Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why We Need ...Sustaining Members

I became involved in the school in 2006. I had started a small, very small, English school and library in downtown Salasaca, and somehow, Rosa Maria, the director and one of the founders of Escuela Katitawa, located in the hills above Salasaca, heard about our small school and invited me to come and visit. I accepted the invitation and was led there by one of my first Salasacan friends, Jose Masaquiza, a young man who had graduated from there many years before. Rosa Maria showed me the room that she would like to use as an English classroom and all she needed was a teacher. I asked her to send me an invitation and I would be glad find a way to help.

It is amazing how things just come together. At the little English school on main street Salasaca, I had been teaching the two afternoon classes while running a small business in Ambato. I would leave the business around noon and go to Salasaca, returning around five or six.

One day a young lady from Holland calls me and says she would like to visit the school in Salasaca. I invited her to come with me. We met for lunch in Ambato and then went by bus to Salasaca. She liked what she saw and said she may be able to help. She told me she would think about it and may be back.

I think it was about two weeks later she arrived in Ambato and was ready to volunteer. She may remember this better than I and she is welcome to correct any errors or omissions. Anyway...Janneke from Holland was the first volunteer at the English school and since I had the invitation to start English classes at a real school, she became our first sponsored volunteer at Katitawa. (I had on one occasion visited the area with a group of friends one weekend. Actually we only parked the truck there and I was told that the buildings were a school. It was not until I became involved at Katitawa and while looking at some pictures of my past adventure I realized that I had been here before.)

In the months and years that followed I became more and more involved in daily life at the school. I found that there was no budget for anything that needed to be done. One day Rosa asked if I could help with something that Luis wanted to do. He had a list of things he needed and when I looked at it I saw that it amounted to about $20 of material, and of course I said "no problem". The next day he gave me this very official letter with a request for these materials. Signed by Rosa Maria and sealed with the school seal.

As I became more involved I would start a project and I was told all I had to do was present a list of materials and they would prepare an official request for the things I needed. The first things I needed was a couple bags of cement and some plastic pipe. The letter was prepared and taken to Pelileo where it was accepted but we were told it would take severl weeks for it to be approved. Maybe it was then that I decided that we needed no help for things that we could do for ourselves.

I bought the materials and the project was started and finished in a few days.

I finally closed the business in Ambato and have since devoted all of my time, energy and money to building a better place for the children of Salasaca. I am not rich and my funds are limited. Personally, I have everything I need in this world....I need nothing more. I am doing what I am doing because I am selfish....I am doing this for me, because a life without meaningful work has no interest. I live in a paradise, the school is situated in such a beautiful place that everyday I feel that I am the luckiest guy in the world to be able to work and live in this place.

We instituted a volunteer program where we invite people from all over the world to come and volunteer their time to work at a variety of tasks. Some stay for a few days and others for as long as the law allows. They teach in a large variety of subjects from arithmetic to zoology....Depending on there interest and ability. They build walls, they work in the garden. They do anything and everything that needs to be done. They love the children and the children love the personal contact they have which is normal and healthy. When it is time for the volunteer to leave, 99% leave with a feeling of sadness which is bittersweet. Most say they will be back and some return much sooner then they had planned. They have connected and it is hard to disconnect.

My commitment here has grown and I now find that in order to continue I need some help, and since I still believe that we can help ourselves, and many volunteers leave with the idea that when they return home they would like to help in some monitory way, we came up with SKY...Sustaining Membership. This is a way that they could help and feel connected at the same time. (SKY is the acronym for the Kichwa words Sumak Kawsay Yachay. In English...Beautiful Life Education.)

New Options SKY Sustaining Members.

Believe it or not I have been asked to have a system where a person who wanted to subscribe to more than a commitment of $10 could have a choice. So, not being one to argue we now have three plans. BRONZE, SILVER and GOLD, giving you a choice in the amount that you wish to donate on a monthly basis.

BRONZE





SILVER






GOLD






We now have 22 members indluding the new members that have joined after we started the membership drive on Facebook. I will try to update this list this weekend.

Naomi Dhillon.........January 16, 2010........Uk
Miloslav Eis..........February 01, 2010.......Czech Republic
 


Josh Harrison........February 6, 2010..........United States
Silvia Pezzali.......February 17, 2010.........UK London
Sandra Kinne.........March 22, 2010............United States

Wlliam Palmer........April 23, 2010............UK
 


Tera Brooks..........August 9, 2010............North cote, Victoria, Australia.


Greta Gillies........February 15, 2011.........Scotland
 

Robert Bell..........February 10, 2011.........Shoalhaven, NSW
Richard McClland.....February 22, 2011.........UK
Holly Walker.........February 24, 2011.........Canada
Toby Rouse...........March 13, 2011............UK
Andrea Chiappello....March 19, 2011............Italy
 


Enda Sheehy.......April 1, 2011.....Ireland

Chris Mee.........May 14, 2011......UK
Alex Darquea......May 14, 2011......Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Jodie Burton......May 17, 2011......London, Silver
Matthew Russell...May 17, 2011......East Sussex.
Dotahn Caspi......May 18, 2011......Victoria
Anna Burroughs....May 28, 2011......Melborne, Victoria
Megan Quantrill...May.28, 2011......Auxland, NZ
Adam Amer.........June 7, 2011......Buckinghamshire.

It is taking me a while to get all the information.
 

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