“Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be.”
– Rita Pierson, teacher
Teachers don’t quite realize how powerful they are.
Every Child Deserves A Champion
One of my many career moves saw me being a teacher. A teacher to teenage boys. Let me tell you it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. To this day, more than 20 years later, I meet and connect with students, now grown men with families of their own, who remember and take the time to tell me that I made a difference in their lives.
One such ‘boy’ stands out for me. Labelled a delinquent and often on the other side of the law, something made me take the time to get to know him. He would attempt to run out of the college at the end of the day, and almost every evening get into a fight outside the premises. So I would purposely detain him on some pretext or the other. When he went missing for a month, I went out of my way to find out what happened, only to learn that he had got into the wrong company and was implicated for a crime he didn’t commit. I got him to confide in me, accompanied him to the cop station, and signed documents vouching for him. Slowly I won his trust.
He shared his feelings of being unaccepted and misunderstood by his family. I could see that his family was quite dysfunctional. But having me in his corner, caused his family to back off from their taunts and put downs.
Today he works in a multinational company and supports his family – the very people who didn’t really believe in him.
Through this connection, I realized the power of focused attention to bring change!
There are many children out there who need our love and support. This Valentine’s Day, I’m joining other bloggers to blog for a cause and support a loving teacher – a champion – trying to save his school.
Meet Mithu Mandal: Project Why’s Okhala Centre, New Delhi
Mithu Mandal lost his legs to polio at the age of 3 and was never interested in formal education.
At Project WHY, he not only learned about computers but became good enough to teach children how to use them.
The Project Why Okhla centre where he teaches, supports the education of 350 children, quite a few of whom also learn computers from Mithu. Without this centre, Mithu would not have a job.
In the coming year, this centre is about to lose its funding and faces a very real possibility of a shutdown.