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Global Tassels to provide scholarships to Indian students to study in US.

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WASHINGTON, DC: Global Tassels is a philanthropic organization based out of Washington D.C. with the self-proclaimed “twin-goal” of providing education and social service.

The entity’s driving mission is to mitigate worldwide poverty by offering a cost free, U.S.-based education to “student leaders” who are chosen from international regions affected by long-term underdevelopment. In other words, Global Tassels intends to alleviate the onset of widespread poverty by means of propagating higher education

Once the foundation’s educational program inevitably emerges from its pilot stage, student leaders from around the world will be chosen to attend any of the various U.S. academic institutions that the organization is currently negotiating with; subsequent to the receipt of an American diploma student leaders will be repatriated and duly tasked with affecting positive social change back home.

Dr.  Elvin T. Ramos — Global Tassels’ founder, president, and CEO — has spearheaded the foundation’s steady emergence with the help of a dedicated team of likeminded humanitarians.

“The first motivation behind [Global Tassels] is my passion for education. The second regards international development that is ultimately centered on new, sustainable development goals,” Ramos told The American Bazaar in a phone interview.

During the conversation, Ramos made a point of touching specifically on Global Tassels’ blueprint for India, which is one of the nations that falls under the foundation’s overarching purview.

Excerpts from the interview with Dr. Ramos:

How has your organization implemented its strategy in India?

We took a visit to New Delhi in December of 2014. Global Tassels started in May 2014 so we went immediately when we had the chance. We returned to Delhi in July of last year and have plans to go back to Delhi this summer again.

As far as how we cultivated the organization structure is ultimately based on a partnership. People who we know here have given us some leads to work with institutions such as the YMCA and YWCA in Delhi, and we’re quite proud of what they’re doing over there.

The YWCA is a very active institution that promotes academic programs and activities to get engaged in poorer areas surrounding Delhi. The institution has helped us and introduced us to different professionals as well as leaders of NGOs.

We have had opportunities to expand based on our visit; because of that we’ve had leaders amongst the governing body of the YMCA connect us with communities throughout the slum areas of Delhi and the work that they’re doing there, whether it’s providing education, women’s empowerment, or food.

Last year we interviewed about five students from Delhi — a shortlist, but there were many who were nominated. We are very hopeful that we can continue to go back to Delhi and eventually other parts of India.

We have a strategy for India where we want to market and promote ourselves so that we can provide scholarships for more students who are in need.

We’re starting in Delhi because we want to make sure that we’re at the heart of the country and also because most of our partners living in India are located in the capital.

In your opinion, how does India compare to other nations in terms of poverty and lack of academic opportunity?

I do think that compared to the other countries that we’ve been in — Guatemala, the Philippines, Ivory Coast, Columbia, and Haiti — India is quite different. Although there is a significant amount of people in India who are in need, I do think that our experience in India gave us the opportunity to understand Indian culture and that folds into giving India our passion.

In my experience talking to students in India — they’re quite visionary. They want to do new things and really innovative things when it comes down to putting themselves in the position to help their community. I think they are open to the world, they are knowledgeable about what’s going on around them, what’s going on in India. With India being a leader in terms of population growth, I think they understand that once they get the education that they need, they will play a role in how India will become a leading country economically, socially, and politically over the next five to ten years.

How do you envision student leaders alleviating localized poverty once repatriated?

In India specifically, I think there are many pockets of communities that are in need. These communities are eager to learn about the world. Whether that might be based off technology, or ideology, or other things that are happening, I envision that whomever we choose in India, these student leaders will come back to their communities and really share their experience by creating or implementing a project with us and other supporters sponsoring and financing the project.

It would give hope, and for me the most important thing is the ability to say that they also have an opportunity outside of the situation they are currently living in. In addition to that I would really like to see student leaders be role models to the youth as well as to the other individuals living in their communities while providing access to education, providing empowerment for young girls, and being on the front lines of employment and human rights.

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Children In California To Return To School, 3 Weeks After The Wildfire

Schoolwork will probably be secondary to dealing with trauma and reconnecting with friends, said Paradise High Principal Loren Lighthall.

