Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sights on a Cow

There is a very special group of students at Kennedy Middle School who have their sights on a cow. And they have embarked on their own unique journey to help make a difference in the lives of orphan and other at-risk children on the other side of the world in Tanzania. Africa.

What set these children on this path?

For the third year in a row, Hearts in Unity was warmly welcomed to the classrooms of Mr. D's "Foods" classes at Kennedy Middle School. While listening to stories of life in Tanzania, Africa, the students had a hands-on lesson on how to prepare several traditional Tanzanian foods... chapati (flatbread), ugali (stiff porridge), and mchzi wa mboga (vegetable stew). Yum!

Take a look....

(If you are not able to view the video above, CLICK HERE)

So what is the connection to the cow?

Hearts in Unity helps to support the students and teachers at 2 schools in northern Tanzania. When meeting with the teachers at Seela Primary School on Mt. Meru this past November, we asked what more we could do to help them, as teachers, to teach the 1,000 children at the school in this remote village.

Expecting a discussion about the ongoing need for additional textbooks, school supplies and other teaching materials, we were surprised with the request they shared.

After much thoughtful consideration, one of the teachers stood and humbly relayed the request of the teachers -- a request for two cows.

Two cows? Did we misunderstand?

The teacher went on to explain....

He reminded us of what it is like to live in this region of Tanzania, the 5th poorest country in the world. A single meal per day is reality for many of the children in this remote village. Neither the school nor the parents of these students have financial means with which to provide a daily lunch to the students at the school. The hunger these children live with is compounded by the long, exhausting walk up the mountain that so many children travel to the school each day -- more than 5 miles each way for some students.

And the connection to the request for two cows?

The teachers, responsible for their classroom of 75 or more students, are not able to effectively teach when the most at-risk children arrive at school hungry and exhausted -- only to faint when they finally reach the classroom.

And when a child faints, there is no school nurse. The teacher must care for that child... leaving the rest of the class to wait. Teaching on hold. Sometimes for hours.

And the 2 cows?

It's a simple solution, even if barely adequate. Having 2 cows would give the teachers the ability to offer a small cup of milk to the children at greatest risk for fainting at school due to hunger and exhaustion.

A simple cup of milk when they arrive at school. A way to help the poorest of the poor children to get through the school day. A way to help keep the teachers in the classroom doing what they are there to do and what love to do. To teach.

And so, as the hearts of the Kennedy Middle School children open to the children of Tanzania, they have set their sights on raising enough money for Hearts in Unity to purchase a cow as a gift for the students and teachers of this Tanzanian school.

Children reaching out to making a difference in the lives of children on the other side of the world. It's heartwarming.

To learn more about how you can help feed the children of Tanzania, visit us at Hearts in Unity.

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