Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No Worries in BULA

“There are no worries in BULA.” After all, why should there be? This is the perfect place that the children created. We are the facilitators, but they are the visionaries. Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect, especially theirs, and sometimes there are problems. It hurts in unimaginable ways to feel powerless and unable to protect those you love from the pain and suffering that trespass into their lives.

I often envision the 13 year old gate keeper, locking the doors and keeping these children sheltered from the realities of their environment. By turning the key he is keeping them free from sickness, corruption, and abandonment. By moving the latch to lock the gate, he is offering a world of happiness, stability, and health.

But alas, reality creeps through the cracks and up from under the doors and the children are exposed to a world from which I cannot protect them. It is impossible to guard any child from all the horrors of the world, but my predicament is particularly difficult. I live thousands of miles away and I am foreign to the complex systems and culture that effects these children.

If this sounds like surrender, that is not my intentions; this is not the end of the fight. It is just the beginning. My plan is to give these children the only commodity that cannot be taken away – an education. Bettering educational opportunities for these children is the only way I know to protect them from their environment and empower them in the future. If I cannot keep them from the difficulties currently in their lives, I can only give them the human capital to cope with troubling circumstances - either how to avoid them or how to remedy the situation when the time comes.

By teaching them to think through problems, to question the status quo, to look for solutions that fall outside of the box these children will have the power to fight a corrupt system and have better lives in the future. Through education they will learn about health and safety for themselves; and then pass the knowledge to their children. Without a proper education they will grow up and perpetuate a cycle of hopelessness and desperation.

For now, they are just children. For now, they are innocent pawns in a game that has continued for countless years. But they will not be so forever - they are the future. There are no worries in BULA because BULA is the hope of a better future for children in need. And where there is education there is always hope.

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