An English archaeologist by the name of John Lubbock once claimed, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for”.
Kaleidoscope has certainly adopted this as a ‘must addition’ to our mission of supporting and nurturing the many children we are privileged to serve in our network of global education. We have to look for solutions and by doing that we uncover them.
No one could have predicted that a virus would have altered the way in which our world relates. It has been puzzling to be ‘here’ and have the need for detailed supervision be happening ‘there’, We’ve wondered how we could maintain contact with our children who can no longer attend our schools due to mandated government closures. This has left us more indebted and grateful to our administrators and teaching staff and their ingenuity.
In India, the main issue has been sustainable nutrition. Our community families in the state of Bihar are among the poorest of this country. Most laborers, much of their work was halted and families sent home from distant jobs without resources for food.
Thanks to several online drives, we have been able to offer multiple food deliveries to our children in Bodghaya and Lakhanpur. Our administrator Nandu Kumar became so moved by the experience of providing food during the pandemic that he used his own funds to purchase extra to feed the many beggars that lined the passageways of his own slum area. It was a move so selfless and touching that we were able to secure even more donations in order to replace his motorbike, stolen earlier in the year.
We are looking at a possible school opening in late June as of this writing but things could continue to change.
In Cambodia, our closed campuses became deep cleaning projects for our teachers, along with creating altered hygiene stations and stocking supplies. With us committed to keeping them on payroll, our teacher staff of 9 has used their time offering travel checks to the innumerable village areas that are home to more than 600 children we serve.
These teachers have also continued to meet and enhance their continuing education and teaching skills as well as begun making short YouTube video lessons to circulate among the young who have some digital access. This has made us see the possibility we have to launch a powerful albeit rudimentary online learning system in spite of the government closure. There is still no announced school return date as of this writing.
Guatemala is being served by our partnering Friends of Forma organization and focusing on food distribution to the village families surrounding Panajachel. There is hope that classes will resume in the fall.
What we see depends mainly on what we look for and what we look for is the continued gem in the midst of this disruption. What we look for is the birth of better systems than what existed before. What we look for is remarkable creativity and empowerment among the many we call our Kaleidoscope family.
And what we here on this side of the globe look for, is new ways to increase our name and mission recognition, new ways of enrolling creative minds and willing hearts to join with us in keeping our eye on the prize - sustainable quality education for humanities most vulnerable.
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