USU student non-profit opens school in India

Logan, Utah – Effect International, a non-profit organization led by USU students, celebrated the opening of its first school Tuesday, September 21, in Bihar, India. The effort to build the school involved USU students, local professionals, and native Indians donating their time and money for the cause. “Over 30 underprivileged youth are attending school that otherwise would not be, and more are coming daily” said Casey Allred, director of Effect International. Allred expects the school to reach its maximum capacity of 120 students within weeks. Since being formed August 2009 by USU students Casey Allred and Bushra Zaman, Effect has traveled to India and Nepal to conduct area needs assessments, secured 10,000 square meters of land from a private donor on which to build schools and reading rooms, and collected over 20,000 textbooks for distribution there. “Local and foreign volunteers together have worked tirelessly to make this all possible,” said Bushra Zaman, Director of India Effect International. Effect focuses on creating sustainable education systems in underdeveloped areas that, between one to five years, become completely sustainable by local donors. Their current plan involves investing several thousand dollars into creating a school while providing for the building maintenance and teachers salary. Then, within a few years, local donor take over, allowing those willing to invest in the area’s future. Parwen Zaman, the new school’s principle reports new children coming in daily as the news of a new school spreads throughout the community. According to statistics provided by the World Bank, Bihar, India has one of the worst educational systems in the world, including one of the worst rates in India for teachers present in the classrooms. Effect’s new school, however, is expected by Indian volunteers to thrive. “The good teachers hear about us and come to us because they care about education and the kids who come want to learn” said Allred. Effect plans to build two more schools in India, as well as two in Nepal by December 2011. For more information on how to help through volunteering time, money, or school supplies visit effectinternational.org, or email info@effectinternational.org.

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