Members of the Children 2 Children Club of Pacific Grove Middle School remain hard at work raising funds for the Remera Mbogo orphanage in Rwanda. Last week, the students had the opportunity to participate in a video conference with their adopted "brothers and sisters" and get an update on the difference their making in the Rwandan orphans lives.
Moira Mahr, Children 2 Children club advisor, gave me an update about the students efforts.
Students this year "took it upon themselves to raise money ... specifically for mattresses," she wrote in an email. "The orphans sleep on foam (pads) that barely exists because they are so old. Also, kids sleep 3-4 to a bed, sharing one blanket. When my students heard this from Lori Leyden, they decided this would be their focus for the year -- $40 per mattress, 100 mattresses hoping for $4000."
I visited the Pacific Grove Middle School last year (read the story here), and since then, they've held several bake sales that netted about $1,500; they've collected bottled and cans to be recycled, and they've also hosted a "penny drive" that got them $1,300.
In sum, they're raising a lot of money for the Rwandan youth. They're also getting to know them: the club sent T-shirt to Rwanda and the local students are learning to sing Happy Birthday in Kinyarwandan.
"Because of the efforts of the C2C club, the government of Rwanda has now recognized the orphanage," Mahr said. " Because the kids supplied electricity, computers and Internet, they were put on the map! Rev. Thoms (the orphanage's director) has applied to create a vocational school, and now a community center to teach vocational skills to local residents.
"Finally, my 8th grade AVID students have committed to raising money to send one student from the orphanage to college. The cost will be $1500 which includes room and board, books, tuition, and even money for his family to survive without him. The student, Matthieu, graduated from the orphanage first in his class, but is the poorest of the poor. His mother was killed in the genocide, and his father became mentally incapacitated by the atrocities. Matthieu is the youngest of five, but as the only son, so is expected to support the family. He walked 2 hours, each way to the orphanage, tutored to supply his family with food, and then did homework. Hearing this incredible story, my students have decided to raise the initial $1,500, and now we will be working with PGHS AVID classes to continue. Whew! I am totally excited and totally exhausted too!"
When I saw Pacific Grove students communicate with their Rwandan siblings I got the goosebumps. It was very touching. So I wanted to give you an update of what these students are doing, along with their teacher, to improve the lives of some special children on the other side of the world.
If you want to contribute to their efforts, contact Moira Mahr at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-6568 x343