One of my major goals in going to Africa was to enhance awareness of the educational materials needed in developing areas. As a bonus, I was able to bring a crate full of books with me to pass out. My perfect plan fell apart when I actually got to hand out books.
As soon as I handed the first book to a child, others saw and came running over. With arms outstretched and chanting "Auntie please" to me, I realized I would not be able to accommodate all of their sweet requests with the books I brought.
After just a few books were distributed, I ended up giving the stack I took that day to the project worker. He tried to tell the ones who did not receive books that the ones he had were meant for all the students to enjoy. That seemed to ease their desire. I watched as they huddled together and began to read. My heart swelled with delight!
My goal of bringing literacy to Africa has only begun after seeing the joy of these kids as they engage in books. My dream is to connect with like-minded individuals to see how far I can take this awesome challenge.
I have already started collecting more educational materials for my next shipment. I have no idea when or how it will take place, but one this is certain - I will see to it that it does. These children deserve the same chances to grow in knowledge as children in developed countries. It is both my burden and my joy.
Compassion trip July 2009