American University Students Raising Money for Mongolian Students
Mongolia-Web, 08.May.07 (source)
This week students at the U.S. University of Oregon are raising money to assure Mongolian children receive a proper education. This fund raising effort began in 2006 when a student from the Oregon university returned from a trip to Mongolia in which he met families unable to send their children to school. It was calculated that for $20 U.S. (23,320 MNT) it would be possible to send a single Mongolian child to school for one year. With the idea in mind that donors could see their money actually help a single individual, students quickly raised enough money in 2006 to send 525 Mongolian children to school. Now, these same university students have begun an organization called Edurelief to raise money for Mongolian school children. “This all just started from one volunteer going into Mongolia and seeing this need that these poor children weren’t getting to go to school. He came back and just told a few people the story of, ‘Gosh, let’s do something,” Marketing Manager for Edurelief Rob Sanders told writer Sophie Soong. The group’s success has been based upon individuals being able to grasp that their donation will actually assist someone across the world. It is this simple concept, helping one child at a time, which is fueling the group’s growth. Besides raising money for Mongolian school children, Edurelief is planning its first trip to Mongolia for volunteers to learn how they might further assist the Mongolian educational system.
Local Nonprofit Edurelief Makes a Big Impact in Mongolia
KVAL Channel 13, 02.May.07 (source)
What’s 20 dollars worth to you? For a child in Mongolia, that’s enough to fund an entire year of education. And if you’re on the University of Oregon campus this week, you’ll hear that message loud and clear: “Would you guys like some information on how to change the world?” It’s a lofty claim, but a group of students believe 20 dollars is all it takes to make a difference. They’re members of Edurelief, a non-profit organization started by Jon Renich of Eugene. “This all just started from one volunteer going into Mongolia and seeing this need that these poor children weren’t getting to go to school. Came back and just told a few people the story of, ‘Gosh, let’s do something,” Marketing Manager for Edurelief Rob Sanders said. That grassroots outreach has grown into an international project. In its first year, Edurelief sponsored 525 children with support nationwide. “It’s growing faster than almost we can keep up with,” Sanders said. And they’re doing it 20 dollars at a time. It’s this simple concept that’s drawing people in. “It’s only 20 dollars and an entire year of education. That’s a good deal,” UO student Joel Reynolds said. Co-founder Margaret Ormsbee says, this is only the beginning. They’re also making plans to take a trip to Mongolia this fall. That’s when they’ll be on the front lines helping the kids directly. “It’s been amazing and again, just getting people really passionate about realizing they can make a difference and get involved and really doing something,” she said. So maybe their claim isn’t that lofty after all.
Happening Person: Jonathan Renich
Eugene Weekly, 01.Feb.07 (source)
After graduation from Churchill High School, Jonathan Renich studied children’s social services in a modular program at the Kona, Hawaii campus of the University of the Nations. “We spent three months in class, then six months as an intern with a nonprofit,” says Renich, who served one internship with the French agency Pour un Sourire d’Enfant in a training program for kids who worked at the city dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. When he finished his degree, Renich stayed on as a staff member and led two groups of students to the town of Baruunburen in Mongolia. Returning to Oregon in 2005, he launched Edurelief, a program to help Mongolian kids who had dropped out of school. “The government had cut support for school supplies,” he notes. “All they needed was $20 per kid for a packet of books.” Renich recruited some UO students, printed fliers, and raised $10,000 in four months. “We sponsored 525 kids,” he says. “When people found out, it exploded. We got calls from New York, LA, Europe, and Asia, asking, ‘What can we do?’” Find out what you can do at edurelief.org