This puts us at roughly $6,500, with
$3,500 still to go and six days to raise it.
This is the final week.
The final week is the time of greatest
tension, but also the time when astonishing things happen.
In the last week of the Endangered
Alphabets last Kickstarter campaign, several people with no disposable income
to speak of pledged $10. Two people—you know who you are—raised their own $10
pledges to $100. People from all over the world, people I'd never heard of,
pledged support in all kinds of ways. And one person stepped out of the shadows
and pledged $3,000 to get us over the line.
I don’t know
how these things happen, so I can’t make them happen, so there’s a sense of the
miraculous when they do happen.
All I can do is throw this out there:
Hey, everyone. It’s the last week. Let’s do this thing.
You know the address: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict/.
These are the people we want to be able to serve: the roughly 700,000 people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Specifically the dozen or so ethnic peoples who have lived in this region for centuries, farming, fishing, weaving some of the most beautiful textiles in the world.
They are in grave and imminent danger of losing their language, and especially their written language, and everything that entails. The schools we partner with are doing something innovative and vital: teaching them to read and write in their own mother tongues.
We support the resolution of International Mother Language Day, which asserts the rights of all people to be able to use their own mother tongues. This in turn leads to a sense of value in their own culture, history, identity.
Please help us in this crucial final week. Our Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict/ is trying to make a small start--only 100 words--with an immense implication, not only in the Hill Tracts but around the world. We need to raise another $4,000. Please help in any way you can.
It's now or never. We have less than 10 days to raise more than $5,000 in our current campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict), and the urgency level has just reached critical.
If you've been half-thinking of supporting us, please hesitate no longer.
So in order to help crank open those rusty floodgates, I'm throwing the kitchen sink at you in terms of rewards. (Apologies for the mixed plumbing metaphors, there. It's a symptom of stress.)
FIRST NEW REWARD: THE ENDANGERED ALPHABETS TRAVEL MUG
Sturdy, handy, attractive, thermally insulated, the accessory every busy person needs. Featuring a still life photo by my daughter Zoe Brookes showing my work in progress.
SECOND NEW REWARD: THE MARMA PROVERB MUG
Carved live at the Smithsonian, this coffee mug displays a proverb in Marma, one of the languages we'll be including in our children's pictorial dictionary. I mean, who else will have a coffee mug like this?
THIRD NEW REWARD: THE MARMA NOTEBOOK
What better way to jot down your thoughts on language as you travel? An elegant, well-made and eminently practical notebook displaying the Marma proverb I carved at the Smithsonian.
FOURTH NEW REWARD: PRINT OF THE CHAKMA HUMAN RIGHTS CARVING IN PROGRESS
One of my first acts to support Our Golden Hour as they began developing the schools where indigenous children can be educated in their own mother tongues was to carve the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their languages, for display in the schools. This is the Chakma version in progress, showing the method to my method. Chakma is one of the languages that will be included in our children's picture-book dictionary.
FIFTH NEW REWARD: MY ENDANGERED ALPHABETS BOOK
This is the book that tells the story of the Alphabets, from making Christmas presents on my dining-room table to getting emails from strangers in Ulan Baatar and Djakarta sending me pieces of text to carve. Lavishly illustrated, as they say. Expanded second edition with more photos, more alphabets, and the notoriously hard Endangered Alphabets Quiz.
If none of these rewards thrills you, suggest others! But whatever you do please back us at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict/, and please forward this link or this update to anyone who you think might be interested, nudging them gently but firmly.
As the deadline for our current Kickstarter approaches,
we're starting to gain some of the velocity we need to reach that $10,000 goal,
thanks to Greta Bell, Kathy Leo-Nyquist, Josh Koehn, Paul Tacon, Tor Iver
Wilhelmsen and Irina Wang. To all of you, sincere gratitude.
And the other new reward is in the photo at the head of this
update: for anyone who pledges $350 or more, I'll carve the iconic phrase
"Mother tongue"--the right to speak, read and write in one's own
language that is at the heart of everything the Endangered Alphabets does--in
What better way to display your commitment to this
children's-dictionary project and the commitment to cultural diversity it
At last! The good news is that the troublesome glitch has been fixed, and our home page shows exactly where we stand. The less-good news is that we still need to raise over $5,000 with only 13 days left, but we've managed that last-minute dash before. And the great news is that Kickstarter has honored us with one of their "Projects We Love" designations.
Right. Final stretch. Time to pull out all the stops and barrel toward the finish line. Please do whatever you can:
share the current campaign's link, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict,
talk the project up among friends and colleagues,
suggest new rewards,
post to groups of like-minded people,
increase your pledge if you can afford to do so.
You are the ideal ambassadors we need, and I am so grateful you are with us.