This month the students of Salesio Gakuin (Shizuoka Prefecture) put their lessons on Servant Leadership into practice. In collaboration with Seibo, the students identified how with the support of the school & external partners, they could volunteer to make a difference.
The result? A student-designed project to support school meals in Malawi. To best describe the project we will introduce one student’s personal story. The student in question (Aoshima-san, a 1st year) , having participated in an online presentation with staff from Seibo became interested in Malawi and decided to watch a movie & read a book featuring Malawi in her spare time, namely ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’. Having watched the movie & read the book she decided as part of her volunteer efforts to write a review to share with her fellow students- and for you, a short excerpt also!
Note: for anybody unfamiliar with the movie, here’s an introductory article we published previously!
William lives in a small Malawian village without electricity. Villagers live in poverty exacerbated by the lack of rain. Unable to afford school fees, William starts to attend the library instead. In one of the books, he learns of the existence of windmills. Using creative skills honed in his poor village he gathers materials from wasteheaps and makes his own windmill. The windmill brings power to the village along with a supply of water freeing the villagers from the vagaries of the weather.
In my life I can attend school without having to concern myself about issues such as electricity, water or even food. Having watched the movie I was reminded once more that even though there are times I am not all that fond of studying there are students in our world who wish to attend school but can’t. In spite of being laughed at by those around him, William made use of his particular talents and interests to contribute to his home village. From that I learned that in all things it is important to persevere and results will follow.
I also came to the conclusion that even though I can live a life of convenience, I should not take it for granted. The movie made me reflect on the challenges facing others who have the desire to study, who wish to learn but cannot, simply because of their environment. Through no fault of anyone, simply by virtue of the place & circumstances people are born into. I wish to further understand the challenges facing people like William, and through cooperation in our world, make sure the efforts of people in such circumstances are not wasted. The movie is quite rare in that it was shot in Malawi and I believe it is a good story to inspire Japanese students.
Excerpt Ends Here
From Seibo’s perspective, we are delighted that awareness of Malawi is growing by efforts such as those of Aoshima-san and that stories from Malawi can make such deep impressions on the youth in Japan. For our part we will continue to share more & more stories about the activities of the Salesio Gakuin students. Thank you for supporting Seibo and the youth of Malawi through vital school feeding.