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March 2016

Hello friend of Purple Cake Day,

With the Purple Cake Day Global Day of Action just around the corner – Fri 18 March – we want to bring you some updates from our partner projects

First of all, as you know, each of our projects are handpicked and have an emphasis on giving education opportunities where there would otherwise be none. Opportunities we all deserve because, as our partner project in Kenya says, "education is a human right!"

HAITI - The Children of Haiti Project

"The Children of Haiti Project is not a usual school with regular aspirations of a simple diploma" – school directrice Dominique Pierre

One of the first projects we supported at Purple Cake Day was the Children of Haiti Project (COHP). And it's been a seriously incredible journey. When we see photos of the smiling students, it's easy to forget their home lives are incredibly challenging – most live in small concrete or metal shacks, without toilets, electricity or running water, often 10 people to a room. 

It's a good time to recap on why we support this project:
Mere weeks after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, COHP was set up with the intention of taking 65 poverty stricken kids from the neighbouring tent camp from Year 1 through to Year 8, giving them "the same opportunities that an average middle class child in New Zealand, the United States or Europe is given." Not just for a taste of education, but a commitment to see them through.

The aim is to be a game changer for these kids â€“ "raising Haiti’s future leaders from some of the poorest kids in the neighbourhood".

And the forward thinking programme is creating some incredible and previously unheard of results. In an experiment, COHP sent 4th year students to take the national 6th year exam. They all excelled with nearly perfect scores.

Amidst the dusty chaos of Port-au-Prince, a colourful oasis is having a profound effect on its students, thanks to you.

STATS: The basic education situation in Haiti is catastrophic with an illiteracy rate over 75%. School would not normally be an option for these kids. The high costs and socio-economic disadvantage are prohibitive. As Dominique says: "Left with no choice, the easiest path is the street where at best children earn scraps by begging or cleaning car windows, and at worst are seduced by drugs, prostitution and the violent and lucrative kidnapping gangs."
NEPAL - First Steps Himalaya
"This has been an exceptionally difficult period, not only with the circumstances following the earthquakes but the following fuel crisis created from political problems" – Fionna Heiton, co-director of First Steps Himalaya

First Steps Himalaya's team on the ground responded immediately in the areas they support following the earthquake. Although most schools are now functioning in temporary learning centres, conditions are very tough. Some of the materials that First Steps had provided to schools have been rescued and are being utilised, though obviously a lot was lost in the earthquake. Teachers are struggling in these centres which are not really conducive to child friendly learning. 
What's the plan?
First Steps Himalaya plans to continue to rebuild schools with the earthbag techniques they are pioneering. With Purple Cake Day funds in 2016, repaired and rebuilt classrooms will be furnished and kitted out for learning. Despite disadvantages, classes are well attended as children have nowhere else to go and parents want their children to be safe.
First Steps also continue to run their teacher training centre, an earthbag building (completed days before the earthquake hit) and one of the only structures left standing in the area. This haven of inspiration trains teachers in 'child friendly learning' with the limited resources they have.
Also, 5000 trauma colouring books and pencils were distributed to schools following the earthquake, made possible with funds from Purple Cake Day.

In earthquake damaged villages in Nepal, kids are helping kids.
KENYA - Hilde Back Education Fund

Meet Joseph Thiongo Meru (centre), a 13 year old from Nyandarua County in Kenya. He scored 380 marks (Grade A-) in the recent Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Examination emerging as the top pupil in his former school and which secured him a place at Nyandarua High School. 

Nevertheless, Joseph’s parents were unable to cover the costs of sending Joseph to high school. Until now. 

Sarah, Murray and their family (from Nelson, New Zealand) have chosen to take on Joseph's sponsorship fees for the next four years of his high school education as their contribution to Purple Cake Day. 

This now makes 15 bright young Kenyans from needy families who, through Purple Cake Day fundraising, have the opportunity to receive four years of high school education. Another example of making opportunities happen! 

"Joseph is a very determined boy and when applying for the scholarship, he indicated that he aspires to be an engineer and he enjoys learning mathematics, english and science, playing football and reading books."

Go Joseph. We're all behind you!

And let's not forget, LOCALLY
One of the huge benefits of Purple Cake Day events are – the kids in the events! What they get out of it. We love hearing about your purple adventures, how you learn, celebrate, participate and fundraise, growing the spirit of compassion, respect, and leadership in our children. Encouraging them to learn what it is to be global citizens. 

This year, that's highlighted in the UN Global Goals. And we've let Helen Clark (head of UNDP) know that Purple Cake Day is an ideal way for students to connect with these Goals in a fun, creative, meaningful, hands-on way!

All the best for planning your Purple event. And don't forget to follow our FaceBook for updates!

Emily & the Purple Cake Day team
"Kids helping kids"

Watch videos below about how our projects benefit from your fundraising –

Want to get involved?

Friday 18 March
 is our '2016 Global Day of Action' 

This kicks off the purple year, but you can 'go purple' any day that suits you or your school throughout the year. 

And remember: "Kids helping kids" can be as creative or straightforward as you like, from purple cupcake stalls, to craft projects, to research blogs, to celebrations, to individuals organising their own outdoor achievement goals. Have fun!
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