48 Hours to Lift Off…

…Dear friends, family, and readers around the world, it’s time to pack your mental suitcases. The return to India that you have all been waiting for is about to arrive. In 48 hours, we’ll be lifting away from American soil for the last time as I set out on yet another mission to India.

Over the next three months, I will be taking you with me nearly every day as I reunite with the children, families, Sisters, and doctors that we said “goodbye” to seven months ago. We will check on their progress, learn about how we can improve our impact, and begin to expand Squalor to Scholar and lay the groundwork for future and lifelong success. We will also see our precious patients and meet with some of them for the first time since their life-changing surgeries.

We will undoubtedly witness victories and tragedies, births and deaths, successes and failures. However, I will strive to uphold what I see as my duty: to recount to the best of my ability the emotional, educational, and distinctly human experience that is India.

We will travel from the disease and despair of the slums to the groundbreaking and inspirational progress of some of the best schools, universities, and hospitals in the world. I will also be hosting multiple live events during which people around the world will be able to log in and meet our students and patients in the slums, face-to-face via live teleconference.

If you’re just joining us or need to refresh your memory, here’s a video to explain just a small fraction of what has happened since this blog was started only 13 months ago (although nothing can replace going back and reading the previous 105 posts for yourself).

Please spread the word about this blog to your friends and family. I know the URL is long and difficult to remember. Heck, even I have trouble spelling it. But jot it down and spread it around. Someone might be glad that you did.

We have a lot to accomplish over the next three months but a lot more knowledge and experience behind us now. I have high expectations for this journey, although, once again, I don’t really know what to expect.

How Can You Help Today?: Share the links to www.squalortoscholar.org and www.johnschupbach.wordpress.com

Thanks for following!

Advertisements

Christmas Gift Ideas…

Christmas is only one week from today and I’m guessing you haven’t finished your shopping. I have two perfect ways to help you while helping others!

If you’re looking to send material gifts, click this link to Amazon and buy your presents here (for yourself or someone else). Up to 10% of every purchase you make after clicking this link will be donated straight to Squalor to Scholar! Best of all, this works ALL THE TIME, FOR ANY PURCHASE ON AMAZON! Therefore, if you really like our work in India and want to support our students from the slums, bookmark this page and click this link to Amazon whenever you buy your electronics, books, sporting goods, computers, Cheetos, shoes, toothbrushes, or whatever else you buy on Amazon.

If you’re out of ideas, consider giving the perfect gift: A Donation to Squalor to Scholar! We will send a special e-card to someone you love telling him/her that you have made a donation in his/her honor (Please make sure you give us the name and email address where we should send it).

Donation Card Front
–Front–

Donation Card Text
–Inside–

Donation Card Back
–Back–

Thank you for your continued support! If you sponsored a child earlier this year, you should be receiving a very special gift and formal thank you within the next few weeks.

Don’t forget to buy everything through this link to Amazon so our students can continue to thrive!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Squalor to Scholar!

75 Macs, Thousands of Futures…

…Our students will soon receive one of the most influential shipments ever to to arrive in Faridabad. Over the past few weeks, I have been working closely with Jenny Treadway, Director of Information Technology at my alma mater, Phoenix Country Day School, who has generously arranged for Squalor to Scholar to acquire much of the used technology from this renowned institution.

Within the next seven months, 75 iMac and MacBook computers currently in use at PCDS will undergo a cyclical phase-out. We will rescue them, pack them, and ship them 8,000 miles to Faridabad, India, where they will breathe new life educating and inspiring thousands of students from impoverished backgrounds. They will be set up in multiple schools, orphanages, and professional training centers where their users will now have access to resources like Google, Khan Academy, and Wikipedia for the first time ever. Our students at the Carmel Convent School will be among the students receiving a computer lab, something they have never seen before. They will also learn how to communicate with us via email, share photos on Facebook, video chat with us on Skype, and perhaps someday even host their own blogs and websites.

The internet is the Gutenberg Press of the 21st century and the single greatest communications device ever created. It is a tool capable of transforming entire societies and promoting equality and freedom on a scale never before possible. We have hardly even begun to unlock its potential to revolutionize education and healthcare worldwide. With only few exceptions, the internet has changed nearly every aspect of modern first-world society. Although we may not realize it, the internet is also changing the other end of the spectrum; it is changing how the developing world develops.

More than 78% of Americans and 40% of Chinese use the Internet. Throughout Africa as a whole, 15% use the internet. Yet, by these same measurements, only 11% of Indians use the internet. This means that 1.1 billion people (more than the entire population of North America, South America, and the Middle East combined) in India are still without internet.

In order to catch up, India is currently “leapfrogging” many of the technological achievements of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Instead of LAN connections and desktop computers, they’re jumping straight into the mobile internet revolution. Of the 137,000,000 people in India who currently do have internet, 59% of them access it exclusively with their phones.

Mass internet usage is coming to the third world. There are already 900 million mobile device subscribers in India; their phones just aren’t capable of internet connections yet. As costs drop, the transition will occur. That transition is coming fast and it’s going to revolutionize public health, global economics, education, and everything in between.

Our students from the slums will soon have a leg up on their peers with the help of 75 powerful computers coming their way courtesy of Phoneix Country Day School. To Jenny Treadway and the entire faculty, staff, and administration at PCDS, thank you for your continued support.

DEAR READERS, WE NEED YOUR HELP WITH 2 ITEMS: Please email squalortoscholar@gmail.com if you can provide any assistance with the needs below. On behalf of our students and their families, thank you!

1. EXPERIENCE WITH INDIAN CUSTOMS: Indian customs has unusual policies regarding the import of computer hardware. Shipping logistics have been generously taken care of, but we do not know what sort of red tape these computers will encounter on arrival. If you have experience in this arena or can connect us with someone who does, we would greatly appreciate your help.

2. TECHNOLOGY DONATIONS: If you have access to a high-end DSLR, video camcorder, laptop, iPad, or software licence that you aren’t using and think would be helpful in growing Squalor to Scholar and improving the educations of our students, I would be honored to receive donations of such items for use in India.

Once again, thank you!

Sources of Statistics:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16354076
http://www.internetworldstats.com