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California
Erica Hail hugs her son Jaxon Maloney, 2, while preparing her older children for their first day of school since the Camp Fire destroyed their home in Yuba City, Calif. VOA

Eight-year-old Bella Maloney woke up next to her little brother in a queen-size bed at a Best Western hotel and for breakfast ate a bagel and cream cheese that her mother brought up from the lobby.

And then she was off to school for the first time in nearly a month.

For Bella, brother Vance and thousands of other youngsters in Northern California who lost their homes or their classrooms in last month’s deadly wildfire, life crept a little closer to normal Monday when school finally resumed in most of Butte County.

“They’re ready to get back,” Bella’s mother, Erica Hail, said of her children. “I think they’re sick of Mom and Dad.” At school, “they get to have time alone in their own space and their own grade and they get to just be by themselves.”

California, School
Erica Hail, back left, dresses son Vance Maloney, 5, while preparing her children for their first day of school since the Camp Fire destroyed their home in Yuba City, Calif. voa

Schools in the county had been closed since Nov. 8, when the blaze swept through the town of Paradise and surrounding areas, destroying nearly 14,000 homes and killing at least 88 people in the nation’s deadliest wildfire in a century. About two dozen people remain unaccounted for, down from a staggering high of 1,300 a few weeks ago.

About 31,000 students in all have been away from school since the disaster. On Monday, nearly all of them went back, though some of them attended class in other buildings because their schools were damaged or destroyed, or inaccessible inside evacuation zones.

Bella was shy and not very talkative but agreed she was excited to be going back. She wanted to see her friends.

The small, tidy hotel room with two queen beds has been home to the family of five for some two weeks. Since they lost nearly everything to the fire, there was little to clutter up the space. The Hails are booked there until February.

“Bella, what time is it?” Hail asked her daughter, waking her up in their hotel room.

“Seven dot dot three five,” came the 8-year-old’s sing-song reply. 7:35. It was time to brush her teeth, comb her hair and hit the road for a nearly hourlong drive to school in the family SUV.

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Bella Maloney, 8, arrives for her first day of school since the Camp Fire leveled her family’s home, in Durham, Calif. VOA

A few minutes later, at seven-dot-dot-four-seven, they were out the door.

Some families driven out by the inferno have left the state or are staying with friends or relatives too far away for the children to go back to school in Butte County.

The Hails — whose five-bedroom, two-bath home in Paradise was destroyed — are staying in Yuba City, a long drive from their new school in Durham.

It was shortly before the 9 a.m. start of the school day when they pulled up to Durham Elementary School, where Bella is in third grade and Vance is in half-day kindergarten.

Across the county, nearly all of the teachers are returning to provide a familiar and comforting face to the children.

“It’s important that the kids are able to stay together and have some sort of normalcy in the crazy devastation that we’re having now,” said Jodi Seaholm, whose daughter Mallory is a third-grader.

Mallory underwent radiation in October to treat a recurrence of brain cancer and showed no fear, Seaholm said, but “this situation with her house burning down has absolutely devastated her.”

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Trees reflect in a swimming pool outside Erica Hail’s Paradise, Calif., home, which burned during the Camp Fire. VOA

Counselors brought in from around the country were in nearly every classroom Monday to help children who were distressed by their escape through a burning town and the loss of their homes, Paradise school Superintendent Michelle John said at a celebratory news conference. Many of the teachers lost their homes as well.

“Our kids are traumatized,” John said. “Their families are traumatized.”

Most of Paradise High School survived but is inaccessible.

The district doesn’t have space yet for intermediate and high school students whose classrooms were rendered unusable, so for the 13 days before the holiday break begins, they will learn through independent study. They will have access to online assignments and a drop-in center at a mall in Chico where they can get help from teachers or see classmates.

Also Read: Australia Suffers From Heat And Fuel Wildfires

Schoolwork will probably be secondary to dealing with trauma and reconnecting with friends, said Paradise High Principal Loren Lighthall.

“They don’t have their church, they don’t have their school, they don’t have their work, they don’t have their friends. They don’t have any of that stuff, and we’re asking them to write five-paragraph essays?” Lighthall said. “It’s just unreasonable at this point. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to be super flexible with what we require.” (VOA)