The Gift of Education

The Gift of Education

By Betty Trummel

Being a part of A to Z Literacy Movement for the past 11 years, and as a veteran educator with 40 years of experience, I know the value of literacy and education.  What a gift it is to have books, supplies, and the money to continue learning at any age, but particularly after high school.  When our daughter and her fiancé (now husband) were planning their wedding a couple of years ago, they decided to forgo the usual table favors and instead pay for someone’s education for the first semester of college. Linda and Brian asked me to search for one of my Zambian students who would be the right person to receive this scholarship. 

Isaac Phiri, a former student of Shine Zambia Reading Academy, (one of the places that I love doing the work of A to Z Literacy Movement), had very successful results from his grade 12 exams and wanted to further his studies. When I was in Zambia in July of 2018 Isaac and I sat and talked about what he wanted to pursue.  He shared his dream of studying environmental health and helping his country in new ways.  A connection was formed and Isaac soon had the funds to begin his college life at Evelyn Hone University in Lusaka, Zambia.

Isaac sharing his exam results with me in 2018

Fast forward a year, and Isaac has completed a full year of college; he is learning and growing his knowledge every single day!  Linda and Brian felt so fulfilled and inspired by his commitment and excitement for learning, that they decided to “go the distance” and fund all three years of his time at Evelyn Hone.  My husband and I help Isaac with living expenses beyond tuition and books, providing a monthly allowance for food.  You see, the gift of education for Isaac is also a gift back to Linda and Brian, Chris and myself.  The gift is the joy we get from helping others, providing education where none would have been possible for Isaac. 

Linda and Brian Benck have sponsored Isaac’s scholarship for college.

Isaac is just one of the many people I’ve met on my four trips to Zambia as part of A to Z Literacy.  It is incredible how we are touched by others in our lives, and how they help us see what is truly important…education is at the top of the list! Please read Isaac’s recent thank you to Linda and Brian.  It certainly reaches right out and grabs my heart, as I hope it will do the same for you.

“Dear Brian and Linda,

I wish to thank you for the support and help you are providing, for your dedication, attention and your readiness to help.

With your generosity my college education has become a reality.  Your generous donations will help me to accomplish my goals of obtaining a diploma in environmental health at Evelyn Hone College, a three-year course at one of the biggest colleges in Zambia.  Your help has given me the ability to focus on my coursework without any negative concern or lacking in school needs. 

Thank you for opening this door of an opportunity, it is a huge step for me. In January of 2019, I started my college, as a first-year student doing environmental health.  With your help everything went smoothly during my first year.  Nothing could have been as simple as they are today. My two semesters in college has been successful, for I never lacked.  I was successful because I have been learning new things, things I never knew before college. It’s been helping me to reach my goals, not just in doing environmental health, but also in other areas of life.

Thank you once again for making my career start to become true. Through you I have a huge hope of becoming a better person in my country. With this sponsorship I understand that without generous people like you, a college education would not be possible for students like me.  Knowing that someone elsewhere cares about my education motivates me to strive hard.

Let me also use this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous new year.  May God continue blessing and protecting you together with your family. In 2020 I will be in second year of my college.  I promise to work hard not to disappoint you.


Isaac Phiri”

Isaac and I…from my visit to Zambia in 2018.

One thought on “The Gift of Education

  1. Betty, God bless you, Chris, Linda, Brian, Mal – and her A to Z partners – for all you do! And I’m sending special prayers for strength, wisdom, and success for Isaac!

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