Financial report for the fiscal year 2019
This year, almost the entire globe has been struck by the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools are generally closed and, according to UNESCO, 70% of the world’s student population is not attending school. Closing schools also means the closure of canteens which obviously affects the most remote, vulnerable and needy populations. These are the families our association Don du Choeur has been helping for over fifteen years and is more than ever committed to support!
In 2019, our association had a year full of activities with the organisation and success of the Don du Choeur charity concert in favour of Mexico. It was also marked by the early expansion work of Ta Pen primary and secondary schools, the academic achievement of our students and the strong local roots of Andohasatra-Betioky primary school in Madagascar.
Thanks to the extraordinary support of Geneva’s private schools, numerous volunteers and local and Swiss partners, and the Pas du Chœur solidarity walk, Don du Chœur achieved several key objectives in collaboration with the local authorities concerned:
- In Geneva, Switzerland:
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the twelve Geneva private schools for their strong involvement and their outstanding sense of solidarity in the accomplishment of this concert: Ecole Brechbühl, Ecole La Découverte, Ecole Internationale de Genève: La Grande Boissière, Ecole Mosaic, Ecole des Nations, Externat des Glacis,Geneva English School, Institut Florimont, Institut International de Lancy, Institut International Notre-Dame-du-Lac, Lycée Toepffer, Nouvelle école Farny.
Thanks to the prestigious concert sponsors (Association Genevoise des Ecoles Privées, Brolliet SA, 1875 Finance, Emil Frey Genève Acacias), private donors, the city of Geneva and our French partner the Banda de Musica, all the concert expenses were financed.
The concert was able to raise the magnificent sum of CHF118,568 including primarily:
- Ticket sales: CHF 69,860
- Fundraising at the concert: CHF 15,938.30
- Sales of musical scores in schools CHF 6,973.15
- Sales of the concert souvenir film CHF 4,554
- In Mexico:
- Start of expansion work at Santa Cecilia Music School located in the shanty town of Vicente Guerrero, at the foot of Oaxaca City's municipal garbage dump.
- Laying the first foundation stone in the presence of Isabelle de Boves, President of the Banda de Musica and partner of the project since 2011. Very strong community involvement!
- First phase: construction of two rehearsal rooms of 64 m2 and two storage rooms for string and wind instruments. Completion date scheduled for the end of May 2020.
- Costs for this first phase: MXN 1,580,000 (CHF 75,726.37 with CHF 37,770.95 of which already spent in 2019)
- Thanks to the project of selling musical scores to Geneva schools, which raised CHF 6,973.15), the Santa Cecilia students will be given grants to help them pay for their music lessons in 2020.
- In Madagascar:
Fourth year of study in the Andohasatra-Betioky public primary school built by Don du Choeur. The school provides schooling to 340 pupils in one of the poorest areas of Madagascar. Priority is given to access to drinking water, child nutrition, the development of reading skills at school and ongoing professional training for all teachers.
We work hand in hand with Toro Hay, our local partner, who is in charge of monitoring the school.
The spending reached CHF 6,718.22 broken down as follows:
. School follow-up EUR 200 per month
. Food storage room repairs against termites: EUR 500
. Primary school teachers training reinforcement: EUR 1,430
- In Cambodia:
- 534 pupils enrolled in the nursery, primary and secondary school in Ta Pen. Don du Choeur (DDC) ensures the direction, management and maintenance of the school. The state provides pedagogical direction and teacher recruitment. To improve education quality, DDC has set a maximum number of 35 students per class, which means that it gives wage compensation to state teachers. We also finance remedial classes for students with difficulties, higher education for four primary school teachers and an ongoing education programme for trainee teachers. A professions day was held in Ta Pen to raise awareness among students from the neighbouring secondary schools about their future. An English summer camp was organized in Ta Pen in August thanks to the volunteer support of two young Anglophone students from Geneva. There seems to be a better community cohesion around the school in general. Point for improvement: teaching of science subjects.
- High school studies or vocational training (electricity, mechanics, IT, hotel business) for 50 young people; 29 students enrolled in one of the best high schools of the Province with on-site accommodation; one student in his first year in high school nearest to Ta Pen. 20 students are doing vocational training and are more and more involved in the school’s electrical maintenance or in IT repairs. This year we recruited as an assistant cook a former Ta Pen student graduated from Sala Baï restaurant school.
The total cost of the project in Cambodia reached CHF 134,893.63 in 2019 (CHF 132,875.81 in 2018), broken down as follows:
- Running costs for primary and secondary schools (534 pupils)
(CHF 115,987 in 2019, CHF121,334 in 2018):
Decrease in the school’s running costs (-4.6%) but: maintaining teaching quality, uniforms and school supplies, no salary increase in 2018, maintaining a social policy to support staff members, reinforcement of English teaching and education programme policy for teachers.
- Financial support for the studies of 50 young secondary school graduates from Ta Pen
(CHF18,996.06 for 50 students in 2019 and CHF 11,541.79 for 38 students in 2018).
The students have to provide us with their monthly school reports and receive in exchange a grant for their food and remedial classes if necessary. We pay for accommodation for those studying at Bakong high school.
Communication activities were regularly carried out by the Don du Chœur ranging from updating the website to the production of two newsletters with our webmaster Pasha Mirza.
Numerous events marked 2019:
- In Geneva:
Preparation of the 2019 Don du Chœur concert with twelve private schools in Geneva and an outstanding team of volunteers.
- Creation of a Mexico committee to work on the stage design of the Victoria Hall, the costumes and the evening entertainment of 9th May.
- Scenography and choreography work with the Crescendo dance school to give a particular spirit to the Don du Choeur's 15th anniversary concert.
- Production of all the communication materials with Fondation Foyer Handicap in collaboration with a professional graphic designer.
- Concert coverage by a team of semi-professional photographers.
- Live broadcast of the concert at the Victoria Hall and live streaming at Oaxaca.
- Production of a video report on Santa Cecilia Music School and a souvenir film of the concert.
- Organisation of a buffet at la Maison du Grütli
- Contact with the Mexican Permanent Mission, the Embassy of Mexico and the Mexican community of Geneva to involve them in the humanitarian project.
- Strong involvement of the Mexican dancers and the Mariachis Quetzal who were the supporting act at the concert and who distributed the concert programme.
- Launch of a "musical score" sales campaign in Geneva schools to cover registration fees at Santa Cecilia Music School to children in dire need (CHF 10 per month).
- In Cambodia:
- Trips to Cambodia in March and December for Isabelle Chatel and Michel and Catherine Firmenich to work in collaboration with the Ta Pen team. (it should be noted that travel and accommodation expenses were paid for by the volunteers).
- 28th May: preparation and signature of the fourth cooperation contract of Don du Choeur with the Department of Education, Youth and Sports of the province of Siem Reap.
- Meeting with the Swiss Cooperation Office and Swiss Consular Agency for Cambodia
- Organisation of a second English summer camp for secondary and high school students with two young Anglophone students from Geneva.
- In Madagascar:
- On-the-spot mission of our partner Toro Hay,
- Regular follow-up of the school canteen, school maintenance and teacher training.
All the activities of Don du Choeur are carried out by volunteers whose outstanding involvement enables 100% of the donations to be allocated to the projects. We would like to express our sincere thanks on behalf of all the children from here and abroad.