Monica, Activities Coordinator for She’s the First, sponsored a girl in Liberia by collecting $2-$5 donations from all the girls in her dorm at Notre Dame. Her friend Julie saw how easy and impactful that was, and she got her own dorm involved, raising enough to sponsor two girls in Tanzania, at Village Schools International! We’ll publish a ‘sponsor spotlight’ with more details on how Julie did it soon…but we couldn’t wait to share a heartwarming thank you note from Steve Vinton, who is director of VSI schools in Tanzania. It’ll make you even more eager to rock the world!
I realize in the grand scheme of things there are those who would question if it really matters all that much if two girls in little villages in Africa get to go to school or not. I’ll admit that what the women of Lewis Hall have done won’t change the world, but in a very real sense it will change the world for those two girls. And after having lived in small villages in Africa myself for over two decades now, I can attest that it will also “change the world” for their families and also for their villages. Every girl today who studies makes it all that much easier for other girls in her village to study in the future. I say all of this as my way of saying thank you for what you all have done. When we first started VSI in 2005, we vowed that we would not go to all of the trouble to start these schools if it meant that only boys would get to go. For poor people it is not at all that they don’t want their daughters to go to school, it’s just that when you are very poor you have to make very tough choices and you have to go with the odds, and so if you only have enough money to send one child to school, you always choose to send the boy. Our goal has simply been to tip the economic scales by offering these scholarships to make it feasible for poor people to also let their daughters go to school. Thanks to people like you, our dream has been realized in a far greater way than we ever dreamed possible. Out of 3,643 students, over 1,900 of them are girls, and every single one of those girls is a great victory. I wish that I could personally somehow convey to all of those who gave money for this project the immensity of what has actually happened, but my job is to be here in Tanzania (I teach in the village of Igoda), so I will leave it up to you to please find a way to properly thank all of those who have participated in making this possible. We certainly do appreciate your efforts.
- Steve Vinton, Director of Village Schools International