Anyone who knows me even slightly well knows that i love children, and related to this, i'm really passionate about education, and ways to improve the quality and accessibility of education, especially in Africa. Here's a quote which sums up a lot of what i tihnk about education and educational policies..
"There is no extravagance more prejudicial to the growth of national wealth than that wasteful negligence
which allows genius that happens to be born of lowly parentage to expend itself in lowly work"
Basically, I have a problem when people are limited by the resources available to them. My ideal is a situation in which the only limit placed on the possibility of intellectual exploration for a person is their desire to pursue it. This struck me particularly during a documentary i watched over the weekend, invisible children. In brief, it is a documentary about children in Uganda who are forced to flee their homes every day, and make a 10km trek to a big city to sleep there, to avoid being conscripted into the Lor'd Resistance Army (LRA) by the LRA rebels. These young children make this journey alone every day, with no adult supervision, and sleep in bus terminals, and the often damp, dark basements of various other buildings. But lest I digress, back to the point about education.
One segment of the movie featured the children as they completed their homework...by the extremely poor light of very few candles. These are children caught up in a war, without their parents, often having lost siblings and friends to the war, but are still able to find the determination to learn. Isn't it sad that they should have so much drive but be denied the opportunity to advance? One of the students said he 'wanted' to be a doctor. Another that he 'wanted' to be a lwayer. These both in the past tense because they realized how bleak a future they had in their present situation.
It's things like that which really get to me, and hopefully Africans and other people around the world can help to work together to change this.
Camp Amelia, a non-profit I work with, is one effort to improve the quality and accessibility of primary education . Check out www.campamelia.org . It's just one thing, in a limited set of locations, but as long as it makes a difference to even one child's life, i think it is worth it.