As we close another fabulous Bridge Walk season, I have a new hero. Margaret, a member of the Living Compassion cooperative in Kantolomba, has enrolled herself back in school. She is the next in a line of quite a few cooperative members who have done this over the years.
Most of the members have far less than a grade 12 education and some never
had the opportunity to go to school at all. Education was last on a long list of priorities. And now these adults, who cook, clean, care for, and mentor 1,000 children to facilitate their education are watching a new generation flourish. The joy we see in these adults time after time when the children succeed -- such as when Rachel and Esther were accepted into nursing school -- has moved us to tears.
Many of these adults are taking inspiration from the younger generation to realize long-set-aside dreams for themselves. One example we have spoken of often is Veronica, who, as soon as she began her work in the cooperative, put herself back in school. She started back in grade 9, then 10, 11, 12, and is now 3 years into her training to become an accredited accountant.
And now we have Margaret. Margaret is, I would guess, in her late 60s. She knows very little English but her enthusiasm to learn has always been infectious. Margaret proudly walks up to us each time we arrive on the property to test out her new English words. “Good Morning, Jen. How are you?” And then she laughs, seemingly delighted at her efforts.
She has enrolled herself in night school, grade 3. Did you pause there, as I did when Theresa sent the news? Grade 3. I truly do not have the words for how inspiring I find that.
Margaret, right, shares her school books with Eugenia.
As we close another Bridge Walk season where countless individual folks came together to ensure another year of transformation in our home in Africa, I offer my deepest gratitude for whatever it is that has brought us all Here, Now, to This to participate together.