Like most people reading this, I’m privileged. I grew up in a beautiful Australian seaside town, surrounded by a loving family and a great group of friends. I lived in a country that provides welfare to all and the rule of law is without question. My biggest concerns were about which career path to choose and how to spend my weekends. In short, my life was happy, safe and full of certainty.
I’ve since have had the opportunity to spend many years living abroad where I’ve spent more than 10 years running schools. It has been a privilege for me to help have an impact on so many young peoples’ life through education. However, along my journey, I’ve come to see how the things I took for granted in my youth are so unimaginable for many, many people.
Some things stick in my mind more than others. I once stumbled upon hundreds of people living in an abandoned warehouse in China. Each person or family claimed only a few square metres of dirty concrete floor barely separated from others by thin, plastic curtains. My visits to the favelas of Brazil and refugee schools in Malaysia reflected the desperation I saw in that warehouse and are vivid reminders for me that for many people the safety and certainty of my life is inconceivable.
Like you, it disheartens me to think that such simple human rights are lacking for so many. It is encouraging to see the multitudes of volunteers who do great work assisting those in need, especially in providing the essentials like food, shelter and safety. During my visits to some of these places and recognising the great work that so many are doing, it struck me that one thing still sorely lacking for some of the youngest is education.
Many affected children all over the world are growing up without the tools required to become effective contributors in our society and tragically through this are set on a path ensuring a continuing downward spiral for their future generations. Fortunately, all over the world people also volunteer to help teach these disadvantaged children. In Malaysia, where I am currently living, volunteers work many hours each week to teach the basics to refugees from surrounding countries whom are amongst the most desperate. I also see many well equiped and caring people living in affluent, lucky countries that are very willing to contribute, but are constrained by the normal boundaries of distance and time.
So being an educator for me the problem was simple: how to help the many interested and caring volunteers from all over the world easily support the education of these desperate youth over such great distances?
Thus the Scholo Foundation is being formed with the simple idea of providing online tutoring to disadvantaged youth. We are working with refugee schools to assist them in bringing some of these goals into the reach of their students. We are seeking volunteers, with any level of experience, to tutor a child online for one session a week for 10 weeks.
If you are interested in volunteering a little of your time to help, or to find out more, I invite you to contact us.