"The more you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
- Dr. Seuss
It has been said that "reading is dreaming with your eyes open".
As avid readers, we truly believe that books give you access to a world of ideas and experiences that even a lifetime of living may not impart.
But access to books and digital reading materials is more than just good for the soul - it is imperative to elevating the quality of education for all children regardless of means.
With the goal of bringing new worlds and new opportunities to young Canadians, we commit to running an annual book drive to collect books and reading materials for underserved local community organizations.
As an addendum, our $1 Book Project will go towards funding the digital book drive.
We also hope to espouse an appreciation of reading by affording kids the opportunity to see their creativity in print in the quarterly issues of INSpiREzine.
GIVE A GIRL A BIKE, 2017-2019
Imagine if you could not go to school simply because you had no way of getting there safely. We can't.
But for many girls in the world, the realities of distance and safety are key impediments to them going to school or working outside of their immediate homes and communities. Even if a girl could overcome the variety of cultural and financial obstacles precluding her from working or seeking education, sometimes she just has no way of getting there safely or even getting there at all.
Organizations like 88Bikes, Bicycles for Humanity and Qhubeka provide a simple and direct way of conquering the challenges of distance - a bike. Qhubeka, is an Nguni word that means "to progress", "to move forward". Giving a girl a bike bestows upon her the gifts of independence and opportunity - it helps her move forward.
Giving a girl a bike can change her life and her community forever.
TARGET: 50 bikes
FINAL: 88 bikes !
MEET SANGEETHA, 2017-2019
Meet our sponsor sister, Sangeetha.
Sangeetha is a 6-year-old girl that our family sponsors through World Vision. She lives in Eravur Pattu, Sri Lanka, not very far from India where our maternal grandparents were born and raised. It is amazing to know that she lives a life very much similar to the one our grandmother lived when she was the same age. Sangeetha's life seemed simple and wanting to us at first, but her letters tell a story of happiness and daily pleasures not unlike those of our past 6-year-old selves. Her favorite classes are Tamil & Environmental Sciences and her favorite past time is playing on the swings. Getting to know Sangeetha has shown us that we are in fact much more similar than we are different.
We hope to help Sangeetha and her family meet some of their basic needs and help Sangeetha through primary and secondary schooling. We also hope to meet her oneday, in her home, in Sri Lanka.
The STARS PROJECT
The School Toilet Access and Responsible Sanitation Project
currently on hold, due to Covid
How can you solve a problem if you can’t even talk about it?
“We need to end the taboos, euphemisms, stigma, and silence that surround toilet access issues. In doing so, we work towards mainstreaming critical discussions about toilets, menstruation, hygiene and clean water. By normalizing the conversation, we hope to eliminate the barriers faced by decision makers when addressing toilet access and create a dialogue that puts toilets at the centre of social and economic development.”
- Kanika Thakar, #toilettalk
Imagine going to a school without any toilets.
“Where would you go?”
Shockingly, this is the unfortunate reality for nearly half of the world’s schools. Over 600 million children lack clean water, toilets and hand washing facilities at their schools, putting their health, dignity, and safety at grave risk.
A lack of proper hygiene facilities further discourages students, particularly girls, from attending school. Day to day, girls forgo eating and drinking during school hours just to avoid the harassment involved with having to relieve themselves in the open. Girls can miss as much as 40% of the school year due to a lack of a discrete space to relieve themselves and manage their periods. Many girls drop out entirely once they reach puberty.
Ensuring that children attend school and complete their education is crucial to a country’s progress. In developing countries, education and access to clean water and sanitation are amongst the five pillars of sustainable development (education, access to clean water & sanitation, access to health care, food security, economic opportunity) required to empower communities to end their cycle of poverty.
But the lack of school toilets and sanitation is just a reflection of an even bigger problem. The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, 2.8 billion people live without access to a toilet, 4.5 billion people live without safely managed sanitation, and some 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated.
MapleWishes was conceived with the notion that we are all ultimately responsible for our communities and the people with whom we share them. Realizing that the idea of community extends far beyond our doors and geographical boundaries, we are partnering with #toilettalk to develop a sustainable school toilet access project. The project strives to go beyond simply building school toilet blocks and hand-washing stations. With the goal of ensuring sustainability long after the toilet blocks have been built, the project will provide community members with hygiene and menstrual management education that underlines the health and environmental benefits of safely managed sanitation.
As girls growing up in a first-world community where education and access to water and a toilet are luxuries we take for granted, we feel compelled to help make the same a reality for every girl, everywhere.
Stay tuned for thestarsproject.com