Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bisate Pen and Paper Project

Dean Jacobs is an author, photographer and humanitarian who has traveled the world, and is currently studying and photographing mountain gorillas in Rwanda and the Republic of the Congo. I asked Dean if I could share his latest project with you, and he agreed. Please take time to visit his website and blog.

Dean Jacobs:

The light poured into the dimly lit classroom through the one wall that owned the door and single window. It was enough to illuminate the brown dirt walls, floor and to allow the teacher to write on the black chalk board the lessons for the day. Light brown round wooden beams stretched across the ceiling that supported the corrugated tin roof, which kept the rains at bay for a school situated in a rainy climate. The village has no electricity. This day the sun was shining, making it easier to hear the tiny voices eager to ask questions.

Inside the classroom were neatly organized benches packed full with students. They politely raised their hands to ask questions of the guest.

“Will you help us find a Bic to write with?”
“Can you help us find notebooks for our lessons?”
“We are in need of textbooks to learn from, can you help provide these?” the soft voices quietly asked.

Questions similar to these continued for several minutes. The children are required to provide their own school uniforms and learning materials, such as a notebook and pen before they are allowed to come to school.

I noticed one small girl situated in the middle of the first bench had a torn, dirty and crumpled piece of paper clutched in her hand. It was supposed to be her notebook or qualified enough as one to be allowed to attend class for the day. It was probably all her family could afford; most of the people living in the village or nearby are subsistent farmers.

I have decided to charge ahead with the goal of a pen and notebook for every student at the Bisate school before I leave! It is far cheaper for me to buy things here then to have someone send something, the shipping costs add up especially when you ship weighty things like paper. The final day to donate will be May 11th, to allow time to wire the money, plus purchase and deliver the materials to the school. I will take photos and post them on my blog so you can see and share in the completion of the project.

The Dean of Travel Blog

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at dean@thedeanoftravel.com

If you are interested in participating with the Bisate school project please send a check or money order to:

PO Box 911
Fremont, NE 68026

Please make the check out to Travel4life.
On the information line please write Bisate Pen and Paper Project.
Send me an email informing me of the donation so I can send a receipt when it arrives.

One word of caution, we have been having tremendous internet troubles, so please be patient, but I will respond.

THANKS for your support with this!

NOTE: It costs 70 cents for a notebook and a pen for one of these children!

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