Galwewa - 2008
This is small school with just 46 children, three teachers and the principal.
The children are like children everywhere, bubbly and loud. They jump with joy when I arrive. They remember when I visited in January and brought cricket bats, balls, soccer balls, basketballs and frisbees for the playground, and school backpacks for each of them.
They realise very quickly that I am here again with things for each of them. It is the first day of the term and they are all busy cleaning the rooms and setting the tables and chairs for the following days class.
We chat with the teachers and principal, give some small gifts to the children and tell them they must all come to school the next day as we have other gifts for them. We arrive the next day and all but three children have attended,
which is wonderful.
They are all exited as we carry the gifts into the principal's office. We manage to get the teachers to arrange the children in their class levels and then we set about giving things to them. Each child received an education pack which consisted of 12 exercise books, coloured pencils, pens, sharpener, eraser, pencil case and ruler. We also have a toy for each child.
The children are overjoyed as they received their toys. There is a little swapping going on, but at the end of the morning everyone had a toy that they liked.
As always when we visit schools, we take chocolate and biscuits. Often these children come from families who cannot purchase these luxuries. Some of the children tell Raja that they will take the chocolate home to their mother. Others who live in a home for orphans will take it home to eat later.
I also took teaching supplies for the teachers, and 300 reading books for setting up a library. All children are being encouraged to learn English and these books are tools for the teachers to encourage this amongst the children.
On the day we are leaving, all the children perform in an impromptu concert. The children sing a number of songs, some in English so I can understand. Other children perform in groups or with a friend. I am very touched by this little concert.
As we prepare to depart, we take lots more photos. I promised
to print and send them to the principal and also reassure the children that I would again be back to see them in 2009.
As I watch them walk down the dusty road with their gifts firmly under their arms, I am warmed in my heart that we here in Australia have done some good for children who otherwise would be forgotten.