I mentioned in another post that after leaving Guatemala with L & D I felt compelled to make some kind of difference in the lives of women in Guatemala, however small, I had to do something. Over time, this just didn’t seem to be enough anymore. Like anything, the more you know, the more you are compelled to take action.
I just kept thinking, what about the other children in the world that will grow up without the support of a family? What about the children that will grow up without a family or education? What will their futures look like? I continued to research this subject, and I found that 60% of the girls will end up working in some form of prostitution. Sex-trafficking is on the rise, and it is surpassing drug trafficking as a multi-billion dollar industry.
I thought back to a project I worked on in 2008 when I was a Marketing Team leader at a large retail company. They were taking donations of pencils to send to Africa. This seemed so ridiculous to me. The cost of shipping all these pencils seemed to outweigh the benefit the children in Africa would receive. A simple solution to me, was to sell pencils at the check out stand, and donate the money raised to schools in Africa. The pencils could be purchased in their homeland, further generating revenue for their community, and saving on shipping and distribution of the pencils.I have been evolving this idea for a few years now.I liked the idea of the pencils at the register, but I wanted an “and then some”, I wanted more. How could I get more than just a dollar or two per pencil? How could I make a real impact with this?
In 2009 I entered the art community with my husband, Georges when we opened an art gallery and then went on to transform that gallery into BLOC PROJECTS, a curatorial and art consulting organization that Georges now runs.
By taking what I know, and working with Bloc Projects , I developed the HeART Pencil Project. It is my goal to work with established artists around the world to design unique limited edition pencils. The profits from the the pencils will go to providing education for orphans around the world.
The HeART Pencil Project will provide school supplies, supplement teachers salaries and help build schools. In some case we will help to bring food and clean water to the children, in an attempt to create an atmosphere for successful learning. It is essential to our program to purchase the supplies within their communities to further support the towns and villages in which they live, lessen our global carbon footprint and eliminate shipping costs resulting in more funding for the schools.
We are kicking off the program with a crowd-funding campaign.
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I know that we won’t save every child, but The Starfish Story comes to mind, and I think if it makes the difference in the life of just one, it made a difference.