Project Givewell Leads a New Project

After previous successes, WCA’s foremost student outreach program starts afresh.

Students+from+a+potential+school+that+Project+Givewell+may+be+sponsoring.
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Project Givewell Leads a New Project

Students from a potential school that Project Givewell may be sponsoring.

Students from a potential school that Project Givewell may be sponsoring.

Photo courtesy of Ann Heyse.

Students from a potential school that Project Givewell may be sponsoring.

Photo courtesy of Ann Heyse.

Photo courtesy of Ann Heyse.

Students from a potential school that Project Givewell may be sponsoring.

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Last year Westminster was both surprised and curious about the announcement of a group of eighth grade students who wanted to build a well. Since then, they have grown from a small, unknown group into the leaders of student led outreach.

Project Givewell was started by seven freshman: Alex Lawrence, Chelsea Caplinger, Paris Hubler, Ethan Davitt, Patrick Agan, Michael Shaw, and Dean Karanas. Introduced to the student body last year during chapel, Project Givewell has done great things. Recently, they raised enough money to  finishing building the clean water well in Kenya. This project was shown to the students and faculty at Westminster, and some of the money raised was donated by students and teachers.

Now that the well has been built, Project Givewell is starting to expand their efforts to reach out..

“Our newest project is that we are trying to fund is a school in the Congo. We have some schools that we are looking at possibly funding” said Lawrence.

The Congo has been in turmoil for a long time.

“The Congo has just ended a 15 year war. 7 million people have died. It has also left over 5 million children orphaned.” said Ann Heyse, freshmen expository writing teacher and Project Givewell advisor.

To put that in perspective, during the Holocaust, 6 million people died. A million more have died in the war in the Congo. The need in the country is great. Education is one of the things that the country truly lacks. In Kinshasa, one of the biggest cities in Africa, 65% of children have no education. This startling figure is one of the many that spurred Project Givewell to help meet the need.

Project Givewell members say the main problem that plagues the few schools in the Congo is the cost.

“Most schools cost $25 a month, but eh average family only makes $100 a month.” said Heyse.

New City Fellowship, a local church in St. Louis, has partnered with many Congolese pastors and have built 3 schools. In those schools, over 600 kids are being educated. Project Givewell is trying to fund their own school.

Like the well project, money will be an issue.

“To fund the school, its around $1000 a month. We want to fund it for a year, so we will need between $10-$13 thousand dollars.” said Lawrence.

Despite this large amount, the huge success of the well project last year is a confidence booster for Project Givewell.

Project Givewell needs help from the students and faculty in two ways. First, they need help raising the money.

“If every student can give $10 dollars, we will meet our goal. We also have a ‘slogan’ for the project: For the cost of 1 WCA tuition, we can help educate 200 kids.” said Heyse.

The next thing that Project Givewell is help with certain things.

“We need help with certain small jobs, and some big jobs. we are trying to get set meeting dates so we can get people to help. If you are interested, talk to some of us,” said Alex Lawrence.

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