22 October 2012
The Springs Alive Children's Center (SPACC) is a small center that is dedicated to supplying the basic educational and nutritional needs of children from the local villages. People in this part of the world are mostly poor and daily life is about survival, more than anything else. The area has been peaceful for some years now, but the recovery from decades of war and unrest, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, is slow.
SPACC stands as a beacon of hope in the community. For many children and orphans, getting an education (and sometimes food) is their only hope of escaping the cycle of poverty. The school is only seven years old and started with children learning in the shade of the trees. With contributions from various schools and individuals in Europe and the US, the school has managed to grow and build basic classrooms to house the more than 150 students who now attend.
Teaching staff is the most important part of any school and SPACC has been blessed with teachers who have been prepared to work for below average salaries. The school is constantly challenged with money problems as it relies mostly on meager school fees from the parents, many of whom cannot afford to pay. Supplementing this income is not an easy task as the school does not even have electricity, computers, running water or proper ablutions.
Recently, due to a drought, many parents who are subsistence farmers have been struggling and payments to SPACC have dwindled. The school ran out of funds and has been unable to pay the teachers what they are owed. Some of the teachers have chosen to go to court in an attempt to get their salaries.
SPACC remains dedicated to keeping the children in school and will do everything in its power to keep the school open and caring for the children. The challenge is to raise money to settle the teacher's salaries. The school is appealing to well-wishers, friends and charity organizations who are prepared to contribute towards the $4000 per term, that it costs to run the school.