Principal Michelle Kefford and MSD teacher Shanthi Viswanathan receive a check from EKAL representatives and volunteers. Photo by Bianca Navas
The EKAL Foundation presented a check of $43,000 to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School principal Michelle Kefford on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 9:30 a.m. This donation was gifted to MSD in order to help students, faculty and school resources.
“We’re very grateful that this organization came together and wanted to donate money to the school,” principal Michelle Kefford said. “EKAL really wanted to make sure they provided resources for both students and faculty, which was really amazing.”
The EKAL Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring basic education to every child in rural India. The EKAL Foundation is a global organization that is run largely by its volunteers and is established in India, the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. EKAL has established about 99,000 schools in India and has provided education to about 27,000,000 students.
“This organization has done something that very few organizations have done, as it helps students in remote areas, especially in India, have access to an education” EKAL volunteer Rajesh Verma said. “Education is so fundamentally important and paramount to children, and I’m so glad to be part of an organization that provides it to underprivileged children, especially those in India.”
The EKAL Foundation is largely funded by individual donors, and also puts on fundraising events such as concerts and walks to raise awareness and support for their mission. After the shooting on Feb. 14 at MSD, the South Florida chapter of EKAL decided to use the funds they had collected from their annual fundraising event in Florida to put together a donation for MSD.
“I love being involved with the EKAL fundraising events- I have actually sang at an event once- and they are a great way to raise awareness for the organization” math teacher and EKAL volunteer Shanthi Viswanathan said.
The EKAL Foundation decided to donate to MSD as their fundraising event was the same week as the shooting, and they wished to support students and faculty after a difficult time.
“We had collected the money right away for the school, but we wanted to make sure our donation was put towards where funds were lacking at Douglas, and we are so happy we can support teachers as well as students with our donation,” current president of the EKAL Fundations South Florida chapter Narupama Kasam said.
The EKAL Foundation can receive donations through its website, and potential volunteers can learn more about how to sign up through its volunteer website.