Sunday
Sep172017

Gifts from Bloor West Village to Village of Love

During Andrew and Leonora’s visit with us in May, donations of clothes, linens and school supplies poured in from the Bloor West Village community. The Obaras’ host, Robyn Salter, packed 7 suitcases full of goods! The Obaras were able to each take a suitcase with them, and Rev Don and Brenda Gibson were also able to take a suitcase each in July, as did Rev Keith and Marjory Knill in September.  We are hoping for more travellers to take the rest!

Volunteer, Moses Omondi, helps Don and Brenda purchase much needed text books for the schools they will visit.Pencils and Textbooks

Don and Brenda write:

“During the days that we spent in Kibera we were able to visit 7 schools and many classrooms. In each of these schools there were children from the Village of Love.

“Andrew had had Moses work with teachers to compile a list of books that were needed by the schools. He picked out books for each grade level through secondary and Don and I were able to purchase them and (had) the privilege of giving them directly to four different schools in Kibera.

Brenda gives text books to a primary school child, to be shared with her classmates.“1500 pencils had been donated by (a school) in Toronto and we were able to give pencils to all of the students and their teachers.

“It really was an overwhelming experience and one that we will continue to reflect on. The conditions under which these children and teachers attend school would be shocking to those of us in Canada – 50 students in a tiny classroom often sitting on benches with no back, dirt floors and limited or no electrical lighting. But in these classrooms we saw only joy and very deep appreciation and understanding of the importance of education.

Much joy was had all round, in both the giving and the receiving of pencils.For impoversihed families, the cost of a pencil is often an obstacle in being able to attend school..“One school had prepared a performance for us where various students performed choral recitations or dances with songs or rap – no matter the performance the theme was always about their appreciation of their education and that the privilege of education would be what could improve their lives and their country.

“Receiving the pencils was a huge gift and incredibly appreciated by both students and staff. I can’t help comparing this situation to our Canadian context where many students and their families take their education for granted. Again the support given from Canada is making a tangible difference.”

For a full account of the Gibson visit, see: GIBSON BLOG

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