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The Educational Resource Development Program
In the Educational Resource Development Program (ERDP), schools in low-income, rural communities determine the educational resources they need and raise 50% of the funds required for the project. G.E.P. facilitates this process, and supplies the matching 50% from U.S. donors. G.E.P. implements ERDPs in Tanzania, Indonesia, Kenya and Guatemala to assist schools with their most basic educational needs.

How the Program Works

1. Teachers and parents in a rural school community meet with G.E.P. staff and prioritize the most pressing needs in their schools. Some of the most common needs include the following:

Textbooks - Often three, five or even up to eight students are forced to share a single textbook. This makes it difficult for students to learn in the classroom, and impossible to study on their own. Schools that choose books as a priority purchase locally produced books that fit the national curriculum.

Desks - In crowded classrooms, four or more students have to share desks designed for two. Or worse, students are forced to sit on rocks or the dirt floor when desks are not available. Schools that choose desk projects as a priority hire local craftsmen to construct sturdy, comfortable desks from locally available materials.

Construction Projects - In some cases, student learning is hindered by inadequate facilities at school. Past construction projects have included gender-separated latrines, water tanks to ensure safe drinking water and construction of classrooms that are able to withstand the local rainy season. Construction is done by local craftsmen.

2. The school community begins its fundraiser to raise 50% of the funds needed for the project. This can include in-kind contributions such as labor and materials, as well as monetary contributions. In a typical ERDP, 250 parents would contribute $4 each over 8 months, for a total of $1000.

3. Once the community's fundraiser is complete, G.E.P. supplies the additional 50%, and together we complete the projects. At the end of this process, the school hosts a "receiving ceremony", attended by the students, parents, teachers, local officials and G.E.P. staff. Ceremonies consist of singing, dancing, poetry and praise for the parents and teachers who made the ERDP possible.

Why not just give them what they need?



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