Saturday, September 27, 2014

Africa 24: We Visit African Schools

We were privileged to visit three schools on our trip.  What impressed me the most is how much they accomplish with so little.

None of the schools we visited had electricity in the classrooms, for example, or indoor plumbing.  Large windows allowed light into classrooms. 

Buildings were sparse, simple structures.  Teachers often used donated textbooks.  

Pit toilets were outside.

Playgrounds were often dusty fields.

But to my amazement, those handicaps did not hamper the teachers' desire to achieve learning excellence,  nor did those handicaps hamper the students' enthusiasm for learning.

Everyone in the schools we visited was clear that education is the key to creating a successful future for the students enrolled there.  Indeed, they were clear that a successful future for all of Africa depended upon an educated populace. 

The kids above asked Melony, when they found out she was a teacher, if she had to worry about meeting hungry lions on her way home from school.

The girl on the right, above, wants to be an astronaut.  To their credit, the travel company has created a philanthropic foundation and donates a certain percentage of every trip sold to that foundation.

It's called The Grand Circle Foundation.  They pick a certain number of schools and villages in areas where their travelers visit, and provide financial assistance to them.

Governments often do not provide teachers or buildings.  One village hired its own teachers.

Grand Circle Foundation has built buildings, provided school supplies, and in one case, built an electrified fence around the school grounds to keep marauding elephants and lions off the campus.

Grand Circle Foundation charges no overhead on donated money.  Every donated penny, they assure us, goes to schools and villages in need.  Google them for an address.

The sad fact is a sizable number of children are denied an education because their parents cannot afford uniforms or pencils.  This is easy to understand, after seeing in the last post how hard many folks in Africa struggle just to survive. 

This principal thanked us for coming.  When we visit their country to see the animals we don't have, their schools and villages benefit.   Seemed reasonable to us.

Next time, Kenyan wildlife.

Continue on to Post 25: Kenya's Nakuru National Park, by clicking here.


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