Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Ripple Effect

I received a lovely note from a sponsor recently thanking us for our work, comparing it to "teaching someone to fish" rather than giving someone a fish. I was reminded of the ripple effect that education can have on future generations, villages, and communities. This is why I have chosen to devote my time to promoting education for children who will remain in China throughout their lives. We currently have several college students in the Mama's Wish Minority Schools program who are studying to become teachers, with the express intent of returning to their villages and educating the youth of tomorrow. Additionally, several of our college students are in medical school studying to become doctors.

One student in particular that comes to mind is Limao, whose mother died when she was a young girl. Limao later learned that the disease which killed her mother could have been treated if they had only had access to a doctor in her remote village. Knowing that her mother’s life could have been saved, Limao's singular purpose in life has been to somehow attend medical school and then return to her village to open a women's clinic. Her goal has not wavered in all of these years, and she is one of the most determined young women I have ever met. When I visited with her during this last trip, she told me that she and a group of her friends from college spent the summer traveling from village to village, performing traditional Tibetan dancing. After the performances, they taught dancing to young women and then after each dance lesson, they discussed women's health and reproduction with the women in the villages. Limao and her friends from medical school are not even out of college yet, but they are already making a difference in the lives of others – both in their own village and in their greater community. Isn't that wonderful? As you can see, the ripple effect has already started, just two short years after this program was first brought to our attention.

THANK YOU to all of our education supporters. You aren’t just changing the life of one student. By “teaching to fish,” you are improving the quality of life for generations to come.

Angela Taylor
LWB Education