It is quite common for many of us to take for granted how fortunate we are to have our everyday basic needs met and how blessed we are to be able to provide our children with the gift of an education. Yet when you look at many children who are living in underprivileged communities, having their basic needs met is often a luxury, and access to education and schooling is extremely difficult.
Since York Montessori School opened in 2007, it’s been a dream of mine to help build a school in a developing country.
While we were in the midst of the construction of our new building, somehow everything fell into place. While speaking with my cousin from the UK, at a family gathering, I found out that she works with the “Children of Hope” charity and that they were in the process of building a school in Uganda. I promised her then that once the YMS expansion was complete, I would help her charity build another school.
For our students, having seen first-hand their own school built from the ground up, we thought it would be so special and meaningful for them if our efforts to help build a school in a developing community took place the same year that we opened our new building. This will allow us as parents and educators to share with our children the joy of giving and helping those less fortunate than us.
I know first-hand that the “Children of Hope,” which started in 2006, is a very small, reliable and trustworthy charity. It has helped many children in Uganda and 95% of all donations go directly to the cause. In my conversations with them, I realized that it would only cost $20,000 to build a school in Nakaseke Uganda. Two local schools have recently closed and children are now desperate for a new school.
The charity works with a pastor named Sam and he’s a fantastic guy. He has already built his church in the town with the help of the local community. It has always been his dream to build a school for the local children and with our help this could become a reality.
In order to get things going as quickly as possible, a temporary school will be constructed immediately. The money to purchase the land adjacent to the church has been transferred and the purchase has been completed. We believe that work on the permanent school will start this summer, providing we raise enough funds, and the school should be operational in February 2017.
For us as educators, the joy of seeing our students’ love and passion for learning and those “AHA” moments is a very humbling experience and one that reaffirms why we do what we do. What better way to give this opportunity to others who do not have the means of an education than to help their community build a school.
Many schools reach out to their families for annual fund-raising. Those who know me well and those that have been at YMS for many years know that we’ve never reached out to the YMS community to raise money for our school. This is an amazing opportunity for all of us to come together to help an incredible cause. Please help us meet this extremely achievable goal of $20,000 that can provide more than a hundred students with the life-changing gift of an education.
“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”
- Dr. Maria Montessori