Tuesday, May 20, 2014

YOU are Keeping Girls in School!

One of the girls who graduated from
Nyaka Primary School in Decemnber 2013
It's been over a month since nearly 300 girls were taken from their school in Nigeria by the militant group, Boko Haram. This group represents one very real enemy of the success and safety of girls in Nigeria and across Africa. When the girls were taken from their school, the world's reaction was strong and visceral. We were repulsed by the idea that children could be robbed of their freedom and their right to build a better life for themselves. Millions of people--and I hope you're one of them--have shown their support for rescuing these girls. Groups like Boko Haram are only powerful when good people are complacent and silent.

And I hope you don't stop there. I hope you choose to take a stand through your actions.

There is another enemy that threatens the lives and freedom of millions of children every day.

There are 130 million children in the world today who are out of school because of poverty. A shocking 70% of these children are girls. According to research done in Uganda through Unicef, "adolescent girls are more likely to drop out of school, marry young, and deal with sexual health issues," making them more at risk to continue in a cycle of poverty. Without parents to support and protect them, girls who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS are even more vulnerable to sexual exploitation and assault. 

The benefits of investing in girls toward a community and its economy are dramatic. The Coalition for Adolescent girls reports that:
  • Just by graduating from primary school, she is already ensuring that she will have more control over her major life decisions. When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has two fewer children. That's good for her, for her community's economy, and for global population control. 
  • Not surprisingly, girls who go to school earn more money. They are more likely than boys to reinvest their money into their family (up to 90%!), which ensures that their parents and children will be taken care of. 
  • Girls who go to school send their children to school, ensuring that future generations will have happy, successful lives. 
Nyaka students at school 
There are organizations all around the world who are taking a stand against poverty and injustice to give children and families the opportunity to overcome their circumstances and build better lives for themselves. The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project is proud to count itself among them.

Thanks to YOUR partnership, we can face all of these problems together. YOU provide education, meals, sanitary napkins, and healthcare for girls every day so they can grow up and show the world what amazing things girls can do. YOU empower girls to believe in themselves, give them the knowledge they need to make good choices, and demonstrate every day that they are right where they belong: in school with a book in their hands.

If you aren't already a supporter, please join us. Together we can make sure that all of your children have all the tools they need to thrive.

Click Here to Donate!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

May Volunteer News

Nyaka has many wonderful supporters and volunteers. Every month we want to highlight some of the great work YOU do that helps your Students and grandmothers!

May Volunteer Spotlight Interview 
Dana Steiner

Dana was an intern for Nyaka during the Spring 2014 semester. She worked on grant research and development, which will help Nyaka raise money from many fantastic foundations we would never have discovered without her hard work. Our volunteer coordinator, Desiree, sat down with Dana for a quick interview. 

What do you do when you aren't volunteering?
I'm studying Professional Writing at MSU and plan on using my degree to do development work in the future. When I'm not volunteering, I'm either hanging out with my friends or I'm working...I work two part-time jobs: at the Broad Art Museum and as a student editor for the Museum Studies Program.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?
How much I'm into music. I collect vinyl records, mostly funk and soul music from the 70's.

Tell me how you first got involved with Nyaka.
I found out about Nyaka and was really impressed with everything the organization has accomplished so far. I knew I wanted to get experience in a nonprofit setting before graduating, so I approached them about doing an internship that would help out with anything related to grant writing.

What do you wish other people knew about Nyaka?
The story of how and why Jackson started Nyaka. It's very inspirational.

Why do you volunteer for Nyaka?
I'm happy to be involved with an organization that's working to help those affected by AIDS in Africa, especially children. I lived in South Africa this past summer, where prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS are among the highest, and visited areas where I saw its devastating effects. As an American, this really put things into perspective for me. I appreciate that Nyaka is providing AIDS orphans in Uganda with education and healthcare to help alleviate these major issues that the epidemic has resulted in.

What is it like to be a Nyaka Volunteer?
Everyone is really friendly, and it feels good knowing that I'm volunteering for a great cause!

May Young Hero Profile 
Gwenyvaer Kofoed, 8

Gwenyvaer has been raising awareness and funds for The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project for the past 3 1/2 years! She believes that every child should have food to eat, a home to live in, and people that love and care for them. Gwenyvaer knows that the students in the Nyaka and Kutamba communities are blessed to have her and Nyaka's help!

Gwenyvaer has been very creative in raising money for the children of Nyaka!  She has done everything from selling pencils to neighbor kids for
50 cents, to raising hundreds of dollars through selling Girl Scout Cookies, to donating a quarter when she comes into the Nyaka office.

Gwenyvaer does her best to tell everyone she knows about Nyaka, including her friends and classmates at school. This year she gave Nyaka post cards out as her Valentines. She also invited Nyaka staff members to read Nyaka's new children's book Sitwe Joseph Goes to School to all of the 3rd graders in her school.

Gwenyvaer also enjoys volunteering on behalf of Nyaka. She has helped sell Grandmother baskets and necklaces in the community,and volunteers in the office and encourages her friends to do the same.

We are so grateful for all of the amazing people who make a difference every day. Want to get involved? Contact our volunteer coordinator, Desiree Kofoed, at (517) 575-6623 or