A Parent Reflects On the Power of Helping
An update from Uwe, who’s been on two trips to Ecuador with a Fairfield, CT middle school. He was so moved by his participation, he now volunteers as a board member of Humanity Now.
How often can you truly say that a specific situation or a specific opportunity changed your life forever? And how often can you observe that your actions directly impacts and changes the lives of others in positive ways?
I had the incredible opportunity to observe life changing events during both trips to Amazonia/Ecuador! Life changing for the communities we visited, for us the accompanying parents and, perhaps most endearing to observe, life changing for our students.
During the first trip my son and I were part of a group that helped the Ongota community recuperate from the devastation that occurred during a flood that happened just ten days before our arrival. I was overwhelmed to watch fifteen students, covered in sweat and dirt, pulling together, working with maximum effort, playing/singing/dancing with the Ongota children, installing life-saving water filters, cleaning debris so that the local children don’t cut themselves while playing… the list could go on and on. The most amazing aspect of all of these tasks was that the students all participated with a smile, with a never ending determination and with a relentless urge to help!
The second trip brought my daughter and me, as members of a group of students/parents/teachers, to the Tambayacu community which is situated in a remote location far away from the standards of “modern life”. And again, I was able to observe how the students changed their way of seeing their day-to-day life. While installing life-saving water filters in the homes of the Tambayacu families, while playing and dancing with the local children and while taking in the foreign culture the students realized: With their direct actions and interactions they have made an impact on the lives of many in the village; and in the same time the local community has made an impact on their lives!
During both trips, I saw students who will be future “Doctors without Borders”, I observed students who will be future leaders in their communities, and I witnessed students who behaved like Stars! Stars who showed to everyone that they were able to rise to the challenge – above and beyond!