Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Inspired to work there

As I delve into the whole experience of St Judes I am struck again and again by the reports made by people who volunteer their time to work at the school. Whether it is a group of teenagers or Rotarians who go for 2-3 weeks, or skilled young professionals who go for a year (and stay for two!), they report again and again on what a wonderful, challenging, life-changing experience it is.

Take a look at Jacqueline's blog with its many photos to get a taste for the range of experiences – including the variety of work at the school and travel adventures – that come with working at a well-run school in Africa. One of the pleasures for long term volunteers is that family and friends tend to visit too. Here's a small slice of Jacky's experience.

Jacky brings donated musical instruments to class
  • The school is just beaming at the moment. Gemma is all wrapped up in her new land purchases, Mary and Alice have been worked to the bone with loads of visitors and the current RAWCS group (Yes, that's the group my dad is here with, and it is fantastic to see him), I myself am either busy working in the office or spending time with dad, catching up on home and the family or showing him what my life has become.

Here's what Ann Gelao said about her experience at St Jude's.

  • I came to St Jude’s in 2005 as a short-term volunteer after seeing Australian Story [see link in sidebar], only intending to stay for two months. I was so moved and inspired by the children, with their positive attitudes, enthusiasm for life and love of learning that I stayed on for over a year. My experience here has been unforgettable and I have learnt so much about life and what’s really important. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to make a difference and be part of The School of St Jude.

Corey Kowalewski from Colleyville, Texas, volunteered at St Jude's through a Rotary Teacher Exchange program in 2003. You can read about Corey's life-changing experience here.

Here's what Mr Wesly, an English teacher from Canada, says.

  • I have 50 words to write about The School of St. Jude, but I only need one: inspiration. In my short stay here I have been moved, humbled, awed, and inspired by Gemma's tireless work and the students' passion for learning. St. Jude's is more than a school; it is an opportunity to change the lives of over 700 of the most beautiful, intelligent, and hardworking students imaginable.

So, now, somewhere in my future (an ever-shortening horizon) I know that I'll spend some time in Arusha – and I will try to lure a few friends and family to come too!

No comments: