Over the summer I reached out to several teachers around the world. One was Samson Chea from Liberia. He wrote that although his school could not afford a computer or postage for letters, the children were excited to learn more about others around the world. He said that the school would love to correspond if help with postage could be offered. At the time, I thought it would be a great experience for children here to learn about his students in Liberia and also a great adventure for his students. This partnership could open their eyes and understanding to the great, wondrous world!
Unfortunately, I was not able to partner his school with a school here in the states, but I continued to think of them and write Samson every so often to stay in touch.
With the ensuing ebola outbreak I wanted to check in with Samson. This is his reply
Thank so much for the concerned shown us. all we
need now is prayer because the kids here are dying
everyday and we can not do anything to stop that
since the virus is difficult to prevent. i have
lost 13 of my students and 8 friends so far. the
government has closed down every school in the
country so the kids are with their parents but i
still have to do my best to monitor them because i
love them so much.It’s hurts allot when an
innocent child die from such a deadly virus.i am
thinking of establishing a center to keep kids
there so that they can be well monitor till the
situation calm down since most parents are
illiterate and are not putting adequate preventive
measure into place and the kid keep dying? what do
you think will be the best to do now to help the
innocent kids? any other idea is welcome. i am
really confuse the situation is getting worst
Let God save us, we need everyone of you prayer
What started as an exciting chance to help children learn and grow (and grow the adults a bit too), has turned into heartbreak. How much can change in just a few short months. I will be sending love to Liberia today.
This weekend the girls and I hit the soccor park to raise money for our partner school in Kenya. We took the bracelets that they had made along with some lemonade to tempt thirsty potential donors. We were not there for long and it did not take much of our day, but we did raise enough to send a few more children to school! We met really great partents and interested youth. It was fun to tell them about some of our experiences with the kids in Kenya and the School Ties project.
We did come across one rather grumpy man who cast a slight shadow over our good feelings for only a moment, but I think it was an important moment and something that should be talked about.
The girls invited the man over for some lemonade and he seemed interested until he saw our sign, “Lemon AID for Africa.” At this point he turned and said, “Not for Africa.” Huh? What? The girls were pretty confused why their perspective donor had pivoted away and why he had said, “Not for Africa.” They both looked to me for an answer. Perhaps there is a great answer out there, but I didn’t have one. I am not sure why this man decided against a cold lemonade on a hot day when he realized that the donated money would not be kept in our pockets but instead given to children who need it more.
This question snowballs into more questions like, “Do we feel it our responsibility to help people in a different country? Should we only worry about our own families and communities? Why do the children in Africa need this lemonade money more than children here in the United States? What part do we each play in assisting those in need?
Again, I don’t have all of the answers to all of these questions for everyone. I just hope that the questions are asked, thought about, studied out, and hopefully a personal conclusion reached.
Today we held our first humanitarian club meeting at Reynolds Elementary. We talked about humanitarian work, global awerness, current world issues, and how we can learn more about the world around us. I was surprised to hear that the kids are very aware of ISIS and Ebola. We talked about how those issues affect us in the United States and the rest of the world.
We met our partner school in Nairobi, Kenya and looked at some picutres they sent showing their school and lives. We talked about how we are different, how we are the same, and how we can work together.
We also started our MONSTER ECHANGE. Our kids drew a picture of a monster. They then had to write a description of the monster. We will send the description ONLY to our partner school. Using the description the children in Kenya will draw a monster. When we meet up to Skype we will be able to show each other the monsters we have come up with! It will be fun to see how they are the different and the same!