One Here One There - A Student-to-Student Charity Formed to Educate African Children
Tampa, Florida, October 1, 2005 - A Bay-area group has formed a non-profit organization to help fund education of sub-Saharan African children. This charitable organization, 501(c)(3) pending*, administers a program for college students in the United States to make a donation with their tuition payment to help cover the cost of a child’s education in sub-Saharan Africa. The basic concept is that one student here can help to educate one student there, hence the organization’s name: One Here One There.
According to Jan Latour, president of the non-profit group, “The opportunity to help educate a child in Africa for as little as $20.00 is such a compelling case, we felt like we had to act.” After seeing a report on television spot-lighting the plight of African children, Latour gathered friends and former college associates to decide how to help.
It was determined that the key to success was developing a program to generate a steady stream of funding. The unique aspect of the program advanced by One Here One There is to partner with colleges and universities to allow students to make a $20.00 tax deductible donation with their tuition billing statement each semester. With 10 million students in four year schools across the country, the group hopes to raise several million dollars each year as a continuing resource for education of African children.
To evaluate the potential of this unique fund-raising concept, Latour met with government officials in Washington, D.C., university administrators and student government representatives. Based on the enthusiastic response from those meetings, One Here One There, Inc. was born.
Washington officials embraced it as a desperately needed grass roots initiative to supplement federal programs in Africa. Most governmental aid is directed toward health and economic issues. The objective of One Here One There is to focus directly on education. According to USAID, there are 42 million children in Africa with no access to formal schooling.
Since coming up with the idea, Latour has recruited a national board of directors, formed a non-profit Florida corporation, been licensed by the State to solicit funds, and developed a website (www.onehereonethere.org) and collateral materials to help enlist the support of universities. “We think we should start right here in Florida,” Latour said. “With its diverse population and many colleges and universities, Florida is a natural setting to test the concept. The group hopes to appeal to colleges with global community goals as part of their educational mission.
One challenge the group faced was determining a reliable channel for distribution of funds so that the greatest benefit can be achieved with the least administrative cost. Steps are underway to qualify several non-government organizations in several African nations to serve as partners for the delivery of educational services.
One Here…One There hopes to raise its initial funds in spring of 2006 and be able to fund an initial grant in the summer. Additional Florida colleges will be enlisted to participate in the fall of 2006.
Latour can be reached at the group’s website, onehereonethere.org, or by calling 727-514-OHOT.