'Education is not preparation for life,
Education is life itself'
John Dewey said this many many years ago and we all realize this at some point of time in our lives. Adham, one of the kids at Annal Home for children, realized it earlier than most of us. He came to Annal Home with his 1 year old brother, Gigikal. Being orphans, he spent all his time taking care of his younger brother. By the time his brother could walk, Adham was already 11 with no education at all.
Adham's world then revolved around dressing Gigikal in those little khakhi trousers, packing his school-bag and sending him to school. Even though he had been sending his brother to school daily, he never felt like he was missing out on something. It was at this time in his life that we started teaching at Annal home.
For a boy who had never seen a classroom before, U&I was a whole new world. He would observe the class in progress from a distance every week. The sharing of greetings, the good things that had happened and the mutual affirmations drew him in. For the first time in his life, he wanted to go to school. He wanted to be affirmed. He wanted to be something more.
That desire to go to school was all that was needed, everything else fell into place. He got admitted in a school nearby and the week after, we took him into our U&I Teach program. It was his birthday that day and we asked him to share his good thing for this week. The words he spoke, will never fade from our memories.
He said, "ENAKUM PADIKANUM NU AASAIYA IRINDIDI AANA ENNA YARUM SETHUKALA. IPO NAAN PADIKA PORAN. U&I KU THANKS!" (Even I want to be able to study. But nobody helped. Now i’m finally going to study. Thanks to U&i)
We were all overwhelmed by this and that's how change feels, overwhelming.
Change is a powerful thing and for us to bring change into someone else's life in a positive way is the most beautiful feeling.