JamaicaJamaica '11LearnServe Abroad

LearnServe Jamaica Day 2: Sparking Ideas

Hello blog world, my name is Shade’ and I am one of the group members in the LearnServe program here in Jamaica. I am 16 years young and I am a rising senior at a DC public school.  Today we reviewed the KBC Learning volunteer manual and discussed the Jamaican education system with some members of the KBC staff, including the KBC founders, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett who are also our hosts here in Kingston. Something that stuck out to me was the lack of financial resources the students have  to come to school, which is one of the reasons why the literacy rate is at a staggering low percentile.

After hearing that, I thought of an idea that could potentially change that.  When I was younger, I always anticipated the first day school knowing that I would have new cool school supplies to show off to my peers. Since school supplies are scarce in Jamaica, maybe I could organize a project where we filled backpacks with supplies for the less fortunate students. Providing them with free supplies would help out their families financially.  I would love to help out with the Jamaican education system in other areas then donating school supplies, but this is just one step in a positive direction that the students will benefit from.

I know for sure that these 18 days will not be the only days I will be voluntering in Jamaica. After hearing about the educational issues, the living conditions, and the economic setbacks here in Jamaica, I am inspired to do soemthing positive for this country. It is not fair for people to live the way they do here. It is not fair that these kids are not getting a good education . It is not fair that kids are not gettting a decent meal everyday. I just would not feel right leaving Jamaica without having  thought about coming back to help fight these issues.

Although, we’ve been here for three days, I have thought of many projects I can do to help Jamaicans. The Bennetts are always telling us about how Jamaica is in such a rut, I cannot help but ponder on ways to try to change that. By the way, the Bennetts are a phenomenal couple. Their achievements have influenced me to go out and make a difference in the world. I hear about the Oprahs and the Angelina Jolies doing charity work, but to actually witness real people that are doing great deeds of work is inspirational.

Tomorrow is the first day of our volunteer work at St. Alban’s Primary School and I am anxious to see what’s in store for us. The KBC staff members keep telling me that the kids will be all over me because of my red hair, but I’m excited to work with them. Just knowing that I am impacting someone’s life is an achieving feeling.

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