Right to Education

 

The last years, Greece has been suffering from economic crisis that has affected almost the entire population. Nevertheless there are people who have the will and strength to fight for a better world, they do not give up easily and do not expect the big forces to benefit. They form groups or work individually and take action. They are always on the go, constantly looking for alternative solutions, searching on how to become active citizens and engage in actions that actually change lives, change society, and change the world. You will not meet these people in cafes wasting their time, talking and complaining about the economic situation, the government or any other entity holding back this country. Their time is precious and short. These people struggle every day in order to find solutions, and do not expect solutions from others, they travel across borders and help wherever there is a problem. They dedicate their time and energy for the greater good, whether it has to do with humanitarian work or with the environment. Some people call these incongruous, different people crazy, but they are the ones who push humanity beyond, who create and change things and might one day change the world through their actions! These are the people we need to follow, to consult and support because they never use the phrase I CAN’T.

I have the pleasure to meet and communicate with such people, and to participate in one of their actions in Malawi. A few months ago, they contacted me asking for some information and if I could help them. Spin the wheel is an action that is designed to provide stationery and sport equipment for 4,500 children in 15 schools.

 

They will fly from Athens to the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe, having their bikes with them and will cross 700 km. escaping the established and ending up in Tanzania. Along the way they will visit schools that are in desperate need, and will hand out school supplies that are needed.

Why did they choose Africa for this action?

Most classes are deprived of basic school equipment and office supplies that will offer them a basic education. More information can be found here 

Parents fail to provide the basics, many of them do not even have an income. Many families in Malawi depend only on their crops to ensure food but cannot meet the needs of children when it comes to education and many times this is the reason that denies them the right. Lack of school supplies affects the quality of education that these children have.

In numbers:

• 1 in 3 African adults cannot read

• In some classes, 20 students share one pencil

• 34 million children (1 in 5) do not attend school and 90% of those live in rural areas

My role in this action is to select information about the situation by visiting some of the schools to find out what school supplies are missing and talk about their needs. I also help as much as possible with the communication of the competent institutions in Malawi and Spin the Wheel in Greece.

All in all I visited nine schools in the area of  Livingstonia. From the discussions we had with school principals I realized that the problems are the same, in some perhaps more, but not less. Unfortunately this action alone is not enough to cover the needs of all the schools and children. There are many problems and the government is taking very small steps in trying to upgrade education. The problem is that the state does not provide the necessary equipment and school supplies that children need for their education and the families who are capable are forced to provide themselves. Many times, children approached my bicycle asking me to give them a pen or a pencil.

They could have asked for anything but all they wanted was a pencil. For this reason and only we must all assist in this action to try and meet their needs as possible.

 

Malawi was a British colony, until 1964, when it gained its independence. This is the reason why English language is taught in schools and in comparison with other countries I have visited I could say that the level is quite high. This made me realize that these children have the will to learn, want to evolve and fight for a better Malawi. Most of them confided to me that they are trying to improve their English in order to continue and go to English-speaking universities in the country. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of these manage to get into universities, either because of financial problems or because of the competition that exists due to the minimum positions that the university has to offer.

Unfortunately as I mentioned above the problems are not only office supplies but much more. For instance in some schools the lessons are held under a tree because there are not enough classrooms in the school to cover all grades and the number of children. When weather conditions are not good the teacher is forced to interrupt the lesson.

 Also in some schools due to lack of teachers or classrooms students are forced to gather in a hall exceeding 60-70 children that makes teaching impossible.

 Another problem is water and nutrition. In some schools, there is no drinking water for children and they must each be supplied with their own. Also school hours increased by an hour and I was told that many children start their day with empty bellies and have to wait to finish school to go home to eat. The government has a feeding program in their plans for schools in the country but the problem is that until it actually happens several months will have gone by.

 

Malawi is among the least developed countries in the world. The economy relies heavily on agriculture, with a large part of the population living outside the cities. The government depends heavily on aid from outside the country in order to meet their needs in development, this is the reason why there are several organizations operating in the country to fill the gaps of the respective governments in any way possible.

 

 

Through Spin the Wheel we all have the opportunity to contribute to the work of this group and to make the lives of these children better, give them the foundations for a better future and support their efforts in this forgotten part of the world.

We must not let these children helpless.

Everyone has the right on education!

For more information visit:

Website: www.spinthewheel.gr

Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/spinthewheel

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/spinthewheel.gr

Blog: blog.spinthewheel.gr

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                                

          
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