Literary Inspiration - Mark Twain on Education

"When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books; for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved . . . "
-The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

So often charity is targeted on the basic necessities - food, clothing and shelter. Don't get me wrong, those things are incredibly important. But that's not where it should stop... How do we expect the situations of impoverished children to improve when we don't provide the necessities of education that all those above the "bread line" take for granted. Providing those children with sub-par education facilities dooms them to perpetuating a cycle of ignorance, leaving them with no resources with which to improve their outlook for the future.
This is why Room to Read is a favourite charity of mine. Their mission is best summed up by this excerpt from their website:

We partner with local communities throughout the developing world to provide
quality educational opportunities by establishing libraries, creating local
language children's literature, constructing schools, providing education to
girls and establishing computer labs. We seek to intervene early in the lives of
children in the belief that education empowers people to improve socioeconomic
conditions for their families, communities, countries and future generations.
Through the opportunities that only education can provide, we strive to break
the cycle of poverty, one child at a time.

Set up by a former Microsoft Exec, the charity's motto is that "World Change Starts With Educated Children" - I may feel even stronger about this as I'm going to be a high school teacher, but I think it is a motto we can all find some agreement in. Find more info on the charity here.

1 comment:

  1. That is an awesome mission statement. I agree, proper aid shouldn't just deal with immediate physical needs, but also do something that will improve the beneficiaries' chances of getting out of poverty in the long run.

    Also, I had been wondering what grade you were planning to teach. :)