Yesterday, we delivered on our promise. It has been a long journey, but one very important and exciting one that will continue to develop and grow stronger over time.
Over a year ago we established connection with a village in Uganda, Africa. We collaborated on a project comparing what success means between students and have worked to provide school supplies to the village. As we worked to make this happen we have joined forces with Pencils of Promise in hopes of raising enough money to build a school. We have a long way to go and so far not made much progress.
However, we made huge progress in finally getting supplies to the village in Uganda.
The goal of this project is to help students think about others, care about others, and do good deeds to inspire more positive actions among one another.
Since our last post updating everyone with our friends in Uganda, I want to continue the story with the result being the supplies heading to Africa as we speak.
If we go back to May/June and the end of our school year we did a school wide locker cleanout which every school probably does. What we did differently this year is ask that any decent supplies not used or not in terrible condition be donated to gathering school supplies for our friends in Uganda and hopefully to other areas in need. I could not believe how many supplies we were given. It was both amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. Amazing in that we have so much supplies to help others in need. Heartbreaking that many students don’t care about the supplies and would just toss them out and not think twice, or worse yet were not used to enhance their learning.
Regardless, we have over 500 lbs of supplies
June and July
Not much was done due to summer break. I did not want to move things forward because that would be me doing the work and not students. During this time I worked to contact other organizations, try to develop a plan to expand our work, and from new connections and ideas.
It was during this time that I decided to jump on board with Pencils of Promise. I was meeting with many people about creating my own platform, but with a full time job, kids, coaching, etc. I needed to join a cause. Pencils of Promise was a perfect fit as you can read about on the Build a Schools page.
During this time I connected with the amazing people who have helped so much – Eddy and Eden. I learned from Eddy that
Towards the end of January Eddy shared with me that the cool rains were returning. I asked him what that means for the people and how it affects life.
Eddy shared with me the following which I found quite fascinating:
Rain can affects life, here in Uganda in such away that ,
Weather always changes to be cool and many fall sick closes changes to wetter
Heavy rains accompanied by storms normally destroy crops and affect harvest
Mountainous places experience landslides eg eastern Uganda
Heavy storms destroy crops
Heavy winds in rain always makes people homeless by destroying roofs of houses
Floods normally displace people who are at lower places such as swamps and when rain destroy electric poles and they fall it affect the production of goods in factories
Here is Iowa we love rain to help crops, cool off the temps, etc. Rains don’t affect us like they can in Uganda. It was another reminder of how important it is that we understand other cultures, landscapes, and people. It further fueled my drive to help the kids and to provide them materials to help with education.
School started back up. I shared with the staff the goals for the year. I updated them on all the supplies. During this time I had two teachers help with packaging. They took on the task of organizing, sorting, and putting together the care packages. While they were working assembling I finally connect with the headmaster via email. This has been a long time coming and was so happy to finally connect. Communication is vital, but not as easy as one might think. We are oblivious to easy communication with email, texts, and social media, but when you move beyond your circle to areas that are not as quick to communicate with it can be tricky.
Africa Story: Part 1 http://coffeeforthebrain.com/the-power-of-international-collaboration-iowa-africa/
Images of the kids packing the supplies https://www.flickr.com/photos/coffeechug/sets/72157647002521337/
Build a School http://coffeeforthebrain.com/build-a-school/
Books for Sale http://coffeeforthebrain.com/build-a-school-books/