Participants of the second annual Twestival, which took place on March 25, 2010 and involved 175 city events raising $400k for the nonprofit Concern Worldwide, can now see the results of their giving. Founder Amanda Rose recently traveled to Liberia with cameraman in tow to document the school being built from the money raised. Watch the videos below and read the Q&A I did with Amanda about the trip and the upcoming Twestival 2011.
Q: Why did you go decide to go Liberia?
A: The funds have been divided to support four different educational projects in four different countries; Haiti, Burundi, Liberia and Malawi. Concern worldwide felt Liberia would be a great place to visit as it is a country in real transition especially when it comes to education but with that comes huge potential. We wanted to use the follow up as an opportunity to show first hand how much of an impact even small donations can make.
In Liberia, we are helping to build a school with Twestival funds, which I'm told will impact 3000 families in the area. The new school in Senyah is located about a six hour drive from Monrovia, along muddy hills and across bridges that Concern had to build in order to reach the village. When we arrived, the Chief and all of the students and teachers of Senyah greeted us inside the church, which is where they have tried teaching around 300. This building, although only one room, was actually much better than some of the surrounding schools we visited. One school which is about a ten-minute drive away from Senyah felt more like a dark miniature prison than a safe place for students to learn. Over 80 percent of the schools in Liberia were destroyed during the 14 year civil war, so it brings me hope knowing there are organizations like Concern Worldwide working with the Ministry of Education to rebuild their future.
Q: Why was it important for you to produce these videos?
A: I think all too often people make donations and they never really feel connected to the actual impact on the ground. I feel as if we have a real opportunity to continue this dialogue about global education with the thousands of people who participated in Twestival -- and there's no better way to do that than through video. We will continue to update everyone on the progress of the school construction in Senyah.
Q: So is this movement done or are we going to see another Twestival in 2011?
A: Twestival 2011 will be supporting local causes. If you'd like to get involved, it will take place March-April 2011 and registration opens January 1st. Tweet "@twestival" or enter your email on Twestival.com to get the news first.
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