$1,000 Raised at Kyrgyz Food Night!
A huge thank you goes out to everyone that came out to this event to make it so much fun and such a success! There were some awesome party games, lots of plov and salat, and (of course!) everyone went home with a "packet" (a plastic bag, or in this case an aluminum foil package) full of leftover plov. For a video of Peter eating an eyeball along with Travis Tinney, check out the Facebook page for the event:
That night put us over the halfway mark, and we're grateful to everyone who came out to carry on the great momentum we've had since the start of the campaign.
Kyrgyz Food Night Tonight!
Hey all, don't forget to spread the word and bring a friend to Kyrgyz Food Night @ Two Moon Cafe in Brooklyn!
There will be Kyrgyz party games, Kyrgyz movies and music, and lots and lots of RPCVs from Kyrgyzstan...not to mention all plov, carrot salad, beet salad (thank you Andreea and Tav!), and vodka.
All proceeds go to Ratbu (the TEFL TCF and counterpart extraordinaire) to help build her a classroom.
Hope to see lots of people there!
$4,000 mark raised and exceeded!
Many thanks to all the folks that brought us up to the $4,000 mark in such a short time. This is truly, truly incredible and I don't even know hw to thank people. Every donation is appreciated, and I'd like to recognize the anaymous donor who gave $1500, Cecilia Villarruel who put us over the $4000 mark last night, as well as Maureen O'Shea, Megan O'Shea, Ronald Roney, Anna Rathbun, Doug and Sharron White, Aurora Satori, Cameron Blume, Lee Gyomlai, Beth Conroy, Barbara Wetzell, Mary Heiermann, Michelia Kramer, Casey Van Zandt, Mackenzie Smith, Katherine O'Rourke, Denis Illige-Saucier, and several other anonymous donors!
Update 1: New Perk
We're having a Kyrgyz Night in NYC on April 20th! Two Moon cafe, an amazing bar/restaurant owned by a K-14 RPCV, is going to cook plov and other kyrgyz treats for us! If you are in the New York area, please come up for this event. My apartment will be available for anyone that needs sleepy-time after a night of vodka and dancing! ;-)
The event will also feature me eating sheep's eyeballs... that is if you donate to Ratbu's Room I'll eat sheep's eyeballs.
You can pay for your entry to the event by getting the $5 perk. Food at the event will be $10. For a $200 donation, you will get to be the honored guests (2) for the night, sitting at the head table and wearing traditional Kyrgyz attire that we'll provide. You'll also get all you can eat and drink service. And as the honored guests, you might be expected to make a toast. Don't worry, we'll have microphones.
Check out the facebook page below for more details and directions:
Update 2: $2000 raised!
Wow! I cannot even begin to explain how excited we are! We are getting closer and closer! Thank you so much to everyone that has contributed. Your generosity means more to us than we can even say.
So (left) here is a picture of me looking ridiculously happy. Why was i so happy in it? Oh yeah, because I was living in Toktogul and had just finished an AMAZING leadership camp with students from ours and neighboring villages!
Please tell your friends about Ratbu's Room and help this amazing community stay active.
Who We Are, What We Do
I'm Sarah Silverman, and I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia) which is where I met Ratbu (the recipient of any funds we raise) and all the kids you saw on the video. During my time there, Ratbu, the kids, and I did a lot of work for the community, which you can look at in detail on our website. (http://bilimnuskasy.webs.com) And we did all of that work from this one little room that Ratbu had made for this purpose several years ago. Over the years, we got people to donate books, furniture, technology, and even curtains. And over the years, we turned all of that stuff into something even more valuable---a community of teachers, parents, and students that became knowledgeable in computers and English, that developed strong leadership skills, and that grew to encourage and support each other to work for the greater good of their community. You can see the results of this work---which would have been impossible without this room---in the video. Those amazing kids spent countless hours in that room, learning about how to be the leaders they are today.
Two weeks ago, Ratbu called me to tell me that the space where our room is housed is needed for a new class of kindergarteners. They gave her ten days to move everything. She managed to find a temporary storage place for it, but the truly revolutionary work she does cannot continue until we find a permanent place to re-establish our room.
This is the third time we've been asked to move the room. This time, the school doesn't have another classroom to offer Ratbu. Furthermore, Kyrgyzstan is a poor country with a corrupt government, so even if a new classroom were available, there's no guarantee that a tightening budget or a connected local leader wouldn't cause us to move yet again. But Ratbu herself has a small piece of land in town with an unfinished building already on it. No one could ever take this away from her or ask her to move. It's centrally located on bully-free turf. It's the perfect solution, except that the building on the land is only half finished and not fit to be a classroom...yet.
What We Need, What You Get
That's where you come in. Your contribution will enable Ratbu to keep up the good work she's started in her community and expand it by giving her a permanent workspace and training center. We need $9,000 to make the room ready for workshops, trainings, and after school clubs. The money will go towards building materials and labor to finish an unfinished buildin that already exists on the porperty. The money would be handled directly by Ratbu, who has managed thousands of dollars in grant awards for her community over the past seven years. Check out her qualifications here: http://bilimnuskasy.webs.com/memberbios.htm.
In exchange, there are all kinds of great ways that we would like to say thank you, including:
- Famous raw, natural honey from Toktogul
- Handicrafts made by some of the kids we work with
- Witness the infamous Peter Clark, fellow PCV from Toktogul, eat a sheep eyeball (They really do this in Kyrgyzstan too!)
- Ratbu's secret plov recipe
- Video lessons on Kyrgyz language and culture from Ratbu
- A letter or card written by one of our kids
Everyone, no matter how much he/she gives, will get a personal phone call or e-mail to thank you personally and to see if we can answer any questions or tell you any stories of Kyrgyzstan and our projects there.
Here's why this project matters. Ratbu is the kind of person who lives the kind of change she wishes to see in the world. She pursues her ideals and goals for her community with persistence, courage, and passion. When Ratbu's voice can reach other people, they work together to do good things for their community, just because it feels good to do make something useful and important for themselves and others to enjoy. Every community needs a voice like Ratbu’s, but Ratbu needs a place to give her voice and ideas traction.
Other Ways You Can Help
If anything in our story has struck a chord with you, please contribute. You can make a cash donation, purchase one of our perks, or spread the word to everyone you know by checking out our website (http://bilimnuskasy.webs.com/, liking us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bilim-Nuskasy/168479709892623), and especially sharing this link on your own Facebook page. We hope to hear from you soon!