Here is one of the "classes" in our after-school program. They all come from situations that none of us could imagine but they all laugh and dream no different than our own children. They so very eagerly arrived in class yesterday. We have 2 teachers there so one took the computer group and the other worked with the children on reinforcing their math. Another little group learned candle-making - what a busy, excited group they all were!
They so very eagerly read their books and learn their math on the computer programs that we have on the internet program we use. I'll try and include a video of them in a separate post. Internet here is a bit slow!
Since their school year comes to an end at the end of October, we talked yesterday about the year - about what was good about our program (EVERYTHING!, they said) and what could be improved....their only suggestion was that they could come more often!! We talked about studying at home a bit more but it gets dark here at 6PM and they don't have electricity. Sometimes when I see their eagerness, enthusiasm and yes, their very clean clothes, it is always shocking when I realize that they live in little shacks with dirt floors shared by 10-15 people. I used to make so many assumptions about people in poverty - the more I know them, the more I realize their dreams are no different than those of our own children - perhaps even bigger....
One girl (about age 14) got a little teary because she said she didn't know if her father would let her come back. He says that girls just get pregnant and there is no use in them wasting their time in school. Oh, if he could only realize that it is inspiring children to stay in school that keeps them from being pregnant... We're hoping to be able to talk with him.
On a different note, we just got word that the government hospital workers are refusing to see patients in a protest against the fact that they have almost no equipment and medications. There are huge protests outside the hospital. Orfe is going to call the social workers there to see if we can help. It's always amazing to me how the world turns their backs (yes, by our silence) to these things.