We are very lucky to have the amazing support of teachers, parents, and students over at Orion Elementary School. This past April, Orion held their annual Fun Run and fundraised $3,000! Here is what Orion teacher and Asante Ambassador Jennifer Loewen had to say about the importance of students being activists in their community and being global citizens.
1: How did you become involved with Asante Africa Foundation?
About seven years ago I went to a performance and presentation at the Redwood City Library where Hellen, Asante Africa’s former Program Manager in Kenya, and Sabore, a Kenyan Maasai tribal warrior and cultural ambassador, were talking about their culture. I was very moved by their stories and wanted to get involved.
Read more about Hellen and Sabore here.
2: Why do you think having an education is important?
Essentially, education provides the key to one’s future. It helps individuals develop a skill set that will allow them to pursue their goals in life. It allows people to realize their full potential. Education also gives us the knowledge of the world around us. It develops in us a perspective of looking at life and the ability to contribute to society.
3: How important do you think it is for young people to be involved in their communities and/or the ‘global community’?
I think it’s extremely important. Everyone should understand that they have the power to help change the world, to make a difference in the lives of others, to improve what is unjust. I believe that children need to realize this at an early age and that this will help them to develop the proactive and altruistic nature inherent in everyone.
4: What was your favorite part of the Walk-a-Thon or what would your students say was their favorite part?
I love seeing the enthusiasm that the students have for helping others. When I hear about a child that has opened a lemonade stand and is donating all the proceeds to Asante Africa Foundation or the child that has emptied his or her piggy bank to donate it reminds me of the loving and generous nature of children. The children love seeing pictures of, reading letters from, and learning about the children they are helping. (And they also love the cake at the end of the walk!)
5: This is the 7th year that Orion participates in this fundraiser. Why do you continue to hold this event?
We continue to do this because it has now become a part of our community and a way to teach our students how to become global citizens.
6: What are some differences that you have seen since the 1st walk-a-thin?
We make improvements every year. The first one happened very quickly and was not nearly as well organized. Over the years, we have added to the event and it has just become bigger and bigger.
7: How have parents responded to this annual event?
Most of the parents embrace the event. They like the idea that their child is learning about other cultures and how to give back to the community. I could not run this event without the support of the parents. We usually have about 40–50 parents that show up on the day of the event to help supervise the children. The parents also support their children in raising funds to donate.
8: What have your students learned from this experience?
I think they have learned that no matter what they have, they can contribute to those less fortunate, that they can make a difference in the world. Whether they donate their money, their time or their effort they can help to make the lives of others better. At least I hope they have all learned that.
Learn more about our Youth in Action and how you can be a part of Asante Africa Foundation by contacting us at email@example.com.
We believe that enriched minds collectively create better solutions to whatever challenges their communities face. Share your classroom’s ideas with us!