The Calves for Scholars program has two objectives: assistance to missionary teachers and scholarship funding for North Korean refugee students.
The River of Life School opened in March, 2010 with eight students, the principal, three teachers and some staff. In May, an additional student was added and more are expected in following semesters. The school started with first and second year of middle school. Third year of middle school will be added in 2011, first year of high school in 2012 and continue adding a grade each year until we have a full middle and high school. All personnel serve as mission volunteers with housing and food provided by the school and the supporting Three Seas Community.
The school is closely affiliated with the Three Seas Ranch. An important part of the school curriculum--in keeping with the ethos of our mother community, Jesus Abbey--is labor. We speak of labor as being prayer and prayer being labor. Accordingly, everyone in the school, students and teachers alike, spends several hours each week in manual labor. Much of this time is spent working at the Three Seas ranch helping to raise cattle.
We want to invest in cattle as a way to help our teachers and our students, especially those from North Korea. We purchase a calf for about $3,000, raise it for three years and then sell it as beef for somewhere around $10,000 dollars. By American standards, this is a very high price. We are able to get it by selling our award-winning beef directly to the consumer. By the time three years feed and labor as well as all other expenses are covered, we have a potential net profit of about $3,000 per animal. This includes using the original investment to purchase another calf and start the cycle over.
Assistance to Teachers:
Our teachers are part of the school and Three Seas community. As such they receive food and housing as well as some pocket money but beyond that, they must raise any support that the need.
We want to provide a small amount for their future as our investment in their continuing to serve the school over the long run. To this end, we want to purchase and raise three calves for each teacher so that at the end of three years they may have about $9,000 to save for their future.
Scholarships for North Koreans
One of the important aspects of The River of Life School is our emphasis on reconciliation and cooperation. The school will have students from the city, the countryside, Jesus Abbey, cross-culture families (Korean fathers, foreign mothers) and North Korean refugee families. This will give each student the special experience of getting to know others across barriers of culture, background and economics. The school provides complete scholarship for North Korean students. When our new school is built, we will have dormitories and will be able to take North Korean students as residents. The cost of room and board for these students needs to be met. To this end, we want to begin raising calves to sell as North Korean students are coming into the dorms to cover these expenses.
One calf will cover most dorm expenses for one student when it is sold after growing for three years. Calves purchased now will help students when we open our dorms in about three years' time.
The really wonderful thing about this program is that your original gift of a calf will continue on for many generations as we will use the proceeds from the sale to buy a new calf to repeat the sale.
In other words, an investment of $3,000 for teachers and students has the potential of tripling in three years AND buying another calf. Every gift just keeps on multiplying."