Before we head to Sudan’s South Darfur state, we wanted to do one more project at Green Hope.
Founders Samira, Kemal and a group of women had built the center themselves some 15 years ago. At night! “We built at night, because construction work wasn’t really acceptable for women. AND we all had to work to make a living during the day,” Samira told us.
The school is compact, but there’s space for separate classrooms for all of the grade levels. What there wasn’t was a chair for every student. Some kindergarteners sat on the floor. Other kids shared chairs. We knew we could do something about that.
We called up a local furniture maker and he got to work building wooden and metal chairs – small ones for the younger kids and big chairs that would work for older students and for the adults who come to Green Hope for adult education and skills training.
The kids had also asked us for some exercise materials, so we grabbed some soccer balls and jump ropes. And we had enough left over to buy a small stock of crayons and JUMBO coloring books for the two, three and four-year olds who accompany their older siblings to school – and sit so nicely, by the way – because their mothers are at work.
“You may think that what you have done here is small, but it will make a big difference for our children,” said Kemal. “Thank you for coming back to us down this bad road.”
As we left the school, the kids sang Come see the fruits of education…I am important be-cause of education…I am a mystery be-cause of education…I am a teacher be-cause of education…come see the fruits of education…