Faces of Malezi School Pt. 2
Miss the previous update about building the Malezi Centre? Read it here.
When there are no free or affordable schools to go to and your parents are struggling to earn enough for basic living expenses, what you see above is what happens.
Children, in this case, less than 10 years old are expected to help earn income. As compared to some other ways that kids make money in slums, this little guy, who is selling french fries, is better off. That doesn't take away from the shock of seeing a child this young working.
Ideally, this boy would be at school learning how to read and write and receiving the inspiration to pursue his dreams. Instead, he will receive a street education that in all likelihood will help ensure another generation of poverty.
He may see crime as a faster, more effective method to earn income.
He may feel entitled to commit crime watching government ministers drive by in chauffeured Mercedes-Benz's, not bothering to stop to see what they can do to help.
He may end up getting shot by police who have adopted something of a zero tolerance policy toward those that commit crime (especially in and around slums), even small time robberies.
He may get involved with alcohol and drugs to cope with the drudgery of a hard life in harsh living conditions.
He may, quite understandably, lose hope.
These are the most practical issues that our Malezi School will address, at least for 200 students each year.
The school would not be free but affordable enough for families surviving on $1-$2/day to send their children to. There they would receive basic education, as well as values-based education from teachers who are dedicated to improving the futures of their own community's children.
I've seen first hand a number of times how when you give kids growing up in poverty just a little encouragement and motivation, that they will take it as far as they can.
As such, there is the very real and inspiring possibility our school will turn lives with bleak looking futures, in the complete opposite direction.
Check out our CrowdRise page for more information, including the ability to donate and help us realize the dream of building the Malezi school.
Update: We met our fundraising goal and launched the centre early in 2014.
Continue to next update about building the Malezi School.