A Video First for the Students

Today was yet another full day.  We woke up early to get a head start and didn’t get to bed until after midnight.  It’s exciting work but our time here is limited and there is so much to get done, every moment is precious.  We started the day with more computer training for the teachers focusing on email and other computer applications.  Brad, Mark & Bertha are great instructors and the teachers and students are quick learners.  They have picked up these skills naturally.  While the classes were going on, I spent some time with the kids.  Grade 4 students received letters from the students at Queen Anne Elementary School, so they spent time writing them back to become real pen pals – so cool!  (check out the video)

Once we got the projector and Internet working, we showed the students the three films that Aly Schoonover made during the last visit with Kate Ballbach & Kirk Piper.  This was the first time the kids have ever seen anything on a big screen, let alone a video with them or their friends in it.  Their eyes were glued and there were many audible ‘ooohs and ahhhs’.  It was emotional for me to see.  After the videos I had the opportunity to talk to the kids a bit about being sponsored – encouraging them to work hard at school and we would commit to supporting them to give them a hope for a future.  They seemed to be touched by the idea that they would be known and that people believed in them and their dreams.  (hear their reactions on this video)

We met with the Ministry of Education, the Chiptata Rotary and the Ministry of Health earlier in the day.  After 6 years of being involved with this community, we have built a trust with the government.  They have seen NGOs come and go – but they see that we have invested in Dwankhozi and are here to stay.   They are very excited about our public/private partnership and are willing to help in any way they can.  They want to work with us towards the common goal of providing these wonderful children an education and giving them hope for a brighter future.

This trip has been amazing on so many levels.  It’s so hard to communicate everything, just know that we have been blessed by this experience and we could not have accomplished this work without your partnership and support.  There is so much still to be done but each trip is a reminder of how much we have grown and how much potential there is for future progress.  We look forward to what’s next and to you joining us on this journey.  Stay tuned for a few more updates before our departure.

Stay blessed,

Matt, Mark & Brad


  1. Annelle Ballbach says

    thrilling , encouraging, I feel privileged to be a small part of this endeaver.

  2. It was so moving to see the Letters that the Queen Anne Elementary students wrote in the hands of the 4th graders at Dwankhozi Basic School! I am so excited to be a part of this exciting new friendship between the QAE Community and the Dwankhozi Basic School Community!!!

    • Katie – They are SO excited about this partnership. Matt said they kept saying ‘Queen Anne! Queen Anne!’ Most of this trip was setting them up with technology – getting them email addresses, showing them how to navigate the internet, giving them an overview of some of the programs. They picked it up so quickly and are excited to get started. They are really looking forward to a visit from some of the teachers next summer! This is really cool – in my wildest dreams.

  3. QA Elementary–you are AWESOME!!!

Speak Your Mind