E-Newsletter April 2004


Dear Friends,

It is a long time since I sent you any news about BQEF. When I see the glitzy material that solicit funds in the mail each day, and the two-page "personal" letters (two or three times a year) from organizations to which I have made past contributions, I realize that a note like this is pretty primitive by today's standards. But funds are needed—and they still go a long way in an impoverished country like Bolivia. Right now we have only enough funds to last until June, so I hope you can consider a contribution at this time.

We hope to have a newsletter in May or June, with reports from Bernabé Yujra and from volunteers who have recently visited. But I do not know if you are on the snail-mail list. In any case, there are things to report and to request.

For 2004 (in Bolivia the school year corresponds to the calendar year) there are two significant developments. One is that there are 25 young Quakers receiving scholarships, up from 15 in 2003. Deb Wood met with them and with others during her three weeks in Bolivia in March, and reports that the urgent message is that even more qualified Friends need scholarship help for their higher education studies—which means even more money.

The other major development is that Bernabé Yujra has stopped teaching and is now working full time as coordinator of BQE-Bo. This enables him to meet more often with scholarship recipients, teachers, and administrators. This adds greatly to the strength of BQE-Bo.

I think that you know that the Board in the US was significantly strengthened last year, and that BQEF now officially has status as a 501(c)(3) organization, which has enabled British Friends to contribute through the Charities Aid Fund and will make grant applications possible. For the time being, all the funds collected are being used in Bolivia, since we still do not have staff in the US. Staffing, office efficiency, a website, and funding proposals to foundations remain high priorities for the stateside operation of BQEF.

Besides your own contribution, you could help in two other ways. One is to encourage your meeting to budget support for BQEF. The other is to send us names and addresses of other Friends to contact.

May flowers bloom in your footsteps,

Newton Garver
Bolivian Quaker Education Fund
11253 Boston Road
East Concord NY 14055