THE POWER OF 5
What happens when a Nepali girl isn’t in school? She is 3X more likely to be married before the age of 18, she stays home, she has children at an early age, and the traditional cycle of exclusion that keeps girls disengaged from leadership continues. A lack of education for these girls means a lack of options. LET’S GET GIRLS EDUCATED & GIVE THEM OPTIONS! To pursue children’s access to education, CCF partners directly with the Association For Craft Producers with the aim of helping children learn and thrive! We hope to encourage people to get involved and inspire a passion for making a difference in the world. Ultimately we want children to feel secure that they will receive a full education.
During their 30+ years of business in Nepal with their fair trade import company Ganesh Himal Trading, CCF chair Denise Attwood & husband Ric Conner witnessed first-hand the positive change that comes from empowering women and educating daughters. For this reason, Ganesh Himal made it a priority to support projects like the Association of Craft Producer’s (ACP), Girl Child Education Fund- a scholarship program providing monthly stipends to families as incentive to keep daughters in school.
WHY THESE GIRLS?
On a business trip to Nepal in 2012, Denise Attwood and Austin Zimmerman of Ganesh Himal Trading conducted a follow-up interview with two recipients of the Girl Child Education Fund. During this interview, they learned that sisters Heema (16) and Heena (10) were losing their scholarships before the end of the school year due to lack of funds. 180 other students faced the same fate. With Heema weeks away from dropping our of school to find a job, it was clear that more sustainable support was needed.
Determined to extend the girls’ scholarships, Ganesh Himal employees each donated $5-the cost of one month of school for one child- with the belief that by inspiring 2,000 other people to do the same, they could provide another year of schooling for all 180 students. With overwhelming support, the Power of 5 campaign was born.
In 2014, the Conscious Connection Foundation (CCF) was created to provide an avenue for greater fundraising for the Power of 5 campaign. Heema completed school and continued on to college with the help of CCF’s college scholarship program, the Joy Attwood Fund which provided tuition, room and board for grades 11 and 12.
The monthly amount provided for Power of 5 recipients has been increased to $10 and the length extended from three years in 2012, to four years in 2014, and now 6 years. With the hopes of securing financial assistance for all students in the future for all 10 years, CCF in partnership with ACP is building an endowment. Beginning in 2015, CCF has committed to raising $25,000 a year for four years to go towards this endowment.
Additionally, the Power of 5 has extended it’s monthly support to boys with the belief that every child should have access to quality education and to pursue their dreams. As of 2018 this program has enabled 653 children to stay in school!