Student recognized by world aid group for his efforts in Tanzania
Muskingum College student Caleb Butcher '09 recently was recognized by Net Aid, an international aid organization, for his fundraising efforts to help those less fortunate in Tanzania.
Net Aid is a non-profit organization that encourages young people to fight global poverty. It focuses those efforts on the U.S. and other wealthy countries in the hope of creating a movement of young people who are champions for the world's poor and engaged global citizens.
In November, 2005, Butcher was named as one of only 17 finalists chosen from hundreds of applicants from all across the country. He received a certificate as his award, but he also gained much more.
Butcher’s altruism began during his senior year at Federal Hocking High School, which requires each of its graduating seniors to complete some kind of service project. His father, David, had traveled to Tanzania with a friend and told his son of the very difficult living conditions there, and the serious need for what is considered the bare necessities in this country
In particular, the younger Butcher heard about a school in the tiny town of Arusha, that had no running water, inadequate textbooks and no sports equipment of any kind, and that led to his efforts to raise money to help improve conditions there.
“My dad and I talked to groups in our area[around [around Athens, Ohio]. I did a PowerPoint presentation, and we just asked people to help.”
And help they did. Butcher’s senior project netted approximately $4,000 in aid for the far-away friends he had never met but would touched deeply. The result was the purchase of textbooks in Swahili, the native language, some sports equipment and the installation of a water tap at the school. The bare basics for a school in this country, but a great gift for the students and teachers in Arusha.
“I received a very nice letter from the headmistress at the school,” Butcher recalled. “It was nice to know that we had done some good.
“It’s just a nice feeling,” he said. “And I hope someone else at my high school will pick up from where we are now and continue to help over there. It’s very important to help when you can.”
Butcher’s efforts will be featured in the March issue of Ohio Magazine, on newsstands in late February.