Monday, April 16, 2007

All that Glisters

After a few entries about my travel plans, I was afraid that my Devoted Readers would think they had happened upon the blog of someone with money and a jet setting lifestyle. To offset that rather erroneous view, I thought I’d share with you what I did last Thursday. Brace yourselves for the news because it’s going to be hard to take in all at once. I spent Thursday do-gooding. I realize how unbelievable this news is but it’s true.

I spent Wednesday with the president of the local chapter of the Association and she invited me to join her the next day at St. E’s – a girl’s school that the Association helps fund, run, and where several of the ladies even teach classes. The hope, I think, was that after meeting the Sisters who run St. E’s, and the girls, that I would volunteer my dubious services in one way or another. Obviously, I thought to myself, she didn’t realize whom she was dealing with. With a lack of anything better to do, however, I agreed to join the do-gooding fun.

The girls are all either orphans (I think) or live in the nearby slum area. Although the school is funded through donations from organizations like the Good Shepherd and the Association, they do ask the girls to give a small amount of money for their classes every year. Although these fees don’t pay for much, it helps encourage the feeling that the girls are not receiving charity but are instead contributing toward their future.

I realize that I keep calling them girls, which isn’t entirely the whole story. From what I was later told, the ages of the students range from early teens to early twenties. They take classes in cooking, sewing, beading, and English among others. Although few will be able to continue their education past St. E’s, the hope is that they can get jobs, or become self-employed using the skills they learn.

The admittedly low-key day was spent meeting the girls and seeing the results of the classes they had attended thus far. And by the end of those few hours I’m afraid that the President’s nefarious plan may have worked: I gave my number to the volunteer coordinator to maybe come back and help out. Since I barely cook for Hubby or myself, and I can’t sew unless it involves buttons, and beads are only pretty to wear (not work with), I guess I’ll be volunteering to help out with the English classes.

So there you have it. The one thing I swore would never happen has happened. My will has been broken by a few shy smiles and the generosity of a couple of children. I think I may be becoming a do-gooder. Am I the only one scared by this news?


Anonymous said...

You also knit...which is a good skill to use as they can make things for themselves or to sell.
You also have library skills (that we heard about on a previous blog)and call centre skills that can be taught. These would be useful for jobs after you give them their English skills.
Any resources needed? ie all those books stored under the desk at which I now sit......

Anonymous said...

I heard last night at a bored (sorry Board) meeting that a school in your town is to be a Model School as per the ones of my former employer. Does Olympia School sound right?