Tuesday, August 27, 2013
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela
When we first came here eight years ago, some of the missionaries here told us we would end up paying school fees for kids. We just laughed, knowing how tough it would be to get money from us for school fees. Since then, we have sent kids through primary, secondary, and into university. We have sent kids to vocational schools to learn trades and have graduated over thirty new teachers through Bunda Teacher's College. Oh yeah, we weren't going to help anyone but the poorest--it just turns out that here almost all of them are the poorest. We have bought school uniforms and paid exam fees. Not everyone did well, but the vast majority did. We paid to put one young man in a vocational school and the police arrested him two weeks later for dealing drugs in the school. We sent another girl to a private boarding school as a favor to the parents in the hopes it would change her life. She is now living as a prostitute in Mwanza. As far as we know, these are the only two that didn't work out. We've paid for more girls than boys because we believe to change a country to have to educate the woman. There have been friends from the U.S. who visited here who also helped educate many. All of the scholarships at the Bunda Teacher's College come for Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Other individuals have sent computers and other school supplies for the kids here. I am very proud of all those who have helped with the education of these Tanzanian young men and women. You do what you can with what you have, and I'm not even mentioning the schools we helped build and get started. This week I sent a young man to a vocational school in Shinyanga, and paid for two pastor's sons to go to secondary school. It never stops, and it never stops feeling good doing good. Most of these kids will never know or remember who helped pay for their education, but that's not why we are doing it. Someone cared enough to help my wife with her undergraduate degree and me with mine. We have never forgotten and are just paying it forward.