In addition to our FABULOUS scholarship sponsors and famous friends, there are a host of foundations that have chosen to throw their weight behind the Thousand Girls Initiative. Today we’d like to introduce you to one of them: the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation.
The Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation is a fantastic organization dedicated to “alleviating the suffering experienced by vulnerable children” around the world and striving to eliminate the root causes of that suffering. Their aim is to “promote the dignity of all children” and help children become full and active members of their communities. The Foundation currently focuses on helping disabled and refugee children and those who have been, or are at risk of being, trafficked.
The Foundation was founded in 1977 by Dorothea Haus Ross, who was first inspired to help vulnerable children when she traveled Europe in the wake of World War II. Her compassion for the children who had been orphaned, injured, and displaced as a result of the war blossomed into a lifetime of philanthropy, which her foundation carries on today.
The Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation does amazing work, from helping children in the Philippines escape the danger of working in underwater gold mines, to protecting children in Cambodia from human trafficking, to providing special education classes to children in Kazakhstan. And now—they’re helping high-risk Guatemalan students stay in school!
Indigenous girls in rural Guatemala are at the very bottom of the social and economic hierarchy. From the time they are born, they face a life of poverty, discrimination, and illiteracy. Fewer than 1 in 10 girls graduate from high school, and more than half are married by age 18. “Vulnerable” is a fitting word.
Luckily, the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation fully understands what educating a girl can do. According to Ken Goody, Foundation Executive, “We think that improving girls’ lives through education is critical to the future—in fact, we don’t view girls as ‘a problem’ to be solved but a great resource to be tapped.”
We couldn’t agree more, and we are honored that the Foundation has entrusted their funds to us to help girls in Guatemala. According to Ken, “When an organization makes a commitment to a girl and her family to fund her education to its completion, they have made a sacred pledge. We believe that CoEd has the institutional capacity to fulfill this important promise to each individual girl and also increase the numbers of girls in its overall program.”
Thanks to the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation and all of YOU who have supported the Thousand Girls Initiative, we’re looking toward a future in which indigenous Guatemalan girls are educated and empowered to achieve leadership positions in their country. After a student graduates from our Scholarship & Youth Development Program, she carries that education and leadership skill with her for the rest of her life. And statistically, high-school graduates will earn enough to live out of poverty their entire lives. In other words, with just a six-year investment, we have a 60-year return in the form of that student’s entire lifetime spent out of poverty.
Want to join the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation in their efforts to serve the most vulnerable children of the world? Consider sponsoring a student in our Scholarship Program or otherwise supporting the Thousand Girls Initiative!