For part of the study abroad program our student group spent the night in a South African township (slums/projects) and lived off of $1/day. I didn’t really know what to expect before this experience but I have a completely different mindset now. Immediately off the bus we were welcomed by the entire Sir Lowery’s Pass Township community. We spent hours playing rugby and soccer in the streets with kids and riding them around on our shoulders. These were probably some of the happiest kids I’ve ever seen outside of Disney World! After hours running around with them we went into our respective homes for the night. My host family was amazing. The father was a pastor and librarian and he built his family’s home on his own. His children were great and reminded me of my own family at home. Faith and education were clearly the most important things to this family. The father was studying to earn a degree in Information Science and his college age son was in school to become a civil engineer. All of the other kids were in school and doing well. He told me “In Africa, without an education you will fail.”
Many times as Americans we think we will come into a “3rd World Country” and show them the “our way a.k.a. the best way” to live. But this family taught me more than I ever could imagine about the importance of faith, family, friends, and education, no matter where you live. I can’t wait to go back next week to spend time in this community and learn more from these wonderful people.
After our initial overnight visit to Sir Lowery’s Pass Township we were issued a challenge by the Global LEAD staff. We were all handed an envelope and told to watch a short video clip.
After watching the clip we were told about how a church in Atlanta issued a challenge to its congregation. They gave each member $1, $5 or $50 and told them to multiply it and change the world. We all opened our envelopes and inside was 10 Rand (around $1US) with the instructions to use this money over the next 3 weeks to change the world. At this point I have no clue what to do with my 10 Rand but I really would like to make an impact on someone’s life. Feel free to give me suggestions!