It was a sunny afternoon at one of our schools when I met with about twenty host parents to discuss the importance of our program for the kids. The meeting was supposed to start at 3:30 pm but it started at 4:30 pm instead, because the parents straggled in.
The School Director sang a short song and said a short prayer. He shared his thoughts on the importance of education in the life of a child. He talked about the difficulties he has been facing with the kids in our program. He encouraged the host parents to help, to allow the children to attend school each day. He explained that many kids don’t have this opportunity, even some that live with their biological parents aren’t able to go to school; since they have the help of the foundation, the host parents should encourage the kids to go to school because it is their hope for the future.
I got up and talked about the child who only goes to school occasionally, when they get their chores done, the one who lives so far away that they are late every day, the one who is missing things like shoes, food, a book, pen, and other supplies, and how as host parents they should support and help them. I explained that the foundation has done the biggest piece which is to pay tuition, buy books, uniforms and some school supplies, but we need their help. They can do the small things that the foundation can’t do; give the child money for transportation if they live far from the school, feed the child before and after school, and any other little things they might need to succeed.
The parents left the meeting feeling like they wanted to help us allow the children to succeed; they were so excited and agreed to do their part. Even though they may not be able to buy the things the kids may need, they will at the very least encourage them to study their lessons and go to school.
I was very encouraged by this meeting. It was very important to meet with the host parents, to encourage them and build relationships with them. Because of this, they are happy and have promised to work to take responsibility, to help their kids succeed in life and have a brighter future.