With a vision to having our students intentionally engage God’s world, locally and globally, every class at LHCS participates in a service project during the school year. This opportunity is meaningful to the students and encourages them to selflessly think of the needs of others.
In November our Grade 6B class learned about an organization called Salama SHIELD Foundation. Begun by Mrs. Fehderau’s brother, they operate in Uganda and Malawi, building relationships and learning the stories of those in deep need, in order to search for appropriate solutions. The foundation has been able to improve the lives of tens of thousands through its programs in food security, micro-credit revolving loans, water, education, and health. And goats!
The students were challenged to change a behaviour or attempt a new one that would educate them about living with less. Some examples given were sleeping on the floor, wearing clothes that didn’t fit properly, or only using a bar of soap to wash everything with. The students could choose the length of time during the month that they would perform their act.
In addition, Mrs. Mostert and Mrs. Fehderau encouraged the class to think of unique ways that they could fundraise for SALAMA Shield, in order to buy pregnant goats to be given to families in need of the milk and the potential income generated by selling the kids. Each goat costs $75, and that amount became a goal for many of the children.
The grade sixes took to the challenges with enthusiasm! “We are privileged to have so much”, one of the students said, so they sold some of their toys to raise money. “We have it a lot easier”, noted another student, who chose to wash everything, even their hair, with a bar of soap for a few days.
“It was hard to wear clothes that didn’t fit properly, and I felt bad for people who have to all the time”, said one girl who wore her Dad’s shirt for a week. Another student commented: “It hurt my back to sleep on the floor, and I learned that we are really blessed”. “It was kind of annoying to drink only water for a week”, was an understandable observation made. One of the teachers and one of the students wore the same clothes for a month!
Through selling chips, the sale of their own baked goods, extra jobs for parents, selling jewelry they made, and more, the class raised enough money to buy 28 goats! It was a herculean effort that will richly reward those that Salama SHIELD will be able to help. The month ended with a class party that included goat cheese and a thought provoking story called A Country Far Away, a book that ingeniously examines the differences between life in North America and life in Africa for a child.
One student’s comment sums up the experience well: “I didn’t realize how much a goat could help”. These grade six students didn’t realize how much they could help either, but the Lord has blessed their efforts through this learning opportunity.