This week, Liberian peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee returned to Saint David's to present to our sixth and seventh graders about our boys' participation in the Gbowee Peace Foundation's backpack initiative. The initiative provides book bags and supplies to Liberian children in grades One through Six who excel academically.
Last year, Saint David's Class of 2019 supported the initiative as their Confirmation service project, hosting a bake sale that raised enough funds for 48 book bags, which they filled with school supplies, and $1,000 for school uniforms. The Class of 2020 will also support the backpack initiative this year for their Confirmation project.
On Wednesday, Ms. Gbowee read letters that were written by some of the children who received the book bags last year. (As part of last year's project, our boys also wrote letters to the recipients that were sent with the book bags). The children all have worked hard to reach academic excellence against tremendous odds, including extreme poverty and having been orphaned during the Ebola outbreak. The backpacks and uniforms are a source of pride for these children and help build self-esteem.
Our boys were inspired to hear Ms. Gbowee speak about how important it is to her to do what she can to improve the lives of others. She urged the boys to use their talents and gifts as well--their lights within--to "light the world" and make it a better place, and to consider what they will do to leave their mark on history.
We encourage our boys to do good in the world in ways that connect them with the people they are helping. Interacting with Ms. Gbowee and communicating through letters with the children who received the book bags strengthen our boys' commitment to service and to their development into concerned and caring citizens of the world.