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"Do they need writing paper? Would they really want a
ream of story paper? Let me know because I wouldn't want to step out of
bounds here if you don't think I should try."
I think it's wonderful that you want to try and help in these ways. Any and
every effort is appreciated by a local child who has nothing. I save paper
that is being thrown away, periodically go through the garbage can and
salvage usable folders, pencil stubs and broken crayons from other
classrooms - things that people designate garbage even at our school - and
local schools and programs are very appreciative of our "waste." The hardest
thing for me to coming back to America is seeing how much is wasted here on
a daily basis and how much other people in the world need it and could
benefit from it. If this project can help students understand their
responsibility by virtue of their "wealth" to help others less fortunate
than themselves, and to ask questions as to how the resources are used and
distributed, then its usefulness will transcend the enormous benefit of also
experiencing art, in many cases, for the first time.
Story paper is a wonderful idea. We import it at our school but it is not
available locally. Kids would love it. And yes, small packages are more
easily and more quickly accessed through the mail. If you send a package
"surface" or "seamail" it will arrive in 3 to 6 months. Sending a couple of
small packages is better than one large one. People who have contacts with
embassy and diplomatic staff can use their mail pouches for quick delivery.
As for getting corporations or celebrities involved, perhaps it is easier to
"adopt a school" or "adopt a village" and channel effort towards a
particular place than an amorphous general need. After all, Tanzania is just
one place in need. After visiting a Kosovo refugee camp in Czech Republic
this summer, I thought if every community would start a campaign to "adopt a
school," we could help rebuild what was destroyed during the war. If you're
interested in this idea of "adopting a school" in Tanzania, I can provide
you with sister schools to be the recipient of your efforts. I can provide
you with one right now - Mlimbili Primary School, or other places with
children in them - the DogoDogo Street Center for Homeless Youth, Tumayo
Street Center, Mother Teresa Orphanage, or the Kurasini Orphanage, to name a
few. For Kosovo, you can route your efforts through CARITAS.
Many thanks! Let's harness this Christmas spirit and use it throughout the
year to change the world!
TOWARDS A HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR ALL!
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