How are you? I hope you are fine, healthy, and staying well. Here in Kenya I am very fine and working hard to achieve my goal in education. Receive greetings from my parents and more greetings from our first born sister who is to join Maseno University this year in August to persue a Bachelor of Education degree in science.
Madame, my family has requested me to ask you to vist us in Kenya. They are yearning to meet you one day. Madame, please visit us and see how life is in Kenya..."
I was so touched by this letter. I adore the two boys in Kenya I am helping put through school. Both write me lovely letters, but this was the first time one asked me to visit. Here's how I became a sponsor for two boys in Kenya:
I was fortunate to 'meet' Patricia Crossley through our mutual Yahoo authors' group. She posted amazing accounts of her life as a missionary in Africa. When she mentioned that some children didn't have enough money to pay for education, I jumped at the chance to help. Education has always been, in my mind, a way out of the spiral of poverty.
Unfortunately, the World Bank does not agree. In fact, the World Bank imposes low wages and job freezes on poor countries around the world. This just in from the Guardian UK:
"...There is a large reservoir of unemployed nurses but the Kenyan government claims it is gripped by a recruitment freeze imposed by the conditions of the IMF/World Bank aid packages designed to force African countries to slim their bloated civil services."
Mexico's illegal immigrants are fleeing the same sort of low wage imposition, and the governments of these countries are held hostage by this unofficial, unelected, uncontrollable power of the World Bank that is forcing millions of people deeper into poverty. The news is depressing enough - but I happen to know two young men in Kenya who are pinning their hopes and dreams on a good education. If the world bank does not rethink it's loans and its programs, particularly the structual adjustment program loans (SAP's) and stop strangling developing countries by imposing a 2$ a day wage level, these people will never have a decent life. (Yes, you read that right - 2$ a day.) Most countries would do well if they could eliminate corruption in their governments, pay back the loans, and put the money from their natural resources back into their own country - as Venezuela has. In 1997, 42% of the population in Venezuela was unemployed (see: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/staffp/2000/00-00/e.pdf#search='IMF%2FWorld%20Bank%20aid%20packages' ) and more than 80% lived in poverty. Today, thanks to a socialist government, the debt to the WB was paid off, wages raised, schools opened, and health care and education made free to everyone.
It's a terrible thing to let education and dreams go to waste. I hope my two friends in Kenya will have a chance to use their education to the fullest.