Back in the early 2000's Katrina Keating and Tadashi Tsuchida started traveling in Southeast Asia and the sub-continent. Their love for teaching, photography, and travel was the perfect springboard for learning about educational opportunities, particularly for young women, where they traveled.
With camera and pen in hand the explored a region's educational opportunities and challenges by going to schools, meeting with teachers and students along with talking to the people they met along the way.
Over the years they published a book, No Lunch, No Money, No Rice: The Pursuit of Education in Asia, the title derived from a quote from a 22 year old young women who had been unable to obtain and education. She told them
When I was a girl, I asked my father if I can go to school and he say [sic] to me, 'We have no lunch, no money, no rice, no pig, so you cannot go to school'
In their travels they started to help children and young women they met along the way. They organized funding for young Black H'mong women to go to primary school, books for schools in rural villages, and school uniforms for students. Whatever they did, the main focus was on helping young girls and women obtain or further their education.
Dr. James Emman Kwegyir Agrrey (1875-1927) said
If you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a women you educate a whole nation.
This has been quoted and misquoted over the years, but there is a germ of truth in it. Women, in addition to all their other work, are still the main caregivers and therefore pass their education on to the children.
For well over a decade, the work was done privately with funds raised and spent. Sometimes it was to help send a woman for english lessons so she could get into college, other times books and money for a rural school. Whatever they and their friends funded the goal was:
In 2017 Katrina, Tadashi, and katch keating decided to formalize the work and started No Lunch Education Initiative.
No Lunch Education Initiative's Board of Directors funded its inaugural educational scholarship in 2018. The goal of the scholarship is to further support people -- especially women--in their studies. Our commitment is give one full-time, full-ride scholarship per year.