50 years of excellence: honoring ESF

During the closing session of the World Esperanto Congress (UK) in Lisbon, the World Esperanto Association (UEA) honored the USA based Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF) for 50 years of excellent work. Founded in 1968, ESF aims to promote linguistic justice and just language communication, with a special focus to the role of Esperanto. Due to its great contributions to the Esperanto movement, especially in the last twenty years, the President of UEA requested ESF board members and associates, who were present in Lisbon, to come to the podium to receive applause from the audience.

During the first thirty years after its foundation, ESF’s resources and importance gradually grew, thanks to donations and bequests from several Esperantists. Since the year 2000, owing to a generous bequest from the Esperantist couple Bill and Cathy Schulze, ESF has become more active in the fields of learning and teaching Esperanto. ESF has funded hundreds of different projects, including the development of the educational websites lernu.net and edukado.net, the creation of a written corpus of Esperanto: tekstaro.com, sponsoring several Nitobe symposia (the most recent was in Lisbon this year), the creation of the documentary film The Universal Language, producing the video course Esperanto – Pasporto al la Tuta Mondo (available on YouTube), the establishment of official Esperanto examinations in accordance with the Common European Framework for Languages, and grants via the Center for Research and Documentation (CED) Foundation to support Esperanto and interlinguistics.

ESF continues to support postgraduate studies of interlinguistics and esperantology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, to promote the continued study of Esperanto in the United States at the North America Summer Workshop (NASK), to award scholarships to researchers for research and publication, and to support the work of Edukado.net, the website for teachers and learners of Esperanto.

Trezoro Huang Yinbao, UEA board member and the editor of Esperanto edition of the UNESCO Courier, especially thanked ESF for its support for key activities and programs of UEA, such as the Hodler Library of the Universal Esperanto Association, the Chair of Esperanto and Interlinguistics at the University of Amsterdam, and the Esperanto edition of UNESCO Courier. Trezoro mentioned that UEA frequently gives diplomas for outstanding activities to projects and people that ESF financially supports. “Today we want to honor the foundation itself, which has provided the basis for so many valuable projects. The letters ‘ESF’  can have many meanings. I propose that, most appropriately, ESF must mean ‘Efficiently Successful Financing’.”

Humphrey Tonkin, co-founder and the current president of ESF, pointed out that the careful and conservative management of its financial resources now allows that, from the fruits of its capital, ESF is able to distribute almost a quarter of a million dollars annually in different types of subsidies. He also noted that right now, at the threshold of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the question of linguistic justice is becoming more and more important. Dr. Tonkin stressed that the success of ESF would not be possible without the capital behind it, and invited the participants to support ESF with donations to either UEA or ESF, and ideally to both, “because money enables success. So: onwards to success for the next 150 years!”

Our heartfelt thanks to our generous donors who supported us throughout this amazing 50 year journey! Our special thanks go to all who already contributed to our special campaign to mark our golden anniversary and to enable our work in the next decades. You can donate through UEA (esfo-p) or by credit card or Paypal: Patron Level ($1000)Gold Level ($500)Silver Level ($250)or Bronze Level ($100). You can also donate any amount that you can afford now, either one time or monthly.

Watch the videos of the ceremony on the ESF Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/esperantic/videos. For more information, to find out about possible grants for your project, visit the ESF website: www.esperantic.org (click here for the 2017 ESF annual report).

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