Still shopping?

Three ideas for gifts:
1. One of my books
2. My podcast series
Or …
3. Give a desk in someone’s name so a child in East Africa can attend school. Here’s how …

From my friends Claude and Kelley …

Friends ~
We want to share a story – and an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child and community this Christmas.
When we went to Bubanza in early October and peeked into the classroom there were 16 students. In a community with over 3,000 school-age children, there was 1 classroom, 1 teacher, 16 students. The structure itself was poor. The room was just that – a room with no desks, scant supplies and a makeshift chalkboard. The children sat on stools or on the floor while Mr. Terence tried his best to fulfill his vocation as a teacher.
The truth that most development professionals know is that sometimes education is not a priority for the poor. Often parents have not gone to school and so they do not fully grasp the importance, in the case of some their attempt at schooling was fraught with ridicule and hardship. There is another truth in operation – there is much work to be done and children must carry their load at an early age. They help fetching the water, a task that takes hours each day. They watch younger siblings while parents try to find work. They serve the local widows who have no support. Given the great need for everyone to share in the work, parents are reluctant to send their children to school if the benefit is in doubt and the immediate result is more chores for the other family members. Education takes a back seat to the more pressing needs of survival.
However, we know that education is the road out of poverty. So our dream for Bubanza includes education.
A week later as Claude was driving to Bubanza something caught his eye on the side of the road – a desk! He learned there were nine more in the back of the shop. Claude could not resist… he bought all 10.
Unexpectedly – desks arrive to Bubanza! Mr. Terence was not prepared for the interruption but quickly put down his lessons and grabbed a desk. Bystanders joined in the work of unloading the new desks. The kids had never seen real school desks before – the room was electric with excitement and energy!
When Claude returned to the classroom less than a week later he noticed there were more students. Mr. Terence reported that enrollment tripled in a matter of days! (Claude ordered ten more desks and they were delivered within the week!)
Claude spoke to Mr. Terence recently and learned that 96 students enrolled in the following days. There are over a 1,400 kids on the waiting list now. Parents have begun building more classrooms – on their own initiative – because they want their children to sit in real desks with real teachers and learn.
The parents of Bubanza, once uninterested in education, had a change of heart. Because sometimes parents see a delivery of desks as a sign of hope. They see friends and desks and begin to believe that something is changing and that they can dare to hope. Sending a child to school is brave. Sending a child to school says you believe in that child’s future. Sending a child to school says things are getting better at home. Sending a child to school – or thousands – says a community’s sails are filled with hope!
We want to see all the children of Bubanza become students – each one sitting in a classroom and yes, in a desk! But our most immediate need to have desks for the soon-to-be-completed classrooms. In January we will debut two new classrooms with two teachers, allowing more children to begin learning. We need 70 desks. Each one costs $50, a well-constructed desk that seats two students. This is our Christmas wish – desks for the new classrooms in Bubanza!
Will you help send a child to school this Christmas? Can you give the gift of a desk (or two) to give them a front row seat in learning and breaking the cycle of poverty?
To give a desk follow this link :
To read this story with photographs go to:
Thank you for making our Christmas wish come true for the children and community of Bubanza!