October 15, 2009
However, because we are Africa ELI and because we have a unique group of people working with the Africa ELI-sponsored students, we will not allow this student to “get lost” in the bush of Africa. So, Colin began communicating with this girl’s grandfather and uncle – who serve as her guardians. Colin also called one of our Africa ELI partners – Health Net/TPO – to arrange counseling for this student. He picked her up and drove her to her first appointment with a counselor. Following that meeting and after multiple conversations with her grandfather and uncle, Colin arranged for her registration in a new school, giving her a fresh start and a second chance at achieving education. Today is her first day back in classes after being expelled.
And by the way, Colin made all these arrangements in the same few days that he was trying to repair two generators, organize supplies for a new rabbit hutch to be built at the school, and help me finalize some documents requesting more money to sponsor more girls!
Africa ELI knows this girl. We know her family. She sings like an angel. Her smile could provide enough wattage to light up New York city. She likes to read. One day, she would like to travel to Mozambique. Her favorite food is chicken – with french fries. She would like to become a health care professional – possibly even a doctor. Her grandfather and uncle are good men. They have attended school meetings. They care about this young family member and her future. They know – and we know – what she is capable of achieving.
If you are in America reading this story, and you have contributed to our Girls Rising Scholarship campaign, then you too are a part of this story. Africa ELI does not “assign” students to donors for various reasons. But we do KNOW the scholarship recipients and want our donors to feel assured that we are wisely investing your dollars into the lives of “our girls.” All of us are learning lessons along the way. Some days we experience great success; other days, we feel greatly challenged. On those days, it’s nice to remember that people care and second chances are available to help make things right.
From Juba, the capitol of South Sudan,