By Betty Trummel
We got word from our Lusaka Rotary Club contact, Masautso, that he was able to meet with some of the students A to Z is sponsoring and help them arrange their school fees for the new year. Being in the southern hemisphere means that a new school year begins in January or February.
As I think about the start of my school year back in August here in Illinois, I’m thinking of kids with new shoes, maybe some new clothes, school supplies, and the excitement of a well-decorated elementary classroom filled with books and bulletin boards and lots and lots of resources. That is not the reality for many children around the world.
The students we sponsor are given the gift of a year of schooling, at what we would consider a relatively small price. Leftover funds can be used for basic school supplies or school uniform. Children we sponsor show great excitement and gratitude for being given this chance to continue learning.
Jimmy, the student my husband and I chose to sponsor, is 17 years old and is entering the 10th grade. He would like to complete his secondary schooling and attend a university. He’s interested in possibly following a path to medicine in the future. He’s a quiet young man, and very serious about his schoolwork and exams.
When our A to Z Literacy Movement team worked at Shine Zambia Reading Academy last June, Jimmy and other former Shine students came by each day to meet with us. They are eager for us to keep teaching them, and they took great pride in sharing their notebooks and work with our team. I am happy that my family can assist Jimmy with school fees, basic supplies, and uniforms.
In Jimmy’s words: “I want to say thanks for everything that you have done for us/me, cause you have taught me a lot of things and I believe you are still going to teach me more. I have seen a huge thing in you guys…just to come and help us, for there are few people who do this that you are doing. I have seen a lot of passion in you and you have a caring and loving heart. What you are doing shows a lot of kindness.”