I think most of us would agree that a basic education is vital to a person’s individual success as well as the success of the greater community and even a nation. We might start going different directions when we discuss what actually makes up a basic education – some might say foreign language learning is basic, while others would say we just need the 3 R’s Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmatic.
All of those details aside, did you know that over 115 million children worldwide never go to school? That is a lot of kids that don’t even get a basic grasp of anything – which leads to major problems later in life. There are a lot of shocking stats that I could awe you with; but we all forget or can easily ignore statistics like 1/3 of all children receive less than 5 years of education the minimum needed for basic literacy skills, or that 2/3’s of the world’s 875 million illiterate adults are women. It is important to know that Education Reduces Poverty. (You can read lots of stats at the World Vision Education Page if that is your cup of tea!)
During my time in Ghana and South Africa I got to visit a variety of schools. In South Africa we were spending a few hours at several schools throughout a week talking about things like goal setting, HIV/AIDS, child abuse, and of course what America is like. Most of the schools were impoverished to some degree but varied from something you might see in the US while others looked more like a group of row huts put together in a field (see picture at right).
In Ghana, I was doing evaluation work for a community center which included interviewing a variety of “customers” many of which were teachers that were able to purchase their bicycles through the center on credit (a pretty novel idea in Africa). So we visited a lot of schools during my time. You can see by the picture at left that these didn’t amount to a whole lot.
In both countries almost all the schools that I visited lacked basic amenities such as electricity, running water, and enough seats for students. Some even had major holes in their roof and lacked a truly enclosed room. I think all of them still had chalk and chalk boards and most schools at least had an outhouse or something! Many of these building still had tin roofs – this is important to note since you can’t hear anything being said or taught while the rain is pelting them.
A portion of your donation to Team World Vision (in support of me) would support their educational programs. They have a three-pronged approach to improving education:
- Increasing Educational Opportunities – through financial assistance, school tools (providing basic materials), advocacy, and special needs education.
- Improving School Environment – building/fixing school.
- Adult Education – vocational and literacy training.
Please consider making a donation today in my honor by clicking here.
Team World Vision
Team World Vision is a fund raising arm of the organization which uses ordinary people like me, to get ordinary people like you involved in ending poverty and injustice across the world. I have decided to commit the 26.2 miles of my first marathon to the memory of and in honor of the children I have met during my international travels. I can’t remember all of their names, but I have many pictures and stories.
On the right side of my blog there is a widget that will allow you to support me during this race or you can visit this secure page. I have set a goal of raising $2,000 which will help children have a chance at living to become adults across Africa.