Today I would like to share and introduce you to the Karat School Project. The Karat School Project (KSP) was founded by Evelyne Keomian to provide sustainable help to children living in extreme poverty in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. As a child, Evelyne often missed school because she did not have the supplies to attend class and her parents frequently paid for her brother’s education over her own.
When she attended school it was often on an empty stomach. Early on Evelyne understood the importance of education and the opportunities it would grant her in life. When she moved to the United States in 2007, she made it her mission to help children in her native country.
I recently met Evelyne at an event and she is very passionate about KSP and its initiatives. Currently there are about 60 children attend reading and writing and meal distribution at the current KSP center and they need help to expand and open 3 mix age classroom in August.
You can learn more about their current campaign is “Empathy in Action” here where you can pzaurchase a T-shirt for you and your family and invite your friends to do the same. For every 10 T-shirts sold, 1 child will be attending school next school year. This week I had the honor of interviewing Evelyne and I invite you to learn more about KSP and how you can help below:
What is The Karat School Project?
The Karat School Project is a nonprofit organization that provide education, meals and other urgently needed necessities for children living in extreme poverty in the Ivory Coast.
Tell us a little more about yourself and how you started The Karat School Project.
I was born in the Ivory Coast. Child #7 of my family I had very little growing up.
As a girl, getting me educated was not my parents’ priority so when it was time to pay for someone’s tuition my brothers were prioritized. I had to find items selling jobs by when I was about 7 years old to be able to have money to pay for my registration fees to attend school.
I become a teen mother at age 17.
Since I moving myself and my son to the States in 2007 I have been helping the population back in the Ivory Coast as much as I can. I had sponsored wells to be built, done backpack drives, and put orphans to school.
I founded the Karat School Project to provide the help I wished I had as a little girls and as single mother. Our focus is providing education and meals to children living in extreme poverty and doing labor of some sort in the Ivory Coast. Currently we do reading, writing, and meal distribution program and we are opening a school in August 2018.
When was The Karat School Project founded?
As I said, I have always been doing philanthropy work for my community but it became officially an organization in 2018.
What are your current goals and vision for KSP?
We are opening 3 mix age classroom in August. We hope for this to be fully founded. We will be providing free education and meals to all the children. We hope to extend this to a full functioning elementary school in the next 3 years. That’s 6 classrooms all together. We also hope to have early education programs in orphanages and move our reading, writing in meals distribution program to rural areas affected by the civil war.
What has been your biggest success with the Project so far?
Success is measured weekly at the KSP. We have children that did not know their ABCs back in January that now do. We have 9 year old learning how to write their names for the first time. And we have starving children that leave our site with smile on their faces. That to me is success.
We are getting ready to launch a school in less then a year of functioning. We will be going from once a week learning program to year round education.
What has been the biggest challenge for you?
Getting funding. People have charity fatigue. People are so bombarded with causes that spend their money on big advertisement so their brains are tired of earring about how broken the word is. People do not have a problem donating items they do no longer need but other then that the challenge begins.
How can one help with your initiative?
We have items specific donations that can be made. You can donate to secure a meal for a child while he/she is at school. You can partner with friends and family to send a child to school, or you can donate. You can also help us spread the word and encourage others to support.
Are there ways to help support KSP non-financially?
Yes. We are always looking for partners to join us. We will journey together and grow together. We also need resources. Reach out and let us know how you can help.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I believe that generosity should no be out of the overflow of abundance, but rather, from the overflow of a giving heart. Anyone can impact more then they think, they just have to do something.
I want to thank Evelyne for educating us and telling us more about the Karat School Project which is helping to provide education, meals and other urgently needed necessities for children living in extreme poverty in the Ivory Coast.
If you are able to help please consider doing so. You can help the financially or by spreading the word about this cause. You can learn more about their current campaign is “Empathy in Action” here as well. You can also connect with them on Instagram and Facebook.