"Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela
For a year I have been volunteering with a group called Edu-Fun.
Twice a week, I visit the Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located north of Johannesburg, South Africa. Edu Fun volunteers help students in grades 3 and 4 to become more proficient in reading, writing and spelling in English.
Learning English as a second language is challenging enough but the environment that these children live in is difficult to imagine and shocking to witness. Unemployment in Diepsloot is estimated at 75%. There are some houses made of bricks but most people live in shacks built from corrugated metal and other found supplies. Most shacks do not have electricity, indoor plumbing or proper sewage.
Because service delivery is poor, there is trash all over Diepsloot. There are rats and open sewage in the streets.
DCS is very crowded. Students sit two and three to a desk. There are two third grade classrooms each with only one teacher. One classroom contains 60 kids and other other nearly 50. Because of limited resources bright students don't receive extra attention. Similarly, students who struggle or have learning disabilities don't receive extra support.
Life is challenging for these kids. Their parents are jobless or struggling financially, their school uniforms are torn and there is often not enough money to buy proper food at home. The kids witness crime, violence and death. They live surrounded by trash and rats in unhygienic conditions.
It is a miracle that any student can find his or her way out of Diepsloot. But yet some have. There are currently 50 DCS graduates attending university.Education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty. I am committed to raising $2000 (USD) to provide solar lamps for 250 DCS students by the end of June. Receiving a solar lamp will allow a student to do homework after dark. It is now winter here in Johannesburg and the sun sets at 5:30 p.m. Students who do not have electricity in their shacks are currently doing their homework by candlelight.
I think we can all agree that in 2016 this is not acceptable.
Also, giving solar lamps will send a message to the students "we believe in you and we know you can have a bright future." Knowing that people care will be extra motivation for these dedicated learners.
The students who receive the lamps will range from middle school to university (DCS graduates) and each recipient will be chosen based on school grades and merit.
A student who recently received a solar lamp wrote, "The lamp is a resource in my life. At first I had to study quickly so that when it darkens I will be done. But now, I can take my time and actually understand what I am reading regardless of the darkness."
Another wrote, "Thank you for the light that I was given. At first I couldn't study well at night because I had to use a candle."Please donate what you can to support this important cause.
On behalf of the students at the Diepsloot Combined School, thank you for being so generous and helping to create a brighter future.
Love, LizaDonors using a credit card
may donate online. Donors paying in South African Rands may donate electronically to Edu-Fun, an official South African NPO. Please use reference: SolarLM
Branch Code: 254005
SWIFT code: FIRNZAJJ
Account Name: Edu Fun
Account Number: 62242345438