I thought I knew!
Before making my first trip to Malawi I knew many of the following facts:
- The student-teacher ratio is nearly 70 to 1
- Many children walk long distances to attend school
- Vast numbers of students have no books, pens, pencils or paper
- Numerous children are taught on dirt floors while the slightly more fortunate may have a concrete slab or bench, fewer still the luxury of a desk
When I personally witnessed these things, the facts became reality, and it was sobering. I first simply felt blessed to have the opportunities of America. Next, I was overcome with a sense of profound sadness for the countless children that desperately wanted to learn but would never have the opportunity. Upon my return to the United States, I explained my experiences to friends and family and found some common themes emerge in my descriptions:
- Few parents of Malawian children can afford cars, but thousands of children attend anyway by walking miles each day
- Many cannot afford paper and pencils, but they attend anyway and listen
- Only 11% of the population has electricity, but they attend anyway without air conditioning and lights
- Numerous children have no example of a single family member graduating from primary school, and even fewer from secondary school, but they attend to be the first.
Help by collecting textbooks, pens, pencils, paper, backpacks, and virtually any other school supply. If you wish to avoid postal charges, your monetary donation will allow us to buy supplies in bulk. Please commit to doing something, as even pencils and paper will have an immediate impact on the future of a child.
By Jim Messenger