A few weeks ago our head farmer passed me a note that one of our fifth graders had written. He said, “David was telling me about some of his goals and I told him to write them down.” I unfolded a small piece of lined paper that read, “My future that I would like is to be an aeronautical engineer of Zambia. Since I was young, I have been wishing to be an engineer imagining it is a very neat work.”
David has met two engineers who clearly made an impression on him, but the Zambia piece was charming and I couldn’t resist asking him about it that night at dinner, “Zambia, huh?”
“Yeah, it's my favorite place.” he explained; pushing food around his plate as though moving to Zambia was a heavy responsibility that he alone had been chosen to bear. “Wow,” I nodded, trying not to smile. “Have you ever been?”
“No,” he said and then - finally - the response I was looking for, delivered with the utter logic of an 11-year old, “I just like the way it sounds. Zamm-bee-ahh.”
David’s mother died when he was four. He remembers her well. A few years ago he asked me, “If my mother had had dawa (medicine), would she have died?” I told him I wasn’t sure. “If she'd had money to go to a hospital, would she have died?” I told him that still I wasn’t sure. It annoyed him that I couldn’t speak to which part of poverty, specifically, took his mom from him.
As our students enter high school, they are increasingly restless and impatient when we can’t help them make sense of global inequalities. And isn't this the very fire that has always been the driving force behind social change?
I’m not sure if David will end up being an engineer or a doctor or a farmer, but I know that the work that we do to cultivate a sense of social justice in our students makes Flying Kites exceptional. And for that, I’m grateful to you, for your support throughout this momentous year. Like David, our vision is daring and specific. Why? Because we believe that providing critically-poor students with access to high-quality education is the most effective way to build healthy communities and strong countries. And because we are committed to proving this on a global stage, to reframe how the world thinks about options for those students who are the most at risk.
Currently, we are just $23,800 short of reaching our annual fundraising goal, a little over twenty thousand dollars before we can say that in 2015, we demonstrated to some of the world’s most vulnerable children that we believed in them and their dreams… their quirky and surprising dreams. Please consider making a gift to Flying Kites, before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.
With tenacious hope,
Leila Chambers, Executive Director