Volunteer Lessons: Education, Money & Family

September 11, 2013 3:28 pm Published by

Guest blogger Anna Sokolosky talks about what she learned at JBFC in Tanzania this summer. 

There was something different about this year. My first year to JBFC, I skimmed the surface. I made memories with the girls, grew in my faith, and started relationships with lifelong friends. This year, I learned the importance of education, money, and family.

I attend Holland Hall, an independent Episcopal college prep school in Tulsa, Oklahoma; I’ve attended Holland Hall since preschool. I’ve always appreciated the amazing opportunity I’ve had, but I’m embarrassed to say I took it for granted until this year. At JBFC, we tutored the girls one-on-one everyday. I got a peek inside education in Tanzania. The girls are highly intelligent and motivated but have not been exposed to education fundamentals. The Joseph and Mary School lacks resources we use everyday: web access, up-to-date textbooks, and teacher resources. These students have astounding capabilities and JBFC has a 100 percent passing rate on national exams. This year showed me the importance of education for all, how blessed I am to live in a country that strives to attain it,

and to be involved with helping JBFC get to that point.

When I say I learned about the importance of money while living in a country where 90% of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day, you might assume I mean how important it is to live in a first world country and have the luxuries we do. But it’s actually quite the opposite. The importance of money is to learn how to live without it. And once you do that, you’ll learn what you really need. While comparing my life to the girls’, you would say they have nothing. But in fact, they have everything. They have a home, food for every meal and a family. Their luxuries aren’t buying a new car, splurging on designer clothes, or summer vacation. Their luxuries are a soda on their birthday, new clothes that someone gave away, or getting to read a new book. After being around this kind of mindset, it changed my own.

When I explain to someone what JBFC is, and I refer to it as a family, some people say it’s not a real family. But it’s the most close knit family I’ve been around. The love every single one of them has for another is incredible. They are so grateful for one another and are always laughing together. They would do anything for each other, and if any one of them is upset or having a bad day there are 42 sisters around to pick her up. And if that’s not a family, I don’t know what is.

Anna Sokolosky is a Holland Hall Senior and has visited JBFC several times. She’s also a JBFC Ambassador and is working to raise money to pay for solar panels for JBFC’s dorms.

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This post was written by Mainsprings