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Raven Supply Sets Goal to Fundraise 50 Girls Scholarships in Laos

Girl student walking to schoolRaven Supply has set a goal this year to fundraise $20,000 to provide girls in Laos with scholarships. Through the global education non-profit Room to Read, the funds will support and mentor 50 girls in country to stay in school.

We chose to benefit the country of Laos based on their considerable needs. Although primary and secondary schools in Laos are free and literary rates are rising, many schools lack appropriate reading materials, quality classrooms and have limited training for teachers.

Laos is a relatively small nation with the youngest population of any country in Asia; half the population is under the age of 18 years. Furthermore, 64% live in rural areas where poverty is concentrated and schools are difficult to reach, with many children having to walk long distances to attend class. Schools in these areas may lack infrastructure such as roads, electricity and sanitation.

Students reading in front of classroomIt is also an immensely diverse country, with an estimated 237 ethnic groups and over 80 languages spoken. Children of ethnic minority groups who do not speak Lao at home face a language barrier in the classroom and can struggle to stay in school, especially those living in rural areas.

Girls are at a higher risk of not finishing their education. They can experience pressure to marry early or to help with household duties rather than attend school. Nine percent of girls are married before the age of 15 and 35% before the age of 18. In the population over the age of 15, the literacy rate for women and girls is 10% lower than their male counterparts.

Girl studying with familyRoom to Read works with the Laotian government to improve infrastructure, provide access to quality learning materials and support students in underserved communities who are at the greatest risk of dropping out of school. More than 600,000 children in country to date have benefited from their Literacy and Girls’ Education Programs.

Despite ongoing health outbreaks and intermittent school closures during the pandemic, they continue to support students in their Girls’ Education Program. In 2020, over 5,000 individual remote mentoring sessions were delivered, and over 470 girls received direct messages in support of their education goals. By the end of the year, 96.5% of program participants had returned to school.

Girl student in fieldIn 2021, they provided individual and group mentorship through both online sessions and at home visits. Through these efforts, Room to Read learned that many Girls’ Education Program participants experience risk factors for not returning to school, including poverty, pressure to perform paid labour and pressure to pursue marriage.

Raven Supply is aspiring to provide 50 girls in Laos with the opportunity to complete their secondary education. We know that girls who complete secondary school are more likely to have smaller and healthier families, earn more income and educate their children—thereby ending the cycle of poverty.

Since 2013, Raven Supply has been a proud supporter of Room to Read. We do this with the generous help of our friends and vendors; for every discount that we receive from a vendor, we match it dollar to dollar in a donation. We also match donations made by our customers. Over the years, we have contributed over $250,000 to fund education projects across several developing countries. You can learn more about our work with Room to Read here.

Raven Continues Supporting Local Schools During COVID-19

Since 2015, Raven Supply has been supporting two local schools in Surrey, helping vulnerable elementary and secondary school students in need to succeed in their academic and personal lives.

At the Bridgeview Elementary School, Raven’s contribution to the after-school BLAST program is allowing more students to explore art, science and sport-related activities in a safe space. The program is reaching students who normally cannot access extracurricular activities, alongside students in need of academic support and those who need encouragement in building positive relationships. Throughout the year, the engaging program, which also provides snacks and invites community partners in to teach on various topics, has been boosting the self-esteem and school engagement of participating students.

Raven’s contribution to the Emergency Fund at Frank Hurt Secondary School has continued throughout the pandemic, ensuring that all students have the support that they need to succeed in school and move towards graduation. The funds are being used to buy textbooks and school supplies, provide skills and career training and pay for graduation commencement fees. Gift cards and transit passes are also purchased for students and families in need.

In addition to the regular support that Raven provides to both schools, we also contributed an additional $5000 during COVID-19 school closures to ensure that lunch programs continued for students who relied on them.

Raven is committed to giving back to the community, including donating a portion of our profits to enhance the school experience of students at these two schools. We are pleased to learn that through these school programs, children and youth in need are receiving the tools required to excel academically and continue onto paths of success.

Raven Surpasses Fundraising Goal for Room to Read

Girl reading work book in classroomAs we approach the end of the year, we are happy to announce that we have surpassed our 2020 fundraising goal to provide 50 scholarships to girls in Vietnam through global education non-profit Room to Read. We had set a goal of $20,000, and with your support, we exceeded this target and have fundraised and donated a total of $30,077.

We were also able to take advantage of a matching campaign during this month’s Giving Tuesday. Through Room to Read’s generous match partners, our contribution was tripled to $90,231, enabling us to provide even more girls with life-changing education.

Girls walking outside classroomSince 2013, we have partnered with Room to Read’s Vancouver Chapter to donate a portion of our profits to benefit childhood literacy and education. For every discount that we receive from a vendor or customer, we match this with an equal donation. Including this year’s funds, we have now contributed over $210,000. This is before any donation matching, which we make sure to take advantage of every year.

Girl holding book in libraryRoom to Read is changing the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Despite the pandemic closing schools in many areas this year, they continued reaching children in their programs by adopting new ways of delivering education. This included launching a digital library, broadcasting through radio and TV, distributing print materials, expanding their book supply chains and providing phone mentorship to girls.

Thank you to all our vendors, customers and supporters who helped us to achieve this result—we couldn’t have done it without you. This contribution is helping girls to stay in school and bridge the gender gap in education. Please keep your eyes out for news on how we will be supporting Room to Read in the new year. We hope that you will join us.

