This October, I have been given a wonderful opportunity to volunteer in Tanzania, Africa for two months where I will be teaching English to children in the local villages. And while my emotions flip flop from excited to nervous to scared, I know that making the choice to indulge in a new culture and step outside of my comfort zone is inevitably what I have to do to help those in need.
As the years have passed, I have realized just how blessed my life truly is. I grew up in a household filled with love and encouragement. I went to school and had the choice to be whatever I wanted to be. I grew up without ever going hungry or cold. But as I grew up I began to realize that millions of children do go hungry and cold. They are uneducated and they have no home. And as I began to realize all of my blessings and fortunes, I couldn't help but be thankful for the opportunities God has given me on this planet. But as I continue in life, I realize that every year there are millions of kids who are deprived of these simple opportunities that I had. I want to do my part to change this.
In America we are born with immediate freedom. It is not something we have to work too hard to get. We are all given the opportunity to rise. We are all given the opportunity to achieve and succeed. We are also given (or at times forced) the chance to become educated. We are given a free education to help us better ourselves and grow. So why in Africa are the children not given these same opportunities? Although some may disagree with how I feel and ask why not volunteer in the states, my answer is that I want children all over the world to at least be given a chance to make the choice to succeed or fail. I don't believe that living on a separate continent constitutes these children as less important and I don't believe it should prevent them from learning We need every child educated to help them learn right from wrong and make choices. We need to teach everyone and provide everyone the same opportunities so that somewhere in the near future, we can all learn from each other and better society as a whole.
I know going for two months will not eradicate illiteracy or poverty, but it might just help one child succeed and strive in opportunities he was never granted before. As Katie Davis states in her book Kisses from Katie, "Sometimes working in a Third World country makes you feel like you're emptying the ocean with an eyedropper. And just when you have about half a cup full of water it rains."
But you still do it. You do it for love. You do it for hope of a better world. And you do it because maybe if each of us takes the burden of one drop from the ocean, there just might be a change.
And now, a little bit about the trip. I am volunteering through International Volunteer HQ (http://www.volunteerhq.org). I won't be alone either"”as many of you know my boyfriend Astin and I are volunteering together. While I am paying for all out-of-pocket expenses such as work visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, etc, I need your help in getting there. Part of the money graciously donated helps pay for my flight to Tanzania as well as the program expenses that account for lodging.
The other half of this money ($1,500) will go towards the school I will be teaching at. I hope that it will help to provide the children with more books and resources to learn while the many teachers come in and out of their lives.
I cannot thank you enough for your support and donations. Your contribution helps me to make the difference.
DonationsSee top donations
- Cathy and Hugh Feehan
- Aunt Sharon & uncle Paul
- Uncle Paul & Tom
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