I was sitting at home one day, and I was thinking about how I could make a difference to the world this year.
Each year I try to set myself a new challenge and a new way in which I can raise money to help those which are less fortunate than myself.
In the past I have raised money for Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, the Cancer Council, the Childrens Hospital, the RSPCA, Beyond Blue, and many others. This year, I decided I wanted to do one better. I wanted to go big. And I wanted it to help out the children of this world, who aren’t as lucky as those of us in Australia in receiving an education.
I started looking in to charities all over the world who helped those in need – Thailand, Cambodia, India all came through, but the one that stood out in my mind was a very small English charity called ‘Classrooms in the Clouds’. This charity builds schools in Nepal for children and also trains the local women to become teachers. I immediately knew that this was the charity I was to help, as I myself am studying to become a teacher, and to give these women the same opportunity was the icing on the cake. I am passionate about teaching and the education of children across the world. I believe that this is a fundamental right that everyone should be able to have access too. It’s something that not only helps one to grow and develop as a child, but it teaches us how to live and work as an adult. Without an education, not only do the children suffer and not have the best quality of life, it is also detrimental to each of the countries who do not educate their population.
At the moment, the children in Nepal for whom I am raising money, walk 2 hours a day just to get to school. Many families don’t allow their children to take so much time away to focus on their education, hence not all children can get an education.
What I am doing to help is walking 11kms a day (approximately 2 hours) for a period of 6 months in order to raise money to build them a school closer to their home town.
It’s a hard job to find the time to walk every day, especially when I work full time, and am studying at the same time. But it’s all worth it in the end. And every time I am struggling to find the motivation, I think of these 11 to 15 year old children who are walking through blizzards just to get to school, and I think that what I am doing really is nothing in comparison to them.
The perfect ending to this challenge would be to go over to Nepal and work with these children once the school is built. I want to provide them with knowledge that I have learnt in my years growing up, but I want to learn from them in order to be able to come back and pass these experiences on to the children that I will end up teaching back here in Australia. I believe that this experience will not only be extremely rewarding for me, but it will benefit those children I will teach for years and years to come.
The school itself will cost $50,000 to build, a very small amount compared to what we would have to pay for a school here in Australia. If every person that reads this donated their morning coffee money, their afternoon chocolate bar or their first beer at the pub on a weekend, $50,000 will be raised extremely quickly. If you would like to donate (everything over $2 is tax deductible), please head here and give some money to the kids who aren’t as lucky as we are.
I have also set up a Facebook page for people to track my progress. I’ve also had some wonderful companies that have donated goods that I can auction off with all proceeds going to the charity. LIKE the page to be able to bid on the items when the auction starts at the end of April.
If you would like to know more about Classrooms in the Clouds you can find their website here.
Alisha Wood is 26 years old. She lives south of Sydney and is studying to become a high school teacher. She believes that every child should have access to an education.