Room to Read During COVID-19

Room to Read India - boy reading bookRaven Supply works with a number of local and international organizations to support the wellbeing of our communities and raise awareness of initiatives that are important to us. This includes our work with the global education non-profit Room to Read, whom we donate a portion of our profits to each year.

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, we were saddened to learn that over 1.5 billion children and youth are out of school, including vulnerable children in the 16 countries in which Room to Read operates. Girls are especially at risk; with local and nationwide school closures, many girls have dropped out of school and gotten married.

Room to Read Cambodia - girl holding school booksRoom to Read is supporting children in continuing their studies, by adopting new ways of delivering education. Classes and life skills workshops are being broadcasted through radio and TV in areas without internet, print materials and worksheets are being distributed to local communities, and book supply chains have been expanded to reach children who cannot visit libraries.

For those with access to the internet, Room to Read has launched a free online learning platform, digitizing 900 book titles and read-aloud videos for all levels and in up to 12 languages. It also houses a plethora of resources for teachers, book creators, publishers and governments.

Room to Read Nepal - girl reading by treeWithin the Girls’ Education Program, girls are now receiving phone support and mentoring. An early warning system has also been revised, which helps local staff to identify girls whom are at risk of dropping out of school early.

Lastly, through remote training and workshops, Room to Read is continuing to provide professional development to local teachers and authors and illustrators.

Many of these new paths to learning have been fast tracked but will continue to benefit childhood literacy and education for years to come. They are enabling us to reach even more children, including those whose access to education is restricted by weather or location.

Room to Read Vietnam - teacher writing on chalk boardRaven Supply is committed to our goal of raising $20,000 for Room to Read this year, to provide 50 scholarships to girls in Vietnam. For every discount that we receive from a vendor, and every contribution made by a customer, we are matching it with an equal donation. Thus far, we have raised over $13,574 and no doubt together, we can reach our goal by end of year.

You can learn more about our work with Room to Read here.

Linna Heads to Fulton

Last month, Linna attended Fulton’s Sales Training in Pulaski, New York. This training covered Fulton’s hot water boilers, steam boilers, and thermal fluid boilers over the course of three days. Linna had very high expectations going into training, and Fulton did not disappoint!

Along with building boilers Rugged, Robust, and Reliable, it will not be long until the Fulton name becomes synonymous with innovation. Even after producing boilers that are known for their quality, they continue to find ways to make their boilers even more Rugged, Robust, and Reliable. During her training, Linna had the opportunity to see Fulton’s new Endura+ (Condensing Hydronic Boiler) and VSRT (Vertical Spiral Rib Tubeless Steam Boiler). Together, these products have no less than 50 patents pending worldwide!

Although seeing the construction of the boilers was a very interesting part of the training, Linna was most impressed with the team they have at Fulton. Every individual she met shared two common attributes: They were eager to learn, and always ready to share their knowledge. With a team that values continuous growth and has the ability to effectively pass on their wealth of knowledge, it is no wonder Fulton is able to attract and retain bright individuals capable of keeping Fulton the most innovative company in the boiler industry.

2015 Initiative Complete

Raven Supply has handed over the $25,500 raised last year by Raven Supply, their vendors, and customers. The funds raised in 2015 will go towards filling a library with books, puzzles, and other learning materials. We also fundraised to provide 50 girls in India with a one-year scholarship. This provides them with workbooks, backpacks and other supplies they need to succeed as well as support from within the community. Room-to-Read’s in-country staff, provide continuous support for these girls and ensure they are continuing to attend school.

 

Ashleys Trip to Nepal – Shree Madan Asrit Lower Secondary School

Raven Supply sent my sister Gabrielle and me to Palpa, Nepal to go and see our 2013 Room to Read project. The trip was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

It began rather exciting with dance-off with the locals, natural rock climbing up to a tower & a beautiful sunset view before they took us back to our hotel for the evening. The next morning we all loaded into the jeep and headed 2.5-3hrs further up the mountain, on a very interesting road that barely fit one car, we learned very quickly the horn is the most important part on a car on that side of the world.

When we got to the school we were greeted by the schools’ principal, vice principal and in-country director as well as the entire school. They then gave us flowers & a powder on our foreheads and we went to cut the ribbon to the library and classroom that were constructed. It was such an amazing experience. We then sat in on a grade 1 class for about one hour & watched the students and teacher interact (no English was used in this school); from what we could tell the class was being instructed just as a class would be back in Canada. The teaching styles, getting students to sound out words, practicing and encouraging the students. Also, the look on their faces when they were getting rewarded in front of these strange guests was adorable!

After sitting in the grade one class we went to the library with the grade 5 class. They read together for a bit, then the race was on over to the new bookshelves to pick out a book that they would be taking home for the remainder of the week. We were shown the book checkout system and the library schedule and were told by the teacher that they were so happy with the library because it has put their school on a higher level than even some schools in Kathmandu with the number of resources they have now. They then got one of the students to read aloud while Gabrielle and I repeated what we thought we heard, getting a lot of laughs in between. They then asked me to do the same, I do admit they were much better at this than we were.

The experience Raven and Room to Read gave my sister and I was one that we will remember for the rest of our lives. It has also reassured me that what we are doing is making a huge impact on these communities, giving these children access to education and the chance for a better future.