We got an email from Filipa last week. She is still in Africa doing volunteer teaching at a school in Kenya. She is having such a wonderful experience, it is so exciting to get her latest emails and find out what new things she has been doing and learning. I wanted to share part of her last email with you as it really touched me and made me realise how much we really do take for granted living in this beautiful country.
"School has been fantastic. I've come to really create some strong friendships with some of the kids. They're always going to be plugged in my heart! I love to teach too - i think teaching is my calling! But this week something happened at school that really shook me, it really made me realise just how bad poverty is over here. It's coming up to exams so the school needs money to print off exams and stuff. Many students havent paid their school fees, which is the only income the school runs off - there is no help from the government at all. So, the headmaster got serious this week and sent all the students home who hadnt paid their fees. About one third of the kids were sent home. only half my kids were left in my class. It's sooo crazy, most of these kids' paretns won't be able to pay up cause they have no money. In aus we are so blessed to be able to go to school - it is pretty much free, and the gov helps out a lot. Its so different here. And all these kids want to come and learn as well. When i went into my classroom and half the kids were gone i was sooo sad! I talked to the dep headmaster that arvo abt the gov, school, poverty..it was a real good convo, made everything seem so much more real for me. I went home thinking, what can i do? I think i'm going to sponsor one of my kids through school. It's only abt $250 a year. I was sooo blessed to receive scholarships during uni..and i saved quite a lot of it. I'd feel so selfish if i didnt give some of that to someone who doesnt have anything. These kids have nothing. A few days later three canadian uni studnets came to the school - they're part of a programme called SEED which sponsors students through school. They sponsored abt 30 kids from Humwend. They had a special presentation with educ board memebers and the students and parents as they handed over the money. The prinicple asked me to say a few words as well. I expressed my gratitiude and love for my students and other stuff..and i started crying! I dont know why!!! I guess i was sad i'd be leaving soon, i felt the spirit of service, and i just loved my students so much, and i was thinking of the other kids who weren't at school. I really wanna start a programme or something like SEED, or at least sponsor just one kid through school. If anyone wants to help contribute any money to sponsor other students, please let me know!! Ask around church, work, anywhere. We still have a few more classes next week, and then exams start."
If anybody wants to help kids at Filipa's school out, let me know, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org