One of our goals is to help foster friendships and partnerships between our supporters in the United States and our friends and colleagues in Niger. However, because our supporters are spread out throughout the United States and around the world, this is not an easy task. The distance makes it challenging to create a sense of community. Perhaps, by sharing our stories, we can help “bridge the distance.”
Our first contribution is from Coleen Colton. She writes to us about a group of women who have been friends since college. I know that many of you will be able to relate to her account.
The Wild Things have been friends since their days in the dorms at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. When they lived in Crawford Hall, their floor was named “Where the Wild Things Are” after the book by Maurice Sendak, and ever since they have enjoyed all things “wild,” from the classic book to a Christmas ornament, a puppet, and even a tattoo! They all graduated from Drake in the 1980’s and have pursued varied successful careers. They have raised families and experienced life’s many adventures together. One of them even became a Remember Niger board member!
Because this group originated in a university setting, it is safe to say that the Wild Things believe in a great education. During the 2012 “40 in 40” Campaign, the friends agreed to sponsor a student through Remember Niger. They chose a little girl, because they were all girls once with hopes and dreams for the future. Now their sponsored child, Leatou, can plan and dream as well, because her Wild Thing sponsors have agreed to see her through another year at the Tsibiri School, sharing the cost of her annual scholarship.
Like the Wild Things did when they were at Drake, Leatou will have a safe place to sleep, nutritious food to eat, and courses that challenge and inspire her. The longer she stays in school, the more likely she is to find a good job, stay healthy, and help improve the lives of others in her country – what a great investment!
Did you go to school? If you did, the Wild Things of Drake University challenge you to share that opportunity with a Nigerien child who needs you by sponsoring a student during the 2013 “40 in 40” Campaign. An education is a gift that will last a lifetime.