CANMORE – Folks in Canmore make a difference.
That’s a big reason Frances Klatzel will again host CORE International’s annual fundraising event at artsPlace, Oct. 6.
Founded in 2005, not-for-profit CORE works to help small groups of people in Nepal who are among the poorest of the poor and who do not receive assistance from any other sources. CORE works by building bridges to link groups of people, organizations and individuals with the ability to provide services and support. That assistance is focussed on several priorities, including literacy and microenterprise projects, gender and social inclusion, and primary health care.
This year’s fundraising event will include showings of three short films, as well as an update on CORE’s activities over the past year.
Included in the updates will be a decision that CORE, in partnership with SOUP (Society for the Urban Poor), made to close a child centre in one area and re-channel the funds to support five other locations.
“It became apparent that the demand for one of the child centres in Lalitpur was low, but that the demand for tutoring in the form of after school programs (ASP) was high,” Klatzel said. “We closed the Lalitpur centre and used that money to fund ASPs in five more locations.”
The project allowed children from very poor families in a poor area of Kathmandu to first become accustomed to studying in a classroom situation, and to study at their own rate. This enabled them to pass the government test to enter the regular school system at an appropriate grade for their age.
So far this year, 103 students received CORE scholarships to attend different government schools, Klatzel said. Among 303 students who have received CORE scholarships since 2007 in three centres, 28 children have passed the SLC exam and joined in higher education. Of them, 20 have completed a junior college level, and one young woman is trying to gain a scholarship to enter medical school.
“The long-term impact of CORE’s program since 2006 is that parents in the Kalimati area now have the culture of sending their children to school,” Klatzel said. “As a result, those children attending the Kalimati child centre are mostly younger and from families that have come to Kathmandu from parts of rural India.
Since more children are attending school, CORE and SOUP have responded to the changing demand by initiating after school programs as the kids’ parents often cannot help them with their homework.”
In addition to sharing some individual success stories, Klatzel will show a short film made by Canmore filmmaker Roger Vernon and his colleagues that showcase CORE’s outstanding work.
For Klatzel, who has lived more than half her life in Nepal for nearly 30 years, Canmore is the “best place” for her to host the CORE fundraiser.
“Canmore is my home in Canada, so it is the best place to do the fundraiser,” Klatzel said. “Folks in Canmore and the Bow Valley have been great and loyal at donating enough to make a difference. This includes Canmore Rotary, which supports about a third of our education program.”
CORE’s annual fundraising event takes place on Saturday (Oct. 6) at artsPlace, running from 4:30-6 p.m. Admission is $10.