Moving underprivileged youth to a SHINING life through college scholarships

How Does the Fund Work?

Many are asking if we can set up a Paypal account to make it easier to donate online. I hope to eventually take this step, however, as of now NingNing is not registered as an official entity – which is required for Paypal. We are still operating as a “project” – raising funds strictly through my personal network. If we continue to expand and grow, then we will definitely consider other options to make donating easier, faster and tax deductable!

As of now this is how it works:

I have set up “NingNing” bank accounts in the US, Singapore, and the Philippines since our donors are largely based in those countries. This makes it easier to do direct transfers (a popular option in Asia) and send checks for deposit.

I am the only one with direct access to all three accounts and am managing them at all times. I am able to transfer from one account to the other and withdraw any time. I transfer funds in small increments from the central fund in Singapore to the Philippines account – which our two volunteers Alfredo and Nonie have access to.  Nonie meets the scholars each week to distribute their food/transportation allowance. And he also assists with paying the quarterly tuition installments. We operate on a basis of trust, transparency and accountability. This means Alfredo and Nonie have to inform me when any funds are withdrawn and they are required to record every peso spent and send me the reports quarterly.

Our first trial was Justine’s first semester and considering we had never done anything like this before, it went very smoothly. Alfredo and Nonie did an excellent job of ensuring the money was being spent responsibly. The allowances were given on time, along with the tuition payments.

One reason we chose to do it this way is because of the nature of the “street environment.” You can’t give the children large sums of money at once because they have never learned money management skills. Their families are literally living day to day, just to survive. Giving them a large amount would also put them at risk of being robbed or threatened by their peers.  So while its not the easiest or most efficient way of disbursing the funds, we feel its the wisest and safest option given the circumstances.

Alfredo and Nonie both have a lifetime worth of experience working with the slum communities in Manila. Having worked with them side by side for two years, I can attest that they have a very firm grasp on how things operate. It’s a tough and sad reality to face at times – especially from a Western perspective – but with the challenges come great rewards as well. There’s nothing more meaningful that seeing these children transform before your eyes as a result of the opportunities this fund is creating.

If you have any questions relating to the fund, how its managed or where the funds are going, please do contact me any time at an.ali.smith@gmail.com.

Thank you and God bless you as you support this project, helping to move impoverished youth to a shining life through college scholarships!

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