I had the opportunity to venture to Zambia with my super cool team comprised of Chris, Carla and Rosa. We were excited to present on character education in primary and secondary schools. One of our first presentations was at Matero Girls Secondary School. When we set up the presentation, we expected about 50 kids from grades ten through twelve. We were all nervous and unsure. Walking into the building, I saw about a hundred blinking eyes staring up at us, waiting for the silence to be broken.
A chorus of “good morning’s” and gleaming white teeth flashed around the room, as our team was introduced. We started out with the banana song, and as we chorused into the “poop bananas poop poop bananas”, all the girls starting cheering.
The rest of the presentation ran smoothly; I emceed, Carla gave a talk on her passion, and Chris and Rosa led the speech teaches, a chance for the girls to get up and relay their passion to the room, and we sang You Raise Me Up. They talked about becoming doctors or singers or actors and actresses, and they were able to really come alive in front of the whole room. We finished with “Zicomo Kwabiri”, Nyanga for Thank you very much.
It's hard not to sound cliche writing this, and I don't know how to exactly pinpoint what inspired me personally. Maybe it was the girl who came up to me at the end of class and said she felt she could really reach her dreams now, or maybe it was the girl who came up and was able to eloquently word her passion in front of the whole room. But I think it was mostly just the smiles of the girls in the class.
The feeling of warmth in the room, and the energy, the spirit, the sudden real passion for life. It's hard not to sound silly, but it is what it is. We made a room full of girls come alive. It's hard to know if you really can make an impact, even as small as on one person's life, but we did our best. And that day I think we were finally able to see our hope for Zambia come to fruition in a small way.
Thanks Zambia and Matero Girls Secondary School!
Addie, Carla, Chris, Rosa