When we reflect on our early childhood years, often times some of our most vivid memories involve the first day of school. We would have new clothes, a new backpack, new shoes, and enthusiasm for the upcoming year. We would be excited to see our friends and excited for the academic challenges to come. From our very first day of kindergarten until our senior year of high school, our mothers would have us stand in front of our house and take the “first day of school” picture.
Sadly, most children who are served by BCC do not have an opportunity to attend public or private school, so they do not get to experience the excitement of the first day of school. Over the past nine and a half months, we have been updating everyone on BCC’s progress with registering young adults who receive services from BCC for vocational and public school. On Monday, seven of the young adults who we registered for vocational school left for their first day of school at Imani. We decided to go visit them as they left for their new school in celebration of their new opportunities and bright futures.
Below is the Education/Health Coordinator, Genevieve, and two of the young adults served by BCC who will be entering their second year at Imani Vocational School, Elias and Flora. Imani is a three-year program, so, with hard work, they will graduate at the end of 2013. They will be the first Imani graduates from the BCC program. Hopefully they will receive microcredit loans or gain employment through a BCC cooperative upon graduation!
Just like school in the United States, students are responsible for bringing some school supplies. Imani is a boarding school, so their supplies were quite different from the school supplies we are familiar with in the United States. Supplies included work books, clothes, a pillow, a mattress, a machete (for cutting the grass), a broom, and a bucket to wash themselves in. Below is a photo of some of the children saying goodbye to their parents, caregivers, and center workers. You can also see some of the items they were taking to school with them.
All of the young adults were so excited for their new opportunities. They have been waiting so patiently for more than 7 months in anticipation of their new opportunity at Imani. The moment had finally come for them to have their first day of school and the young adults could hardly conceal their excitement. Below is a picture of Janeth. You can see the excitement in her smile!
Seven other young adults will be joining Elias and Flora at Imani Vocational School. That will make for nine BCC young adults who will be receiving education and vocational training from Imani this year! We are so excited for them and for their futures!
Thank you to everyone who has offered financial support for the young adults. You have given them so much more than just a year in school. You have given them an opportunity to learn and a possibility to one day gain employment with the skills that they develop. By attaining employment, the young adults will not only fiscally give back to their family, increasing the likelihood that they can escape extreme poverty, but they will also be breaking down cultural barriers by proving that individuals with disabilities can give back to their communities socially and financially.
With the help of Mosaic, we have been able to raise over $2,400 for 11 children to attend vocational and private schools. We still need $200 in order to fully fund all of the children for their first year of school. If you are interested in donating please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jaimie Anderson-Hoyt at email@example.com.
Below is a picture of the children just before they left for their new school!