New Village 100

A Capital Campaign for Global Village Project

Join Our Dream

It’s our 15th year and Global Village Project is growing! Our mission to reactivate the schooling of refugee girls so they can access all the benefits of a holistic education needs a new, bigger home to house it.

This year, thanks to a generous grant from the Chestnut Family Foundation, we have purchased a property that will become the new campus for GVP. The property is a 26,000 square foot, three-building campus that sits on 3.2 acres of land in a quiet residential neighborhood just four miles south of our current school. It contains 12 large classrooms, a cafeteria, an auditorium for performances, a STEAM classroom, a teachers’ lounge, a volunteer lounge and ample office space for school counselors and administrative staff. In this new building, we can change more lives.

On this new campus, we will be able to expand the impact of our mission, serving up to 100 students each school year! We are now embarking on a $3.8 million campaign to renovate that property. The 16 month-long renovation will allow us to begin occupying the building in spring 2025.

Between now and December 2024, GVP is reaching out to its community of supporters to seek support for the completion of the campaign. With almost 80% of funding raised already, we are counting on our donors’ generosity to make this campaign a success.

We invite you to be a part of this exciting vision and to help make our dreams come true.

With great gratitude,

Elizabeth Signature

Elizabeth Elango
CEO and Head of School

Sonya Ko Signature

Sonya Ko
Board Chair

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our mission

To reactivate the schooling of refugee girls so they can access all the benefits of a holistic education.

Our Goal

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Currently Raised

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Gap

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Our Story

At Global Village Project, we are building a bigger village for refugee girls. Our dream is a campus that will enable us to welcome more students — up to 100 each year — to restart their educational journeys in a warm, welcoming school environment and build the foundation for future academic success.

Global Village Project is a tuition-free middle school created to reactivate the schooling of refugee girls so that they can access all the benefits of a holistic education. It’s a school where refugee girls arriving in Georgia from all over the world — from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe — have a safe place to begin schooling in the US. GVP is a place that takes into account the fact that students have missed many years of education, that they’ve experienced trauma, that their lived experiences are valid, and that they are deeply committed to their education and can succeed, given the right environment.

 

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Now 15 years old, our school has created and demonstrated many years of impact on our students, our alumni, and our wider community of supporters. As we look forward to our next chapter, we know that we have the capacity to support an even greater need, especially as the number of refugee families coming to the state of Georgia in general, and the Clarkston community specifically, continues to grow.

It is now time for our school to achieve bold aspirations —much like the refugee girls whom we serve — by launching our capital campaign to bring these dreams to life. 

Thanks to the initial grant from the Chestnut Family Foundation, we have purchased the facility at 2135 Shamrock Drive in Decatur, only four miles from our current school, that will become our new campus. Originally built
as a school, this building allows us to make customizations that will fit our program. Through this capital campaign, we are seeking to raise the funds to complete necessary renovations and to move into the new building in the spring of 2025.

The vision of GVP is that refugee girls have a safe place to learn and are equipped with the tools they need to surmount the barriers to equity and to accelerate their education.

The Need

Refugee girls face significant barriers to accessing formal education. While any new arrival to the US may have to learn English, acclimate to new surroundings and culture, and navigate new institutions, a 2023 UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) report found that refugee girls are also far more likely than their male peers to have had interrupted (or any) education prior to resettlement. In addition, girls are more likely to have significant responsibilities at home, which can create challenges for  attendance and schoolwork outside of class hours.

Refugee girls, having fled war, civil unrest, or other major conflict in their home countries, often live with the aftermath of traumas that can interfere with memory, attention, and engagement at school.

According to the PEW Research Center, 70% of immigrant students with limited and/or interrupted  education drop out of high school, a problem the American Federation of Teachers attributes to “the support these students are receiving [in a typical public school] is not adequate to meet their needs.”

In recent years, the Atlanta area has seen a dramatic increase in the number of refugee arrivals. Since 2017, we have had to turn away an average of 44% of the students applying each year, due to the scale of our operations and space limitations. The Office of Refugee Resettlement of the State Department predicts that there will continue to be significant growth in the number of refugees entering the US over the next few years. This means the number of refugee girls will increase in Georgia and the City of Clarkston specifically.

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“GVP helps us prepare for high school, and outside of school by giving us mentors to talk with about school and personal things too. I am very grateful to GVP forever.”

— Asma  Ibrahim, Class of 2016

Our Dream

While our current campus at Decatur Presbyterian Church has been pivotal in the history and early success of our school, it is simply too small to accommodate our growing needs. Classrooms are small and lack a science lab, an arts room, or any suitable areas for student performances and physical education. There is no space for students to take breaks when they are in emotional distress, no space for sick girls who need care, nor space for a nurse to provide that care. The library can accommodate the bookshelves, a few tables, and not much else, leaving little room for the girls to study or read. Bathrooms are inadequate and are not practically designed for our students, including those who need to perform ablution for their daily prayers.

On any given day, it is common for students to walk to several separate locations to supplement what we can offer on campus.

We currently rely on the Decatur Rec Center for PE classes, the Decatur Library for use of its playground for recreation and community spaces for rehearsals and performances, and we must walk to Agnes Scott College (half a mile away) for lunch. Offsite travel takes up valuable and irreplaceable instructional time during the school day. While we are most grateful for these partnerships and the willingness of the Decatur community to embrace and support our mission, the limitations of our current facility cannot match our vision for this next phase of impact.

Apart from the physical limitations of our current space, we believe that having a stand-alone building outside of a church will address a longstanding misperception that we are a Christian school, when in fact our students are remarkably diverse in their religious and cultural identities. Beyond the needs of students, our teaching and administrative staff do not have adequate office space, workrooms, or a suitable conference room.

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Our Plan

Thanks to the large gift from the Chestnut Family Foundation, GVP has purchased and will start renovations of a building with the right bones to accommodate our specific needs and vision. This 3-building campus, is optimally located four miles from our longtime campus, and is equally central to the areas where our students reside. It features ample indoor and outdoor space to expand our capacity and increase the scope of our curriculum.

 The decision to purchase and renovate a building is the result of a long-term strategic vision held by the Board of Directors. In planning for how to operationalize that vision, the Board created scenario budgets for the future costs of operating the school and have mapped out the revenue sources that will enable and sustain it.

We are pleased to report that doubling the student body of our school does not correspond to doubling our budget. Rather, it will enable greater operational efficiency while optimizing the value of our largest fixed costs. We envision that an increase in the size of the student body to 100 students will result in only a 41% increase in the budget. More significantly, we also project that our budget efficiency will increase by 37% in our new home (measured by a decrease in total operating cost per student).

We are excited about what this new home means for GVP. We are inspired by the opportunity to expand our village and grow our impact, and moved by the generous support of our community who is providing the resources we need to bring our vision to reality.

Thank you for walking with us and with our students toward our new village.

New Building 100 Amount
Purchase Price$1,175,000
Renovations$2,000,000
Furnishings$255,000
Technology$100,000
Contingency$220,000
Relocation$50,000

Ways To Give

Make a Pledge Contact Natalie Huyghe, Major Gifts Manager
at [email protected]
678-383-1175
or

Elizabeth Elango, CEO and Head of School
at [email protected] 

 

Give a Gift of Stock: Contact Natalie Huyghe for stock transfer information. 

 

Mail your donation to: Global Village Project

P.O. Box 1548
Decatur, GA 30031  

Or 

205 Sycamore Street
Decatur, GA 30030