Today David and I spent an hour or two with some of the pupils at HATW partner PIZZ School, a wonderful place where Mrs Sianga and her team are supporting orphaned and vulnerable children.
We sang, told some stories and traced our journey from home on an atlas. Suddenly we were all deafened by the sound of torrential rain on the metal roof of the classroom. Unable to carry on with our discussions, we handed out the 7 or 8 books we had with us to groups of pupils. It was like giving food to starving people! The children descended on the books with a thirst for information and knowledge that both humbled and delighted me. So thrilled were they by the stories that some began to copy them into their exercise books in order to be able to read them again later. An encyclopaedia was a cornucopia of delight, and the flags of the world shown in the atlas were of great interest to one group of boys in particular, another group were amazed by pictures of animals from the polar regions.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these children had access to a library? Unfortunately it can be difficult and expensive to get books to Africa from the UK, but some books are available locally to those with the money to buy them.
It’s hard not to dream of feeding the minds of these children with the provision of a library. Their teachers are hard-working and committed, but resources are very limited.
HATW supporters have already given these 400 or so orphaned and vulnerable children a school and teachers, which has transformed their lives. When we heard that many of the children would go all day without eating, you responded to our Lunch Box appeal, and now a simple but sustaining school meal is provided every day.
Imagine if break time might also include a trip to the school library during the rains. The children would pray for rain as fervently as the farmers!
Imagine if those dedicated teachers had lots of books to use in lessons, what a difference that might make to literacy, geography, history…
The first step toward realising the dream is to imagine it. Do you think that together we could take the next step? Could you help to feed those hungry minds? If you would like to, you can help here: www.hatw.org.uk/donate
Please mark your donation ‘Books for hungry minds’. Thank you.