People who are familiar with our organisation know that most of our children have been working in this stone quarry, and so still do many of their parents and siblings who are not sponsored yet. Thanks to your help we are able every month to get at least one more kid out of the stone quarry and send him or her to school. Little by little we do make a difference!
While we could not get all the moms of our children out of the stone quarry and into another business we could at least provide them with protection glasses for their eyes as you can see in the picture. Too often people come to our office with eye infections and some of them even have turned blind when a stone fell into their eye.
Our 22STARS project manager Susan Laker has worked herself in the stone quarry together with her 3 children. Every time she speaks about it she gets super emotional, as she has never felt as hopeless as back then, when she was too weak to crash stones herself, and hence had to watch her kids doing the hard work, to be able to have food on her table once a day.
Stella first met Susan in the stone quarry ten years ago. The two of them share a passion for jewellery and the same sense of humour, and became friends instantly.
Whenever Stella was visiting Susan in later years she was always passing by the stone quarry and would feel very uncomfortable, thinking that all these children were crashing stones for 1 USD per day, whereas she was going to go to a dinner later in the evening, spending 10 USD minimum. When I would take Susan for dinner with me, she would always take only a few bites and then get her food packed, so she could share it later at night with her family.
We asked the people in the stone quarry what they would have loved us to do to make their life better, we thought that an hospital would have been beneficial for the, since so many of them get injured, but instead they told us that all they wanted was to grant an education for their children, so they would not face their same faith.
Education became then our mission.
Susan was already the living proof of how the education of one person can change the lives of a whole family, which later on became a whole community. Ever since Stella started working with Susan she went back to school to educate herself and learnt to communicate directly with Stella through the Internet.
Susan has by now interviewed already at least 200 kids who were working in the stone quarry and we were able to send them to school!
Thanks to Susan my feeling of being extremely uncomfortable changed into one of empowerment. Now whenever I am standing here I know that we are not alone, and that thanks to an amazing community of people we already managed to get more then 200 kids out of here (and 120 in another district) and inside a school.
And I know that this number will only increase more by the year.
Thank you all of you for being a part of our story!!
Education is the key!
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