Education - Opportunity or Expectation?

As immigrants to this country, my parents always made it a point to remind us kids how easy we had it. I can imagine that we've all had that conversation. Now my children are the recipients of the famous speech that always begins with "You know when I was your age..." As a child and even into my youth, our family would take trips back to the islands so that we could see for ourselves how lucky we truly were to call the U.S. our home. Those experiences and memories have never left me and have helped me appreciate the circumstance in which we live.

Recently I have been reminded of those same experiences as we have teamed up with Emily (RUN EMZ) and Effect International to help with their efforts to provide a basic education to the approximately 98 million children who may not be able to receive one otherwise. Effect was founded in 2010 by Casey Allred and Bushra Zaman, with passion to make education accessible for all of India’s underprivileged children. Between college semesters, they travelled back and forth to India to open a school in rural Bihar, India. In 2011, Casey received the Utah Campus Compact award for his work, Effect was awarded the Bill E Robins; Organization of the Year, and Effect brought on a new key team member, Moline Dastrup. They are doing good things. 

India faces many challenges and the ability to provide a basic education to the millions of children who need it is one of them. Chronic government schools, fueled by high teacher absence rates and corruption, are unable to serve them. Effective private schools cost too much and affordable private schools are highly fragmented and unable to scale beyond a few schools. This has left India’s most disadvantaged without any form of education. Without a fundamental change in India’s education system, millions of the most disadvantaged people will remain illiterate and unable to escape the poverty cycle.

We enjoy the luxuries of modern technology at our fingertips, fresh food down the hall, clean running water, and electricity. Our personal electronic devices spit out information faster than encyclopedias and even comes with a personal assistant that will talk to you and remember your name if you get lonely. We connect to anyone in the world at a moments notice and if we want, we can talk face to face like we used to see in those cool sci-fi movies back in the day. But even with all of these modern advances, we still have millions of children who may never get the chance to receive the most basic education. Sometimes we forget just how fortunate we are. Much like education, these same luxuries are no longer viewed as opportunity but expectation. Sadly enough, even in our blessed circumstances, many don't take advantage of the opportunities that are not so readily available to millions worldwide. We live in a world where many need help; even those in our immediate proximity. Today we are asking you to support this worthy cause and hopefully with the help of many hands and your kind hearts, we can do our part. 

To raise awareness and more importantly the funds to help this cause, Emily (RUN EMZ) will run on a treadmill for 24 hours on September 12-13, 2013 in San Francisco covering approximately 100 miles or more to help with these efforts. These funds will be raised by a combined effort of corporate sponsors, donations by you, and the purchase of our limited edition RUN EMZ/IKUNA t-shirt. If you're not a t-shirt person and would like to donate instead, please do so here.  

Learn more about Effect International and the good things they are doing. We are excited to be a part of this event and invite all of you who can make it to come out and support. We look forward to seeing you! 

Please share, repost, and support. Together we can make a difference.

Overcome. Achieve. Victory. IKUNA  

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