Our Heart breaking update: The homemade desk couldn’t withstand overloaded children

By Nelly Andon Br Torus

I was really touched by a recent update from Hendra, one of our teaching volunteers in Tobasa at our library, sent to me with two blurry photos (below), which was sent via Facebook inbox. He wrote “the drive and the ambition of the children during English class today has given me the determination to be more ambitious and motivated myself. I don’t feel tired, even though I had to endure a long journey from my village here, passing 3 regions along the way. The children’s smiles have truly motivated me”. Now, that’s what I call real devotion to education.

Usually, Hendra teaches slightly older children on Thursdays, but today he and Netti Sitorus (another teaching volunteer who lives locally near the library) had to swap class on the day, as Hendra needs to attend a meeting at his university on Thursday. The teaching volunteers have also planned and agreed to swap their classes in the next few weeks, and Hendra was scheduled to teach younger children going forward.  This class swap was much like an experiment for him and a test to see if could handle younger children. It was a great relief to know that he got on well with these children. His experience of teaching young children in his own village at the Jambur Nauli Learning Centre has equipped him to take on these new children of Lumban Lobu.

The images below are real testimony that children in this area are so eager to learn. It is heartbreaking to see that they have to cram around these two very simple low desks, with over 35 children fighting for space.  We really hope to be able to provide better desks for these children in the next month or so, as having to share this two long desks would proof challenging and not efficient.

We had to ask Netti Sitorus to find us a local desk maker, and these two desks were made locally which cost us around $25 US each. The material who purchased ourselves from a local DIY store and sent to the carpenter to create this simple, not so very good table. Sadly, we were unable to find a better carpenter in the area and there are not many good furniture shops who supply school furniture here.

The children below are children under 6 years of age, who shows high interest in learning and socialising with other children.  We started the English classes with only 5 children from the immediate village, but only a few months from the start, we have too many kids wanted to join us. The children here are hungry for education, curious to learn new things, and embracing every opportunity to learn new things that their local schools don’t offer.

We plan to send children desks here soon, and we hope these desk will help them concentrate better.

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