Over the years, we have helped deserving young people with funding for post-secondary education from general donations. In 2009 scholarship support was formally embedded in the annual budget as the FUNDACCO Scholarship Program in which donors sponsored individual students over the course of their studies.
The Program was initiated after the members of a 2008 delegation were determined to help the many young high school graduates they encountered who had very little opportunity for employment in the communities and no resources to go on to post-secondary education.
In the first year of the Program, eight students received university scholarships and ten received assistance for short courses.
Now in its fifth year, the Program supports 31 students in university programs and eight students in specialized short courses. This year six of the university students graduated and advanced to modules for work experience and theses presentation.
A popular way of helping is for individuals or families to sponsor a student for their entire program – an annual donation of $1800 per year for four or five years to the FUNDACCO Scholarship Fund. Make your donation by mail or online.
Alternatively, supporters may prefer to make smaller annual donations which can be combined with donations from others to fund a full scholarship for one student. This also accomplished by donation to the FUNDACCO Scholarship Fund. Make your donation by mail or online.
There is now a third option and that is to fund scholarships on a continuing basis through the Roots of Change Planned Giving Programadministered by the Edmonton Community Foundation. The FUNDACCO Fund for Higher Education (FFHE) was initiated for this purpose. As with all donations to the Roots of Change Endowed Funds, contributions to the FFHE are invested and 3.5% of the value of the FFHE is disbursed annually as scholarship support. A further 3.5% is re-invested into the fund where it grows in perpetuity.
The FFHE is a strategic investment which will continue to grow and provide scholarships long beyond our lifetimes. It is also a long-term endeavour; because the annual return is relatively small at inception, it will take several years to grow the Fund to the point where it will make a significant impact. With your help we are looking to reach the $25,000 threshold by 2016.
Donors can contribute to the FFHE with one-time or monthly contributions. A second option is to designate the FFHE as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Thirdly, donors can will a portion of their estate, including stocks and real estate, to the Fund. Tax receipts are issued for all contributions. For more information about supporting a student through the Planned Giving Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are spin-off benefits for the communities as well. In Cinco Pinos, while attending university some students became involved in operating a credit union to provide small loans to local people. In Managua, a woman studying social work on weekends worked as an administrator for FUNDACCO with responsibility for project over-sight and accounting. In San Benito another social work student is overseeing agriculture and sewing projects. Families of students receiving scholarships also benefit as the student pays for room and board while living at home. Those who get jobs routinely assist their parents, as family is central to their lives.
There are also benefits for sponsors. Through correspondence and visits to Nicaragua, sponsors and students have come to know each other and form bonds for life. Sponsors who have traveled to Nicaragua have seen first-hand what a difference their support has made in helping a young person become independent and have a sense of pride.
To learn more about sponsoring a scholarship, contact John Schile at 780 459-8680 or email email@example.com