doing on the weekend of 20-21 October?
This year the Global Dinner Party will be bigger and better than ever, with people just like you, from all over the world, working together to achieve our goal of feeding 2,000 hungry children.
To do this, we need your help! Our first ‘call to action’ video has just been released – please watch it and share it with everyone you know. We want to reach as many people as possible from all corners of the globe to spread the word and join together in making a difference, while having fun at the same time!
Post this video on your Facebook and Twitter accounts, mention it on your blog, or send an email to your friends and family with the video link, telling them what ESTC is and how they can help. Please use this link
to share the video.
Any contribution, big or small, will bring us one step closer to achieving our goal.
Thank you for all your help so far – we really appreciate your support. We hope you will join us on the weekend of 20-21 October 2012 in the global movement, and together we can make a real difference.
-Elizabeth and the ESTC team
Featured Project: Porridge for Kenyan kids
The Kenya Distribution Trip has now come to an end, and as the team disperses to locations all over the world, exciting stories are starting to trickle in. We have heard reports of spotting leopards in a national park, orphan children staging an en masse singing performance to our distribution team and a huge soccer game with teams made up of children from the Shelter Children’s Home and our distribution team, with the dramatic entry of a cow half way through, which had to be rescued from the goal net! There will be many more stories to come and we can’t wait to hear all about the impact that the funds raised through Eat So They Can is having on Kenyan communities.
One project that the GVN Foundation contributes towards in Kenya is the Porridge Program at the Pipeline Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). In 2007, due to the post-election violence in Kenya, many families were forced to abandon their homes and ended up living in IDP camps. The GVN Foundation works through our partner organization in Kenya to assist families at the camp, which is located near Nakuru.
We have funded a porridge program for the children at Pipeline IDP for the past three years. The program has helped to reduce malnutrition and improve the children’s ability to concentrate in school. Our goal is to continue this program for at least one more year while the families settle into their new location. Currently, 157 children aged between three and seven years old are benefiting from the porridge program.
The GVN Foundation has Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and we align our work with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Our porridge program is directly contributing towards the achievement of MDG 1 - eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. The program is also indirectly supporting the achievement of MDG 2 - achieving universal primary education, as the porridge program is improving the children’s ability to stay awake and concentrate during school.
Our distribution team visited the Pipeline IDP camp and helped out with the porridge program there, while distributing resources. In total over $13,000 worth of resources was given out to children’s homes, community projects and IDP camps during the week long trip.
If taking part in an Eat So They Can Distribution Trip appeals to you, there is still one place left on our Peru Distribution Trip from 10-17 June! If you are interested, please get in touch as soon as possible. Otherwise, remember to sign up to host an Eat So They Can event this year – the funds you raise will go towards improving the lives and futures of people who are most in need, such as the children of the Pipeline IDP camp.
Also, check out our May 2012 newsletter here
to read all about the latest developments for Eat So They Can 2012!
-Elizabeth and the ESTC Team