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UW Student Group Raises $6,000


March 27, 2009 — The University of Wyoming student group Keep Girls in School has raised $6,000 for the M. Venkatarangaiya (MV) Foundation in Hyderabad, India.

"Since 1992, MV has mobilized citizens to take children out of child labor situations and re-integrate them in school, restoring these kids to a real childhood with opportunities for growth," says Women's Studies Program faculty member Professor Bonnie Zare. She recently flew to Hyderabad to deliver the funds, along with homemade cards and school supplies from children at Laramie's Snowy Range Academy. Zare went directly to an MV bridge camp, a school that has been set up to re-integrate 5 to14-year-old girls into a school environment.

"The girls surrounded me and were delighted to see photos of the UW students who raised the funds and the signed poster from Laramie residents," Zare recalls. "They kept asking me how many hours away Laramie was by plane, as if they were ready to fly here at that very moment!"

Keep Girls in School, aligned with the student organizations the Women's Action Network and Milaap (Indian students organization), comprises students who either have been on or were planning to go on Zare's Women of India overseas course. They raised the $6,000 in just four months, doubling their original goal. Fundraising activities included presentations to they UW Lab School, Sunrise Rotary and Zonta International. They also sent out letters across the state.

"We got funds from Gillette, Cody, Cheyenne; it was so great to see the outpouring of concern for kids who start out without so many of the basics that we take for granted," says UW senior international studies major Jenny Clay of Manassas Park, Va.

Economics doctoral student Pallavi Choudhuri agrees.

"It is gratifying to live in a community where people are so generous," she says. It's great to know that now 16 more village girls can be helped to enroll in school."

Keep Girls in School will be continuing to raise money for children living in subsistence conditions in the coming year. To learn more, e-mail bzare@uwyo.edu. For more on the MV Foundation, visit http://www.mvfindia.in/mvf/index.html.

Photo:
These are among the girls at a school in India that was assisted by a University of Wyoming student organization.

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009

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