The following is from Angie Hemric, sharing an outing some of the children of Plastic City, Guyana experienced as part of their PAL program. Caroline's Promise is excited for the opportunity partnering with PAL is affording these children and ultimately the families of Plastic City.
"Reward time for PAL has come around for the second time. We have set the standard that every eight weeks we will honor those who have the best attendance record. Our last reward time came when school was in session and we rewarded the top five based on the size of the group. The prizes were all educationally based and that will continue to be our standard. Monday we celebrated eight persons for attendance, which now included two complete weeks of summer session of four days a week for three hours each day. The reward this round was a trip to town to walk the sea wall and collect sea glass.
Our children did not know anything about sea glass and some had never been on the sea wall. Georgetown sits well below sea level, so a long time ago the Dutch built a four foot wall to shield the capital city from the ocean tide. The adventure began with a boat ride across the Demarara where we watched big ships off-load their cargo and fishing boats come in for the day. The excitement and “story talk” of who has been here and who has not and what it’s like and what it’s not, continued as we journeyed by bus and then finished with a ¼ mile walk to the wall.
One of the questions that rose to the surface was, "What is sea glass?" and "Why are we collecting it in a large bottle?" I answered the "why" first as I explained that friends of mine have learned to make jewelry and they want to make up a lot of it to sell for us. “Why us?” came the next question followed by, “Can I have an earring or a chain?” and “Will they teach us how to make it Sister Angie?” I chuckled at their enthusiasm and pure joy over someone doing something for them. I finished by telling that they are making it so we can have money to buy stuff for PAL. So, if we need exercise books or pencils then we have a way to purchase it. The eight echoed one big “ohhhhh” as I asked if that was a good reason to collect the sea glass. All of the children from the seven year old to the twelve year old were now motivated to collect all the sea glass that they could put their hands on!
The three main principles we have built into PAL are: (1) We work in partnership which means we do things together, (2) We speak positive words and (3) We respect our stuff and each other. These eight have really formed the backbone to our group. The boys arrive early almost every day to set up the benches for the lessons. I turn to these eight to partner with a new person and teach them how we care for our materials. The positive spirit builds every time we are together as we celebrate small personal successes.
Yesterday was an outflow of partnership from a different slant. The children understand that the cool white boards and markers are gifts that make learning fun. We won’t get them in Guyana if we lose or mess one up. They understand that our flashcards are learning tools that we must keep together and not lose. As we were on the sea wall they understand that our partnership extends beyond our group. They had total fun yesterday picking up shells as they marveled at all the colors and shapes. It was the delight of a child who had never been to the ocean and never picked up a shell. However, they also just helped themselves by doing their critical part in the jewelry making process.
The real joy of partnership is that it draws people together to achieve a common goal. Our children are catching on to this idea and a new trend is emerging. In small ways they are learning about the part they play in being a partner in PAL and now a partner to keep PAL going for their benefit. They can’t make the jewelry and they can’t pay for PAL supplies or outings. However, together God is drawing together people of passion to reach a common goal. The goal for PAL is to strengthen children’s education and gain the respect of the families. Once we gain the families respect then we can offer ways to strengthen the family unit. In the months, and we can say years ahead, attendance to PAL won’t be the only thing we are celebrating! In the years ahead we will be celebrating a transformation family by family that flows from the establishment of partnership. "
We are currently looking for sponsors to help underwrite the monthly cost ($100) of our PAL groups. If you are interested in giving toward this project please visit https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/CarolinesPromise/OnlineDonation.html
Choose one time or monthly gift in any amount for the Guyana Orphan Project Fund.
In the comment section write PAL.