Dear friends,

For the last several years, Amizade has looked in the mirror and felt conflicted by what it sees. On one hand, we’ve changed the volunteer and study abroad sector forever and positively impacted hundreds of thousands of people. Check out our 2017 annual report here to learn about our good work. On the other hand, very few of our alumni – or any young people who have experiences like ours – are from low-income communities. With your help, this will all begin to change in 2018.

Young people who travel and serve abroad are more likely to vote, volunteer, graduate college, stay out of jail, join the workforce, display empathy, and much more (check out this awesome video to learn more). Unfortunately, these experiences are too often only reserved for the privileged and wealthy. In some communities we might spend as much on low-income children inside of the classroom as we do with richer kids. It’s in the summer, over winter break, and in the evenings that poor kids often fall behind. Wealthier families spend on average at least 8 times more per child on out of classroom enrichment – such as karate classes, summer camp, and study abroad. The highest impact, highest cost activities tend to be global experiences; we know, because this is what we do, and for 24 years, we have created more employable global citizens out of this demographic. We believe this trend needs to change and that access to global experiences must become more equitable. We are honored to announce the start of a new campaign – The Equity in Global Education Coalition – which seeks to create a national model to make the world more accessible to all children. If you believe in this idea, chip in now to help make it a reality.

Let’s be honest; Astro-Turf is an awful product. It’s bad for the environment, ruins peoples knees, and almost always costs more to install and maintain than grass. Yet, high schools spend millions installing this product each year. We have choices in education; Astro-Turf or global education? Amizade’s goal for the next 4 years is to create such a powerful global education model that school boards rarely choose Astro-Turf again (or other unnecessary, non-academic interventions). If you believe in the power of global service-learning or simply do not like Astro-Turf, now is the time to invest in Amizade.

Amizade is a more than a grassroots, high-impact nonprofit; we’re an innovative global education movement. We created the concept of Fair Trade Learning; we built the popular coalition and co-working space The Global Switchboard; we’ve catalyzed over 100 community development projects around the world that have impacted over 250,000 people; we’ve connected over 12,000 alumni to 16 communities; and in the process we’ve created more civically engaged, empathetic global citizens. Starting in 2018, we will grow our movement to be not only for the privileged few, but for everyone. Join us in transforming American education, by being an early investor in our movement to make global education for all.

Happy New Year,

Brandon Blache-Cohen
Executive Director

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