Monday, March 3, 2008

Making a Difference in South Africa

It's always a challenge in Peace Corps to know if you're actually doing any good, and those moments when you realize you CAN make a difference in someone's life are precious and cultivated. At the end of the month, I'll be participating in a half-marathon to raise money to send a young, bright thing to school (notice I said "participate" and not "running." Fortunately for me, there is a walking option!). Education is THE most needed thing to get this country on the right track. After years of apartheid education, which focused on preparing blacks for a life of low-level service and labor, there are so many more high-level jobs here than people to fill them. Education is necessary for community development, eradicating HIV/AIDS, stopping domestic violence and child abuse, creating alternatives to crime and violence, and basically every other challenge that South Africa is facing.

So, KLM, a non-profit founded by returned South African Peace Corps volunteers, provides a full scholarship to a disadvantaged but motivated, intelligent youth with leadership potential. This is seriously one of the most effective ways to change South Africa's future for the better, to help the kids who have the potential to do great things, but are hampered by poverty.

And this is a fabulous way for people from the US to help with this. The half-marathon is one of the few opportunities that I have to receive money from the US to help with the work I'm doing. Check out the website and if this is a cause you'd like to support (and I'm a person you'd like to support!), click on the "Donate" picture and donate by March 27. Any amount is appreciated. Just make sure you put my name in the space under "Longtom Marathon." If you'd rather write a check, you can mail it to:

KLM Foundation (US)
c/o Bowen Hsu
461 So. Bonita Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91107

Again, make sure you include "Longtom Marathon: Ronda Ansted" in the memo field.

You guys are fabulous, and I thank you for all the support you've given me so far. I hope you can take advantage of this way to not only support me, but to give a talented young South African a change to make a difference in his or her life.

Much love,