It’s hard to learn to read and write when basic school supplies are out of reach. The kids I visited were beyond excited to use paper and colored pencils. Although it was difficult, they did their best to pass around the colors for everyone to try. It was fun to give them a moment as artists. They have a lot of pictures in their hearts!
We had a meeting at Reynolds Elementary on Tuesday. We shared pictures and talked about Haiti, where it is, its’ capital, its’ history, and its’ students! We are also organizing a sanitation kit drive to support our soldiers. Sometimes it’s hard to understand war and peace. We talked about current events and times throughout history that war might have been important in establishing peace and safety for people.
This week we held our first meeting at Haude Elementary! It’s been a while in the making, but it finally happened and it was perfect! Kelly Sells headed up the meeting sharing pictures from our partner school in Haiti. We talked about the similarities and differences that the students noticed between themselves and the Haitian students. “They wear uniforms there, we don’t.” “They grow food in their school garden, we don’t.” “They are sad because they don’t have any stuff like we have.” WAIT!!! Hold the phone! We had to back up to the pictures to see if this was true. When we looked again, we saw lots of smiles! It is something to think about! Can kids be happy without all of the STUFF?? In the end, the students decided it looks like the Haitian students are kids just like them.
Some of the students also got a chance to be a humanitarian on the spot during our friendship bracelet making program. All of the kids got string to make a bracelet to wear as a reminder to be kind, help others, and spread friendship. Since all of the kids didn’t know how to braid, those who did took the time to help out! It’s pretty fun to see kids helping kids make friendship bracelets! We talked about what it means to be a humanitarian and the choice we often have to spread anger or change a situation for the better. It only seems fair sometimes to push back when we are pushed. But, as one student put it, that is NOT a solution. And she is right. Pushing, name calling, gossip, and disrespect will never end if we just pay it back or spread it around. We have to stop all of that, decide to change the ripple effect of hate, pass some love around instead. We decided that we would look for ways to help each other as members of the club, as students at Haude, as community members, and in our families. Humanitarians!!!
A few weekends ago, our group of School Ties homeschoolers hit the park looking to make a difference. These kids worked hard, all the while knowing that their efforts would be helping out a fellow student. The younger kids stayed near the table, but the older ones decided that they would try a different approach. They fixed up a tray of treats and bracelets and targeted large groups of soccer fans. What a smart idea! Little big achievers!
Yesterday we met with the Cheery Education Centre in Nairobi to share art across classrooms. The children on both sides created, colored, and shared art that they had made previous to the meeting. Each child was given time to share their work and talk about the colors and object chosen. This gave us all a great opportunity to use strong communication skills, work on public speaking, and get to know each other better!
One interesting thing I noticed throughout the session is that the children are beginning to feel like it is normal to talk with kids around the world. Amazing! I love that they are beginning to feel more comfortable communicating online and that they are growing up with creative ideas in their heads. In today’s world, it can be normal to start your day off chatting with friends in Kenya!
Check out the School Ties FaceBook page all week for our Auction for Education! We will be having lots of sweet items up for bid to raise money for children who would love an education. Would you like to be part of the solution? Give the gift of school supplies to a child who would otherwise be unable to attend school! See you there!