Q: What is K.I.N.D: Kids in Need of Desks?
A: MSNBC and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF co-sponsor a fundraising drive geared towards buying school desks for children in Malawi. The campaign is open-ended; Originally, we aimed to raise at least $2 million. We have well-exceeded our fundraising goal and will continue to raise money for this effort.
Q: How do I donate?
A; People can make donations online or over the phone. To learn more about K.I.N.D. and ways you can donate a desk to a child, visit LastWordDesks.msnbc.com or unicefusa.org/kind. Or by calling 1-800-4-UNICEF.
Q: What’s the main website for K.I.N.D.?
A: Go to LastWordDesks.msnbc.com for all the latest details on this program.
Q: What organization receives the money?
A: One hundred percent of donations go to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. MSNBC acts as a promotional partner and not a donor or matcher of gifts. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States.
Q: What are people being asked to donate?
A: All donation amounts are welcome and will be allocated to the K.I.N.D Malawi school desk campaign. Online donors also have the option of donating in honor of a loved one and sending an eCard as notification. Here’s a price breakdown of what contributions can buy:
- $32.50 provides one child with a seat in a classroom
- $65 provides a desk that will seat at least 2 students
Q: Isn’t that price higher than in previous years?
That’s correct. Costs have gone up in the last year thanks to skyrocketing fuel prices and other shocks to the fragile Malawi economy. No contribution is too small.
Q: What does the donation cover?
A: A donation is inclusive of manufacturing by local craftsman in Malawi, local delivery costs and 7% operating cost. The U.S. Fund will cover or raise additional operating costs associated with Schools for Africa/Nelson Mandela Institute and USF overhead.
Q: Where will my desk go within Malawi?
A: Initial funding will go toward outfitting 172 schools in four priority districts: Blantyre, Dedza, Kasungu and Lilongwe.
Q: What kind of desk is it?
A: The desks are manufactured locally by three UNICEF-approved craftsmen. They are wooden desks and benches attached with a metal frame. They ideally seat two children, but overcrowding sometimes results in more children per desk.
Q: When will my desk arrive?
A: UNICEF Malawi procures desks at the rate of 1,500 per week. Distribution of the desks will be ongoing.
Q: Can I personalize my gift?
A: Through an ecard letting a loved one now that you have purchased a desk in his honor and through social messaging.
Q: Why MSNBC and UNICEF?
A: Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, traveled to Malawi in the summer of 2010 and observed the significant need for basic resources in school classrooms. Wanting to help make a difference and create a better learning environment for these kids, Lawrence purchased several desks which were delivered during his visit to a school in need. Lawrence then approached UNICEF to partner with him on a much more ambitious endeavor to allow millions of Americans to join his cause.