Check out Amistad’s video about CIFORD’s replacing female genital mutilation with new rites in Kenya’s Meru tribe. The video was made by Tanya and Boyd Cothran.
Last week Buddha’s Smile School founder/director, Rajan Kaur, visited a neighborhood of garbage collectors to select several new students for the new school year which begins July, 2012. These are children who would not otherwise be going to school. This photo above shows several of the children who are giddy with delight at being chosen as one of the 22 new students. When you come to the last photo in this series you’ll see some of our current most advanced students. What a transformation our kids have while at BSS!
These photos show the ‘before’ and in a few years, if the families will commit to their children’s education, the students will be transformed into confident sharp kids ready for high school.
In January of 2012 Brooklyn, NY artist Erica Harris was welcomed to Buddha’s Smile School in India to teach art classes and take photos of daily activities at BSS. Thank you also to Erica and her friends who raised over $6,000 for BSS middle school scholarships. We invite you to take a look at Erica’s beautiful photos of our BSS students: http://www.ericaharris.org/2012/03/2012bssactivities/
I spent the final week of January at my home away from home; Port-au-Prince, Haiti. If you would have asked me a year ago where I most enjoy spending my free time, the last place I would suggest would have been post-earthquake Haiti. Yet after each subsequent trip to Haiti I find it more difficult to leave and often feel a sense of loss for my Haitian friends I leave behind. Haiti and its beautiful people have a way of changing ones outlook on life. While it’s true that Haiti has needs beyond needs, the people of Haiti are blessed with a kind, loving and caring spirit unlike any group of people I have come across. I often say I get more out my trips to Haiti than I provide to those whom I serve, and this trip was no exception. I left for Haiti with a heavy heart, traveling for the first time without my amazing wife, Summer, and without Dr. Terry and Jeannie Dietrich, as Terry (my father in law) recovers from a back injury. But together with eight new friends, I had another incredible to trip to Haiti as I helped serve those in need.
38 students are enrolled in the Children’s Ger School. Amistad provided the paint for their cheerful schoolhouse.
Mongolia: Thanks to Amistad, Children’s Ger School (CGH) is an “oasis in a desert of deprivation,’ reports American volunteer Dr. Ann Altman. CGH sits in an otherwise harsh drab ger (yurt) settlement sprawling rapidly around Ulaanbaatar. Nomadic herding families arrive daily from the countryside seeking work. They either bring a ger (yurt) or built provisional shanties wherever they can find a shard of land in the ger settlement. Sadly, their children are unable to attend public schools in UB. Mongolia allows children to attend public school only in their birth aimag (region.) Children’s Ger School,a free private school, was started by Mongolian teachers with a vision for helping the migrant children.