I left my heart in zambia
I've been home for a few weeks and I'm already plotting my return. There were so many more things that I wanted to do... but we ran out of time and money before I could do them all. I seriously considered selling everything we owned and staying in Zambia. I knew that God had called me to go on the mission trip this summer, but I couldn't ignore the feeling like I was supposed to stay. The logical side of me cried, boarded the plane, and came back home... but I left my heart with those kids.
The kids at the Zambian Vocal Group Academy are amazing. A lot of the students come to school wearing dirty and tattered clothing under their faded uniform shirt. Their little toes are curled up in their small shoes and their hair is wonderfully wild. They walk to school on the dusty streets which seem to cover them from head to toe. Their lives at home are hard and they carry that sadness with them every day. They carry their plastic grocery sacks with their school supplies proudly as if they are prized possessions. They arrive at school at 7:30 each morning with their biggest and best smiles. They are happy to be in school. They are happy to have several hours where they can just be in charge of themselves and be a kid.
We gave them new uniforms, new backpacks, new supplies, and new rules. We hugged them, encouraged them, taught them, sang with them, and prayed with them. It's just not enough. The teachers need more training and access to more teaching tools. There are only hand drawn posters on the walls of the classrooms. There are no flashcards, games, worksheets, student books, crayons, markers, or projects. Everything is written on the board by the teacher and copied into notebooks by the students. The teachers write on blackboards with very small pieces of chalk and the students write with tiny little pencils that they sharpen with straight razor blades. They deserve more. The classrooms have 40-60 children in each... which is small compared to other government run schools. Some teachers teach more than one grade and the 5th grade teacher is also the acting principal. The teachers do a great job with what they have, but I can only imagine what they could do with teaching supplies like teachers in the US take for granted every day. I watched a first grade child sharpen his pencil with a razor blade. As a mother, this terrified me. Imagine if each classroom had a proper pencil sharpener attached to the wall.
If I could get back to Zambia, I could help them to improve so many things. I could do computer skills classes with the teachers (most have never used a computer). I could paint the name of the school on the side of the building as it currently has no sign and most people don't even know what the building is. I could set up teacher workshops and help the teachers learn new ways to get their students involved and excited about their lessons. I could organize their supply closet and help them do inventory. I could get biographies on each student so I could introduce them to all of you. I could work with students that were falling behind and help them to catch up to their peers... like the children we found in grade 4 that struggled to write their names.
So what do I do? We do not have $7,200 nor do we have extra money to cover transportation or all of the other costs. I'm going to have to find a way to raise the money because I'm not going to be able to just sit here and wish I was there.
Anyone have any great ideas for fundraisers? Cause we are going to need them!
If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket and want to help us get back to Zambia...
WE WILL TAKE IT!