Helping school children in Zimbabwe
The story of how a retired New York couple came to the aid of school children in Zimbabwe -- with books, bicycles, and everything in between.
Saltzberg: "Mark being a retired teacher and I work in maternal and child health, were particularly interested in visiting schools, and we discovered that in the southern part of Zimbabwe they had nothing: they had no text books, no teaching supplies, no school supplies for the children. And immediately, once we saw that, we decided that there was maybe something we could do."
Grashow: "Having been a teacher for 35 years, I had strong memories of huge dumpsters filled with thousands and thousands of math books and English books that schools discarded. It became very clear that it would become possible to transport these books to Zimbabwe. We go into a school and we say to each department, 'do you have books that you no longer use.' They give that to us. They give 20 thousand text books, 10 thousand childrens books, lots of sports equipment, toiletries ... right now we’re collecting bicycles. We put this on trucks ourselves with help, and deliver it to the schools."
Saltzberg: "We were able to see children ... suddenly having books to read, a library to take books from, with pencils and papers, writing out their assignments out, it was astounding."
Grashow: "These schools are very rural, some of them are three hours from any town -- they have no electricity, and basically no books. So imagine all of a sudden, you deliver hundreds and hundreds of books ... these kids suddenly see what the world is like with these books. One of the other things that did not think about or realize: A lot of these kids there were not playing sports because they only owned one outfit. So they would not play sports from fear of getting ... dirty ... so now that they have ... t-shirts and shorts and sneakers, they will play sports and join teams, and the enthusiasm is very high."
Mark Grashow and Sheri Saltzberg recently sent shipment number six to Zimbabwe.
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