By Robert Edwards; Edited by Kim Rupnarain
In August 2015, Robert Edwards traveled with World Vision to Honduras as a Child Sponsorship Ambassador. During the trip, he had the chance to visit a local school and witness how passionate staff are changing the lives of students.
It's just after lunch when we arrive at a local school in Perla del Ulua, Honduras. Above the gate hangs a sign, "Welcome friends from Canada'. Behind it stands rows of smiling children, waving Canadian and Honduran flags, waiting to greet us with high fives and cheery hellos. This school is home to more than 1260 students. Roughly half of them attend class in the morning, while the other half study in the afternoon. More than 600 students are sponsored through World Vision.
As we enter, we meet Reina Gloria" the school's principal. She has helped students from grades one through six earn a quality education for over 38 years. I can say without any hesitation, I wish Reina had been the principal where I went to school. It's clear from her demeanor and interactions that she is a caring, dedicated, loving person.
She manages 44 teachers who are responsible for 35 to 50 students per class. Each one of these teachers demonstrates pride in their classroom and in the students who occupy the sometimes-cramped, old desks. Although it could be easy, Reina doesn't become discouraged by the school's many needs. Instead, she radiates positivity, expressing gratitude for the improvements and care the school has received thanks to the support of sponsors.
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Still, I can't help but feel the need to do better on behalf of these students, teachers and Reina. The school is over 40 years old, in need of better desks, more supplies and renovations.
Before we leave, students gift each of us with a Honduran flag and handmade bottle. Although I was more than happy with just my flag, principal Reina notices that I haven't received a bottle and quickly asks a student to retrieve one for me. Both of these items now sit in my office, proudly on display, as reminders of the precious moments" and people" I encountered at this school.