War Child

SMUS-Views-Bob

A future Head of our School from the Congo. Food for thought.

 

Our Service programme at the school has blossomed in the past few years. It is difficult to predict what particular cause will strike a chord among students and teachers; different schools attach themselves to different issues, almost as if it’s in their blood. For our Junior School, it is the World Partnership Walk – for the past several years our Junior School, a small entity of 160 students, has raised more money for this cause than any school in Canada. In the Senior School it is War Child – a cause that raises money for children who are the victims of war.

 

Not that these are the only causes our students support. The list is actually very long, and they are all worthwhile, but War Child happens to have gathered a bit of tradition and energy around it at our Senior School. The culminating occasion is a day of blue jeans, concerts, airbands, and other performances, called “Keep the Beat”: there is a dance, there are posters, there are presentations in Chapel, and invited guests. It is full of energy, focus, high spirit, and – because of the nature of our school and its commitment to music of all types – of quality music-making, much of it our students’ own original work.

 

Sixty-six per cent of the victims of war are children. While we may not be able to prevent war, we can give these children a path out of their hopelessness. Over the past five years our students have raised $27,022 for these children who are the victims of war. This Monday we received a special citation from War Child Canada, in the form of a framed picture and letter that now is hung in the front hall of School House. Do come and look at it. The large photograph shows African students in their school, which our students made possible, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The classroom is not like any classroom at SMUS – the construction is local, what looks like painted mud or clay walls, rough beams, rough classroom furniture, and students posing for the picture at their desks that don’t match, in what I imagine are their best school clothes.  

 

One of the students in this picture, Baso, who is 14, writes,

 

“I cannot believe this gift from Canada. Before, everything was destroyed. I feel like I can learn now. We have good desks and blackboards so we can understand what the teacher is teaching. Everything is perfect. When I grow up, I want to be the Headmaster of a school just like this.”

 

Food for thought.

 

Standing in my office with 3 Grade 12 students, holding the citation from War Child Canada
Standing in my office with 3 Grade 12 students, holding the citation from War Child Canada

 

 

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Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden was Head of School at St. Michaels University School for 22 years, from 1995-2017.

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