After living and working in 3rd world countries for over 15 years now, I have come to see that the most valuable tool for change in a country is education. I feel so blessed by the education I got in the USA, at a free government school, that I want to be part of change here in SA in any way that I can.
I have noticed with our HTH children that often basic things we call common sense is actually an education thought pattern we have learnt. From birth we are privileged with parents or family who buy us toys to extend our educational development (such as duplo, lego and puzzles). Not only do these toys provide fun but they provide the opportunity for parents to teach their children about caring for things and being responsible. Toys are also a great way for children to learn the art of problem solving. Here in South Africa the poor and vulnerable don’t have the same access to these things and therefore don’t get the same chance to develop certain thought patterns.
The other day I saw an adult at work trying to use a manual garage door opener on a pully system; I understand how a pully system works and when it gets jammed I automatically start problem solving. Whereas this man hadn’t received the education I had and just kept pulling and using brut force to get the garage to go up. Before he broke it completely I got up and tried to help him understand with my “common sense” to just let the door back down and get the jammed chain out and start again.
I have decided to get involved in our community and try to do something for the education system of South Africa. For the past two years I have been privileged to head the board of a school our children go to. In this position I have been able to make positive changes for the future of the children that will attend that school as part of my responsibilities involved the hiring of a new principal. This change will hopefully take the school to another level in education as the new principle is inspired and ambitious. The people who lead our schools need to be of the highest calibre so that everything that gets passed down to our children is good. We need to be more involved in our children education.
I have also started coaching basketball at a high school one of our boys will be attending next year. I’m working with the 1st team and hope that my time on the court with them will not just improve their skill but will help them become outstanding men in the future; men that will make a difference in South Africa in the years to come. I’m so excited where God has placed me and the opportunities he has given me to help make changes in South Africa.
Every big change started with some small changes, small decisions in the way we place value on things. What small change can you make today that will have an impact on your community and the future of your country?