After all of the interactions, Kate will write the new English words on the board and the children will copy the words down in their little blue notebooks. They get pretty excited about writing new words. Many days she will give them an assignment and if they've done the assignment by the next class period, she will reward them with a pen or notebook (both of which is highly valuable in this classroom).
And these are the excited learners...well, maybe it was a 'down' day. They usually look happier to see us. Some days no teachers come to school and the children end up spending hours just sitting in this classroom, writing anything and everything down. They are truly eager to learn. But this school is not accredited by the government yet and no formally trained teachers have been sent to Timu. In order for that to happen, they will have to get officially registered and someone will have to build teacher housing (since none of the Ik who live here are trained teachers). There will also need to be Ik translators for those teachers, who will not speak the Ik language. And at this point, the children know little English so the teacher will not get the point across on his own. Then those translators will have to be paid from some budget that doesn't currently exist. It's a complicated issue but we are still praying that a teacher will find his way to this school and will start empowering our children through education.
These are the new desks that were kindly donated by friends of ours at Powhatan Mennonite church in Virginia. We are not the only ones investing in the lives of these Ik.
Many children really care about their studies like the one above. Lucia Lemu (below) is a bright girl who has just started going to school. She usually has to help her mother with chores at home but recently she's been given more freedom to attend. The story is the same for many of the girls. You'll notice in my pictures that most of the students are boys. Interestingly enough, many statistics say that the women are the majority of 'bread-winners' in Africa. They are the ones who figure out how to provide for their families even when living in abject poverty. Who knows what educating a woman will do for this society?Kitella (below) is starting early with her education. Many of the girls have to bring their wards to school with them because the mother's are too busy to care for small children and do the bulk of the household chores.
Before I go, I just want to publicly thank Kate for investing with us in the future generation. She's graciously and lovingly given her time to these children and they are all learning much from her. She will be remembered well!