By Ellen Rosenberg
In early 2004 when the twinkles in the eyes of CHOSA’s founders were just forming, Baphumelele struggled for even the most basic resources. When the first group of CIEE students began to visit Mama Rosie to help with diaper changes and cooking, one of those students decided to push the envelope a bit further. Jill Macari (Feb-July 2004) told her mother, Karen, about Baphumelele and its mountainous task: to care for 45 children with almost no supplies. A teacher near Boston, Karen decided to involve her students at JW Killam School in an effort to help Rosie and the kids. This group of students helped to raise enough funds to buy a winter coat and a pair of shoes for every single child at Baphumelele (as well as a deep freezer).
Now, three years later, the students see another successful drive (themed “Respect Makes the World a Better Place”). This time, the students at The Killam School opened lemonade stands, babysat, did yard work for neighbors, extra chores at home, recycled tin cans, gave money from their piggy banks and paper routes and a first grade class collectively donated their dessert money for a week! All in all, they were able to raise enough money for over a thousand meals or a year’s worth of diapers for a home with 25 children.
In early 2008, the students stepped up again! In addition to the school-wide fundraising, a phenomenal second grader asked all friends coming to her birthday party to donate the money they would have used to buy a birthday gift to CHOSA instead!
How inspiring it is to see the youth actively taking a role in supporting these projects. In reality, the children of today are the ones who will be responsible for caring for each other in 50 years. It is key to raise today’s children as citizens not of Boston, Cape Town or Mumbai – but as citizens of the world. The JW Killam School has conveyed that message to its students and they have, in turn, responded by taking ownership of the task. Congratulations (and thank you!) to all of the students who helped with this week of fundraising.
Together you a making a difference!!