Education Project International (EPI) has been a dream in motion for several years. The idea emerged during a house building trip to Tijuana, Mexico, in 2007. During that trip several neighborhood children who were helping on the work site never left to go to school.
When I inquired why they did not attend school, the owner of the new house confirmed what I had suspected: their families could not afford the yearly 130 peso (about $10 US) registration fee and the 130 peso fee which paid for their standardized testing and insurance.
Something had to be done.
Children should not be denied their right to an education simply because their families cannot afford a one-time payment of about $20.
Education Project International was incorporated in late spring 2008. We began helping students that next fall. Traveling to meet families as well as principals at local schools, I began developing relationships in communities near Tijuana. That fall EPI provided scholarships for 25 students and uniforms for 10 of those students.
Over the next year we began a tutoring project in another part of Tijuana. Using two volunteers who wanted to help the children living in the canyon around them, we started Saturday morning tutoring. They began with five children and had more than 50 within a few months.
In the fall of 2009 EPI assisted more than 100 students in Mexico and two in Belize. Approximately one third of those students had never been to school.
EPI is growing. In 2010 we have been invited to the Dominican Republic where we are looking at developing tutoring and literacy programs in addition to a vocational school. We were also invited to Guatemala where we have begun to develop relationships with schools in the community of San Rafael las Flores.
Education Project International is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. There are no paid staff members at this time; we are all volunteers.
We will continue to grow through the support of our volunteers and our donors. I hope you will join us so that together we can Educate a Child…Change the World.