A couple of years ago I visited Nakuru, Kenya with my college and I can honestly say it was the best experience of my life. It changed me and so many of the others that I went with and our perspective of life. Now that I’m at university it is so humbling to see many of my friends and colleagues taking the long summers as an opportunity to help others, especially those in other countries who are less privileged than us. Those in other countries need our help to build their lives together and fulfil a life they deserve – this will be dramatically improved through exposure to education.
When I was volunteering over in Kenya I was helping to build a kitchen with a team from my college in order for the children to get a meal at lunchtime to fuel their learning. There was no grumbling that they hadn’t had one working for years or the fact that the roof was made of thin metal meaning it would leak – all that they showed was pure delight at the fact things would get better.
I also helped to teach these children which was very different to teaching over in the UK. Every child was so enthusiastic about what they were learning and would learn more just because they were so interested. Every child wanted to participate and were all given equal chance. It was so lovely to see these children so grateful to be able to learn and educate themselves to better their future. Not every child in Kenya gets to go to school – parents force them to work and don’t want them playing with other children when they could be helping the families income – but they yearn for education walking miles just to peer through the gates to see what’s happening.
I recently blogged about how children in the UK are not always shown the right path especially when they have special educational needs. This is also true of children overseas which has recently come to light through research by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). It was evident throughout their research that minority language children in both elementary and middle school were under-represented in learning disabilities and therefore are not supported as much as they are needed in educational circumstances. Therefore helping overseas can first of all open up education to all children and once established: support those who need it most so ALL children achieve their dreams.
Education is a gift and everyone should enjoy what it can bring.