As many of you know, I am currently studying at the London School of Economics in the Master’s of Public Administration program, focusing on International Development. I have never in my life encountered such a breadth of interesting, talented, intimidatingly intelligent people with such fascinating and diverse life experiences, all of which they bring to bear on the program. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of it! They’re also charitable and extremely generous – the program’s Student Association, MPASA, has a Philanthropy wing, and each year the entire program votes on a charity to raise funds for. This year, they chose us at The Small Things!
Through the efforts of our two fearless second year leaders, Souraya and Leo, as well as our newly elected leader for next year, Joachim, as well as the amazing participation from the class, we managed to raise over $5,500! This was achieved through a number of creative avenues – from pub quizzes to bake sales to scavenger hunts to candygrams to hoodies to gambling! Here are a few highlights of the year’s events.
|Blackjack and “Pin the Tail on the Beaver (LSE’s Mascot) at
Games and Poker Night
|Jo (front) and Merce (back), two of our departing second years,
showing off the charades slips at Games and Poker night
|One team crammed into a London phone box
during the Scavenger Hunt
|Another team rocking out in an intersection for the Scavenger Hunt|
|Ebenezer Ndogo, one of the preemies
being helped by the one-to-one care
After talking to the group and the board, we’ve decided to use $2,000 of the money raised to complete Light Up the Night! That means that thanks to the students of the LSE MPA, we will be able to put solar lighting in the hospital maternity ward as well as the orphanage, making things much safer for the 30 orphanage kids as well as for hundreds of laboring mothers each year. The rest of the money will be divided between various other projects – part will go towards paying for a new mama’s salary for the next three years in conjunction with Western Union and Millie and Mikarla, part will go towards the new cooker and dryer for the orphanage, and part will stay in reserve for unforeseen expenses, like paying for one-to-one care for premature infants.
|Pray, who was badly burned
in the fire that inspired Light
Up the Night
We at The Small Things are all incredibly grateful – but I want to personally thank each and every one of my incredible classmates for their participation in this huge gift to the kids of Nkoaranga orphanage. I want to thank you for choosing us, despite the complications of being a US registered nonprofit operating in the UK. I want to thank you for spreading the word to friends and family – Team Least Squares from the Pub Quiz (Tolu “T-Statistic”, Faisal “F-Statistic”, Sarah “Stata Star”, Joachim “Joint Hypothesis”, and Hayk “Histogram Hero”) were particularly wonderful ambassadors. I want to thank the people who baked and helped us harass random passerbys for the bake sale – especially Molly, Kyla, Josephine, Liz, Merce and Josepha. And of course, none of this would have been possibly without the incredible leadership of Leo, Souraya and Jo, and the hard work of the rest of the Philanthropy team.
|Andrea, one of the kids headed to
school in January
Most importantly, I want to thank you all for coming out to our events and making them such a pleasure. It will be up to the class to decide which nonprofit they choose to support next year – while we would be incredibly grateful to be chosen again, it would also be fair for people to choose another of the many deserving nominated charities. But please know that you’ve made a huge difference for us this year, and the projects you’ve sponsored will affect mothers and children in need for many years to come.