The following blog was written by Alecia McClure, a program specialist for BeadforLife. BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful bead jewelry, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads. BeadforLife is a supporter and friend of the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation.
At BeadforLife, each summer means the Girls’ Education Program shifts gears as the students return to their homes for a visit. It is also a time when our Uganda staff travel to meet with each student’s parents to thank them and acknowledge their role in furthering their daughters’ boarding school education. Parents are also reminded about their agreed-upon responsibilities, and are encouraged to support their girls at home by providing some time during the holidays for their studies.
Awino Colline is a boarding school student who BeadforLife’s Girls’ Education program sponsors. Colline seemed shy and immature at the beginning of the year. We find it remarkable how much she has changed with one year of secondary school. She now gazes confidently at the camera.
Colline’s mother, Akwir Susan, is very proud of her daughter. Clearly, Susan has the highest hopes for her and sees Colline’s opportunity for an education as a way to a brighter future for their entire family. Susan recognizes that since both she and her husband are HIV+, it is inevitable that someone else will need to become the leader of the family. That person is Colline.
Colline is excelling at school because she knows her mom is cheering for her. She also has a new support structure of teachers, dorm matrons and classmates that encourage her growth and development.
Every young person needs adult encouragement, support and love to make the right start in life; it doesn’t matter whether she lives in the US or in Uganda, the need is the same. Hopefully, the adult is her parent, but it could also be a grandparent or relative, teacher, coach, church youth leader or some other mentor. The greater the number of caring adults in a child’s life increases the likelihood that she will thrive. Blogger Allen Teal points out that “when you make a lasting difference in a child’s life, you have altered the course of a lifetime with a change that could affect every generation to follow.”
The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation honors teachers this week (and always), knowing that they make a difference in students’ lives everyday. Would you consider honoring a teacher who inspired you with a donation to the Foundation? You can donate online and designate the gift in honor of anyone. If you wish, you and the person you honored can receive notification of the donation. Our hats off to teachers worldwide!