Lobbying to Stay Connected
"If people could unite, I don't see anything stopping the world from being a better place.” - Nolosindiso Plaatjie We began our reconnection as we usually do by gathering in a circle and sharing. The soon to be 5th grade graduates of Cliff Valley School expressed mixed emotions today. They were happy and excited about seeing their friends responses to their gift boxes and necklaces, but sad, too, that this could be their last project with Children Inspiring Hope. Groups of students began lobbying for CIH to follow them to the middle schools they are going to next school year - come to Galloway, Atlanta Girls School, Paediea…. - and we were overcome with emotions by these touching requests.
We shared with them the gift boxes that came back from their friends in P4 at EP Primary Sokode-Bagble. Although they were thrilled with the projects we brought back from Ghana, the students felt the biggest gifts they received was being able to see the excitement on the faces of their friends; the Cliff Valley students loved watched their gifts being received, the smiling faces, and the happiness they were able to give to their friends. They commented often on what amazing artists their friends are, and the genuine focus and care they took to send back their own gifts. Jennifer commented on how much she learned from her friends and how it has impacted her life.
We observed a genuine transformation in the 4th grade class also participating in this exchange. They were more expressive and shared collaboratively. Did you see what they said? Did you see their messages?! They said they were going to educate their parents not to cut the trees down! The students were empowered when they recognized that their messages will extend far beyond their friends' classroom, and have the power to help preserve the environment. What a gift to give the world!
Given that there were two parents in the room that were able to witness first hand the impact of this project on their children, an email was sent immediately to Galloway School requesting the CIH program remain an enriching learning opportunity for these students. We are thrilled to share that we will stay connected to some of these students and work with Galloway School next year. What a gift for us to remain connected to such a unique group of kids! Akpe kakaka, Mrs. Mahood.