Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School Registration

     He was sitting very straight in the chair before the registrar's desk.  His white baseball cap was balanced on his head.  Behind him stood a man in an identical white cap, watching proudly as  his son was assigned to the next level, secondary school!  To get to this point, the boy had to pass the national exam required for all 6th graders.
     Seeing him before the registrar's desk was the first sign that I had that he had passed.  I asked him, "Did you pass, Olandy?"  He grinned shyly and nodded his head.  His father nodded his head, too.  I don't know all the 1,000 plus students enrolled in our school, but this young man, I did.  He has been in our sponsorship program since preschool and I was thrilled to see him make this progress.  Besides the generous donor who's sent in $30/month to help this student, the other reason was probably the presence of his father today and in his life.  Just putting funds in a situation may or may not really help.  If the families don't stay involved and feel responsible for their children and hold the kid's accountable, there is little chance the kids will be successful.
     As I spent the morning getting the 6th grade results to give to their sponsors, I was pleased that most of them did pass this first major test.  There was one surprise with a young girl who didn't pass.  The elementary principal and her teacher were bemoaning the fact that they hadn't realized how her home life had deteriorated and she was probably hungry and lacking other basic things.  Even though we provide one hot meal a day for the students, it's not enough to survive.  We agreed we'd try to give her a little coupon to use at the school cantine to cover some breakfast/snacks, etc.   I wrote and told her sponsor a bit about her situation, encouraging them to pray.  Hopefully, with some extra attention, we can give her the support she needs to get ahead.
       By sharing this, I'm giving you a view of the realities we're facing, some successes, and some set backs. I've learned to enjoy every success, and today it was seeing  my friend registering for the 7th grade!

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