Citizen’s Name: Stefanie Harris
Charity: One World Tuition
Tagline: Empowering people and eliminating poverty by providing tuition to students in developing nations.
Location: Worldwide (based in United States)
What is One World Tuition all about?
We believe that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. In many developing nations, even the most basic education costs money. People living in poverty cannot afford these costs. Without an education many people are stuck in the cycle of poverty. By providing students with a tuition, they are able to get the education they need to do better for themselves and their family, thus ending the cycle.
Donors are given the opportunity to learn about our students on our website and can sponsor their education. Any amount from $1 to the entire amount of the tuition is accepted and makes a huge difference in the lives of the students. At One World Tuition, 100% of the money donated to a student’s education, goes to that student. Operating costs are raised separately.
How long have you been operating?
We became a 501(c)(3) (Tax Deductible Donations) organization in September of 2016. We put the first student on our website in January of 2017.
Where did the idea start?
I spent a summer working at an orphanage in Jamaica and while it was an amazing experience, I couldn’t figure out why it cost me so many thousands of dollars to do it. The money didn’t go to the orphanage. I didn’t know how it was used. Because of that simple thought, I never volunteered through a group again. My travels became unfulfilling in a way because I wanted to help others while seeing the world. I tried contacting local organizations in countries I travelled to but nothing ever came of it. I decided I needed to make my own way to help others. I met many people throughout my travels and there seemed to be one common theme. Lack of education. For some, the school fees prevented them from going for more than a couple years. For some there was not a school close enough to attend and they could not afford the public transportation to school. I did some research on global education and emailed non-profit organizations all over the world to see if they saw my idea as filling a need. The feedback I received was unanimous. Education for those in the grips of poverty would be life changing. That’s when I started moving forward with starting One World Tuition. It has been an amazing experience.
How do TOWNHALL Citizens or visitors get involved?
Citizens and visitors can help us in many ways. Our priority first and foremost is always to raise money for our students. They are the reason we are here afterall. We encourage not just individual donors but for school, church, sporting groups or even friends to raise tuition for a student as a team. Together we can accomplish more than we can alone.
We do need more than just money though. We have no paid staff, volunteers keep us going. We need volunteers to help us write grants and contact corporations about sponsorship. We are also looking for a web developer who can redesign and maintain our website.
Collaborations are welcome as well. We work with schools in developing nations. If you run a school or know someone who does, we are always looking for new schools to partner with as we grow.
We are all working for a better world one way or another. We are happy to partner with anyone and everyone. We can find a way to help you and to help us. We like to get creative and we strongly believe in teamwork.
Do you have any success stories?
The first student we sponsored, Alondra, lives in a dump in Nicaragua. Though primary school is free, she was not able to afford the mandatory uniform, therefore was not able to attend school. Her situation improved when a church built a school where the students who live in the dump can attend in whatever clothes they have. She graduated high school from this school in December 2016. She was one of four students who were apart of the first graduating class from the school and the only one to get into college. Because of our generous donors, we were able to pay for her first year of college. Though she still lives in the dump, she is attending college and getting the education she needs to better her life. We will raise the tuition for her remaining years when the time comes. We will be providing college tuition to any student who graduates from this school.
Do you have a project on TOWNHALL or an important event or mission coming up?
We will be heading to Nicaragua in July to visit the school that is located in the dump. We will be meeting with the students to encourage them to work hard in school and get into college. We want them to know there are people rooting for them who will sponsor their education. We will be meeting with the graduating class to talk about universities and what they would like to study so we are ready to start raising their tuition as soon as they are accepted.
We will be visiting with our student who is currently attending college. We will be able to visit her school and talk to her about her studies.
We will also be meeting with another school we are looking to partner with.
Are you raising funds for anything specific?
We have amazing, accredited schools contact us weekly to partner but our donor base must grow before we can take on more schools. We are currently emphasizing our recurring monthly donation program. Recurring monthly donations assure us that we have a steady stream of donations coming in to cover our students needs and allows us to partner with more schools. 100% of a monthly donation goes towards one of our students. Even a small recurring monthly donation makes a big difference.
Any interesting fact you can share?
-If all children left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted from poverty.
-One extra year of school increases earnings by 10%
-A mother’s education improves her children’s nutrition.
-61 million children are still not in primary school
-250 million school aged children are not learning basic reading and math
What’s the overall vision for One World Tuition?
Our primary goal is to be able to partner with all accredited schools that come our way to provide tuition to students all over the world. We want to show these students that there are people who believe in them. We want our students to grow up with the confidence and education they need to bring themselves out of poverty. This is our goal and the reason we are here but we want to take it further than that. We would also like to grow to help provide our schools with much needed supplies, remodels, teachers, food for the kids, summer camps and more. We want to do everything we can to help foster an environment of learning so that our students will not just pass school, but flourish there. We want to build a community of trust with our donors by ensuring them that 100% of their donation to a student will go to the student, every time.