My name is Kathryn Morrison and I am a student at Temple University set to graduate in August. This past February I attended the Education Without Borders conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE and learned a lot about the state of education in the world. There was formal learning, in workshops and lectures, but what really affected me was meeting the other delegates from around the world. One delegate in particular, Eddy Mintela, was from the Congo in Africa and his story broke my heart. The Americans at the conference had been sent by their universities and were enjoying a fully paid trip. Eddy, on the other hand, had spent months fundraising his airfare because his university couldn’t afford to send him, let alone his family. I talked to a girl who had been a volunteer teacher in Uganda and she told me about the schools there- all the books were decades old, computers were hard to come by, and free breakfasts were served to the children because it’s difficult to concentrate when you’re starving. Hearing this put so many things into perspective for me and upon returning home I started looking into programs devoted to helping underprivileged children in various countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. After a lengthy search I finally settled upon WorldTeach, a program that started at Harvard University and has grown into an independent non-profit organization with programs in developing countries around the world.
I have been accepted and am planning to participate in the year-long program in Namibia, where I will spend twelve months teaching children and volunteering at a Namibian school. I think it’s going to be an incredible experience and I’m really looking forward to it, but I also know it isn’t going to be easy. One of the very first challenges I am facing already is simply raising the funds to pay for my airfare and housing for the coming year. Although many of the programs WorldTeach offers are sponsored by the governments of the countries where those programs are situated, the Namibian government does not offer any monetary aid due to financial constraints. And so, in spite of the relatively low cost of living in Africa, I still need to raise about $6000 for my trip. That is the purpose of this website–both to provide information about my plans for next year, and to petition all of you kind and generous souls reading this to donate any amount, no matter how small, towards helping me reach my goal. If you’d like information on how to make a tax-deductible donation, please click here.