Monday, June 11, 2007

Sophie's Choice – Violet and Margaret

The harshness of extreme poverty makes many parents face choices like Sophie's Choice – the choice that no parent should have to make – to choose between your children.

The School of St Jude takes bright children from poor families. What if a poor family has five bright children? That is usually the way, isn't it? All the doctor's children grow up to become professionals. The School of St Jude tries to help as many families as possible, and right now, they have a policy of helping only one child from each family because one child will be able to help the whole family.

Gemma hopes that, in time and with help from supporters, she can grow the school sufficiently to allow them to accept more than one child from each family.

Here is the human face of the decisions that poor families have to make all the time. Violet and Margaret are both academically gifted. Margaret was a little too old to be accepted into the School of St Jude and she stayed at the local primary school where she completed Year 7 – a special accomplishment for a poor girl in her district. What is more, she passed the exams for High School. Only a small proportion pass these exams.

But her family could not pay the expenses of sending her to High School, so she is learning to be a tailor.

Her younger sister Violet was one of the 150 students out of several thousand who won a place at St Judes in 2005. She has learnt to speak English, her secondary schooling is assured and she wishes to be a teacher.

In this two-minute video, you can meet the two sisters whose paths will be very different, and see the difference you can make when you support the School of St Jude.

Go to the School website now, to add your contribution.

This is a clip from the video made by Brian Kieran. You can see his video about St Judes on YouTube.

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