Children sponsored through FH's Child Development Program are provided the means to attend school while having their basic human needs addressed. Frank and Amber Devine, from
Vancouver BC, experienced the benefits of this program first hand while they participated in local school activities in . Mbale, Uganda
While working alongside national FH staff, Amber and Frank looked for every opportunity to make their months in
Africa count. They were thrilled to help create a place where children could go to escape their everyday lives and explore a world of creativity and imagination. The mission to create a school library began as Frank demolished walls and tore down excess shelves to create a larger more spacious environment for teachers to bring their students. While the old building had been used for sleeping quarters, it was soon to be a haven for the imaginative mind.
Frank and Amber had barely started to unpack books and dust off shelves, when they noticed a crowd of children from the village, those too young to attend school, loitering around the entrance. It was soon decided that everyone should play a role in the project and before long many little hands and tiny feet were scrambling about the room, picking up debris and wiping off dusty surfaces. Looking down, Amber and Frank saw faces full of excitement, faces that watched them with eager anticipation to see where the rows of donated books would fit on the shelves. They were waiting for the day when they too might attend school and be a part of new and bigger world.
Amber was the first teacher to bring students into the new library. The children were thrilled to hear the new stories and learn about places far away from their own. No one had ever told them about the
Sahara desert nor had they heard of a boy named Peter Pan. The new library stood for more than just another room, it was a place where the children could disappear, even for just a little while and lose themselves in a world far from their own.
If you would like to contribute towards an overseas community library, please visit www.fhcanada.org/gifts/education.
Written by April Klassen