Hello, all my friends throughout the world.
As we head towards the first school term of 2024, our office has been filled with many students begging for a chance to get needed school fees so they can get an education. Our project coordinator, Geoffrey has been very busy investigating many needy families and evaluating the home conditions. After investigating families, we all review the details to decide on the most needy. It is very difficult and heartbreaking to send away many applicants. We have now agreed on adding 35 new students to our list of 200, and have had to close the doors for anymore. I really wish that there were more organizations in our area assisting with school fees.
Let me share two stories from the many we have investigated. I am leaving names out to protect privacy.
The first one involves an elderly man, who despite his health challenges, has welcomed two orphans into his dilapidated mud house. However, he has no way to afford school fees. The little girl is now old enough to join Primary 1 and her 16-year-old brother has been weaving matts from banana fibers trying to earn enough money to take a course in auto mechanics.
This second story involves a mom with two kids struggling with daily upkeep, food, and paying school fees. The boy has just finished Senior 1 but because they didn’t have enough money to pay the fees the school has withheld his results. Without receiving his results he cannot advance to the next grade. He has been spending evenings trying to sell vegetables on the streets of town but has not earned enough to start Senior 2 this year. The young girl is in Primary 7 and the mom thinks that she will be able to manage her fees, but she can not manage the boy’s Secondary fees.
These are just two of the many stories we see daily. The need is overwhelming but we try to focus on the ones we can help. I feel like I can relate to the starfish story:
The starfish story
By: Loren Eiseley
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed boy picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.
Approaching the boy he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”
“Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die,” the boy replied.
The man laughed to himself and said, “Do you realize there are miles of miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference.”
After listening politely, the boy bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the surf. Then, he smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference to that one.”
The successes of this program continues to encourage me. I am very grateful to all of you who have supported us with funding and prayers.
May God bless each of you and I wish all of you good health and joy as we head into 2024.
With deep gratitude, Carol