By Mal Keenan
8:30 am Chicago time. 4:30 pm Zambia time.
Calling Zambians is such a treat for me. Yes, it’s hard to sometimes hear students and teachers talking. Yes, I find myself saying “Excuse me? Can you repeat that?” because of the background noise or accent. Yes, it’s tricky when cell phones are turned off for a day (or two) and you get the same message over and over again. But then there’s that moment when I hear “Hello, Teacher Mal”. Honestly, it never gets old.
This morning, Betty and I talked with Jonathan, a Shine Reading Academy graduate, who has been on our radar for the last four years. He attended Shine for two years, went on to another community school, and has now applied to Munali Secondary School as a sophomore at the age of fifteen. This young man is such a success story as so many teens in Zambia remain in grades sixth, seventh, and eighth as they are unable to pass the Ministry of Education mandated exams. Jonathan is forging ahead and has a goal in mind. He wants to complete his high school academics in Zambia and then travel to the United States for college. He is motivated. He is committed. He is a force.
A to Z believes in Jonathan and will be providing funds to cover the cost of his tuition at this government (public) school. If you would like to make a small donation in honor of Jonathan, please visit our website at www.atozliteracy.org and hit the donate button. He is a ray of hope – shining bright – in our eyes.