I am free because I am educated…

My son is currently in Ghana, as group leader for a two week volunteer/study program with a group of students from Yale. They are working with Challenging Heights, an NGO  whose mission is to provide education for children who have returned from slavery and the worst forms of child labor. The organisation also work with families to improve their income levels to enable fishing communities to reject the sale and exploitation of children.

This disturbing video shows the organisation’s director, James Kofi Anan, a former child slave and internationally recognized leader against slavery. He reminds us that  laws and regulations are irrelevant, if you are unable to read. Access to education was what saved him and he has dedicated his life to providing education for others like him in a quest to end child slavery in his country.

The video is an important reminder to me that…

  • I have learned a great deal from my children. Their global experiences constantly open my eyes to issues that I might otherwise not have paid attention to.
  • Education in most of the world does not resemble my reality, working in a privileged school in a developed country.
  • We have little right to complain about our brand new school buildings, considering the number of children in our world who have no access to education… let alone electricity or running water.
  • As educators, we need to work to promote global awareness and a sense of social justice in our students.

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4 thoughts on “I am free because I am educated…

  1. I echo the sentiment, what wonderful work your son is doing.

    Since it is International Women’s day in just a few hours here I thought I’d add another slogan from Africa “Educate a woman, you educate a nation”

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  2. What your son is doing is so important and inspiring! Thank you for sharing that inspiration with the rest of us. It is so easy to get stuck in our microcosm and believe that it is reality for everyone. It is important to remember that we are the minority and we should be working toward that social justice!

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  3. I have to say that while any form of volunteer work is admirable, it’s often the case, certainly in short stints such as this one, that volunteers gain as much if not more from such an experience than the people with whom they work.

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