We can’t celebrate fall without thanking all the wonderful teachers out there who are exposing kids and young adults to the world around them. Many of our volunteers are teachers or educational professionals, and we are grateful for every one. Happy September, teachers!
Now, imagine trying to teach without any desks, pencils or libraries. For many teachers in Ethiopia, that’s the reality. They are doing all the hard work of moulding young minds without many of the resources we depend on in North America. But that doesn’t stop them.
We were particularly inspired by Whalen, a teacher at Gallo Shanto, who spoke with us on our last trip to Ethiopia. You might remember some of her incredible words:
“What you tell us (through your actions) is that people have time for Ethiopia. People, regardless of colour or differences, can become one. You have shown us through the work you do. It is powerful,” she told us.
Whalen received a pair of eyeglasses from Shelley during a previous trip, and this year we handed out T-shirts to the staff.
But Whalen’s speech inspired us more than she could have imagined. She told us that the teachers and students at Gallo Shanto will not become dependent on help from outsiders – she believes that one day, they will defeat poverty.
So as we start another school year, we are thinking of teachers near and far, and we take heart in the amazing example of strength and determination that teachers like Whalen are setting for students in Ethiopia.