|A migrant camp where we do community education.|
If you took all my money away I would still be wealthy beyond words, because I have in my brain information:
- how to keep my children healthy,
- how to make a water filter,
- how to treat different sicknesses,
- how to keep a woman safe and healthy during pregnancy and birth,
- how to give first aid,
- how to read and write in English,
- how to use a computer,
- how to teach children
The list goes on.
Parents don't know how to help their children's brains grow and develop. They just hit them when they cry or keep talking to shut them up. They don't listen and answer questions. They don't let children explore and learn from the things around them. I know this because when I teach my class on how parents are teachers, and can help children to grow smarter and better equipped by talking to them, and listening, and being engaged with their children and showing and interest in what they are learning, they tell me that this is a very new way of thinking. They tell me what is usually done. I get to watch their faces as the interpreter speaks and can see as the thought takes hold.
I am wealthy because I am able to look at a problem, like water dripping somewhere it shouldn't, analyze why that is happening, and then come up with ideas that would fix it. I can do analysis. I can think about something and understand why it's happening and then understand how to change that something if I want to.
It seems pretty basic to a westerner, but it is not basic here. People don't do analysis. They don't try and understand why something is the way it. That's just the way it is. There is no way to change it, even if it is harmful.
I am rich! And it has nothing to do with money.
Everything I teach is a gift. Every bit of information I pass on is wealth.
And that's why we do community education.
Without education, none of the material aid we provide will make a lasting difference. We teach the adults, the parents, in order to be able to have a larger impact on the children, so that the next generation will have these things we take for granted. So that they can problem solve and think logically and find information that they don't already have. It's so they gain experience in making plans and then carry them out to completion.