Ivey is an exceptional fundraiser. She’s been with DialogueDirect for years both as a fundraiser and a leader. Exuding boundless passion and enthusiasm, Ivey is a tremendous asset to our team in Portland. Her energy is infectious, and her charismatic personality is a natural draw for teammates and donors alike. Ivey loves meeting potential sponsors, forming friendships with new people, and bringing out the best in her fundraisers, but, above all, she loves improving the lives of children in need of someone to fight for them. She’s been anxiously waiting for an opportunity to see a sponsorship site, thrilled to have the chance to visit Nepal and excited to share her personal take on Save The Children’s programs after seeing them firsthand.
Take it away, Ivey!
After fundraising for children for so long, I thought I knew the ins and outs of sponsorship like the back of my hand. It’s true that I can tell anyone how the programs work and the expected result in a community but actually coming face to face with parents, who want nothing more than a better future for their children, enlightened me. The difference between talking about Save the Children’s sanitation projects and actually seeing a school’s first bathroom is incredible. I know that what we do, as fundraisers, makes a difference but that belief is so much more powerful now that I’ve seen the positive change that occurs as a result of our work. I have never been more proud to be a part of that.
Nearly every aspect of the community that we visited in Nepal has been touched by Save The Children (STC). The impact it’s had on individuals and families is extensive - Save the Children’s programs affected every aspect of life there. From the Early Childhood Development centers, which reminded me of my own preschool classroom, to the medical centers, which included rooms for teens to discuss health issues in privacy; all are sponsored by STC. More impressive than STC’s wide reach is how invested the parents and program officers are in making sure those programs are successful.
Our visit to their school demonstrated just how invested the entire community is when it comes to education. After the children had been dismissed, all of the teachers gathered in the headmaster’s office with us. I thought they’d come to answer our questions, but, in fact, these teachers had questions of their own. How similar is their school to schools in the States? How do we handle discrimination against certain children? How do we reach out to single-parent families? What kind of testing is used in the States? They are passionately invested in how their classrooms compared to those in the US, and their inquisitiveness is second only to their focus on improving themselves and their school.
Parents as well as teachers were excited to see their children motivated to learn. When Save the Children launched their site in this village, many parents did not understand how these programs would tangibly benefit their families. It did not take long, however, for parents both to see the potential for their children and to get involved in the programs for their own benefit as well. They began attending events hosted by the Child Club, an STC initiative, including trash pickup and educational meetings on sanitation. Their children learned in the classroom and shared those lessons with their families -- the kids themselves becoming the teachers for their elders.
The Child Club program made the greatest impression on me. An after school program similar to Key Club or Honor Society, Child Club gives students the opportunity to plan community improvement events. We walked into a Child Club meeting attended by thirty students sitting at long desks. I’ve never seen a group of children so attentive, curious, and ready to learn. One girl in particular was so excited to share everything that they had accomplished, she could barely keep her seat. As students stood to talk about different projects they had finished, or were planning on starting, she could barely sit still, fidgeting with enthusiasm, raising her hand as soon as each of her peers finished speaking. It reminded me of how I behaved in the classroom, always eager to speak up and be the first to answer a question.
Every day, I talk about the impacts of poverty. I talk about children missing out on their education; their choices for the future limited, oftentimes without the ability to decide who they marry, powerless to take control of their own lives. I talk about Save the Children’s profound impact on sponsored children. My visit taught me that while STC’s impact on the lives of these children is amazing, by providing these simple but powerful opportunities, STC brings hope to the entire community. An individual can only do so much, but when each person has the chance to share what they have with their neighbor, we plant the seeds to make a difference in everyone’s quality of life. STC offers us the opportunity to help others help themselves and each other. Seeing this all firsthand and being able to be part of it is why I fundraise, why I am a Dialoguer, and why I am so grateful for this experience.
Thank you for sharing your story, Ivey, and thanks again to Save The Children for this opportunity!
You can find out more about Save's programs in Nepal here:
Save The Children's Nepal Program
Want a chance to work with Save? You can find our open positions available here:
DialogueDirect Careers Page