Julius was 19. He worked for a seafood restaurant in posh street-side Seattle, popular as ‘Walrus and Carpenter’. Every weekend flocks of overworked businessmen and chatty women dropped their anchor here to catch a beat. Jazz flooded the airwaves from a talented musician who gets an 8% from the daily tip-jar near the door.
Julius worked as a sous chef there, also called a ‘prep cook’; slicing and hand-peeling thousands of individual shrimp 12-14 hours a day, six days a week. He was just one among a crew of 18-30 year-old classic American burnouts – all except one kid, who they affectionately called Flounder. After school each day, this 15 year-old Bangladeshi kid peeled shrimp with them. He was a great kid and they tried not to corrupt him, what with being older and more-or-less uninhibited. Everyone knew his parents. His mother owned and managed the flower shop a few blocks away, and his father ran the liquor store at a nearby mall. His dad had been selling them booze since they were 15.
One late evening, around closing time, seven of them stood around the cooler, when Julius probed, “Flounder, what’re you doin’ workin’ a lousy job and so young, too? Your parents own two businesses; they must be doin’ pretty good. It’s not like you need the money..”
Flounder answered, “We don’t need the money. I didn’t want this job. I hate it here. My dad makes me do it. He wants me to know what my life would be like if I didn’t get an education.” Everyone fell silent. Flounder hadn’t realized what he had said to them. Julius didn’t hold it against him, knowing his dad was right.
Flounder’s dad was a wise man. We’ve been taking things for granted so long, we don’t even notice how good we’ve got it. With an education paid for, we complain about exams. At the best universities, we complain about workload. But, what if you dropped out? [We don’t need no education]. Where would your life lead you? Give it a thought. Barely able to make rent, working an unfulfilling job and always feeling incompetent when you look at the rest of the world.
The perspective that education provides you with is irreplaceable. There is value in education – far beyond the imagination of those who have been admitted to the best institutions. Value that is recognized when you’re one of the lucky few in your country who won the lottery; the lottery to go to school. Schools and other educational institutes make up the basic framework of a mighty wealth of knowledge. They give you the chisel and teach you to use it – the sculpture you make will be of your own effort.
Choice2Change is one such organization that made the decision to provide children from 2 slums in Bangladesh with the opportunity to become the man/woman of their dreams- by fulfilling their Right to Education. Help them give these children what we’ve been given all our lives.
“A genius without an education is like gold in a mine.”- Benjamin Franklin
Choice to Change, a transparent NPO organization started by Eva Kernova and Sunil Baroi, has established schools in the slums of Dhaka that provide education to children who otherwise have no access to it. Your donations can really help change a child’s life – not in an abstract sense- but really change it; help them get an education, a job and enough income to live with contentment.
To donate money to C2C: http://www.justgiving.com/thechoicetochange
To donate in kind [notebooks, milk powder, blankets, clothes, pencils and the like], please contact Eva at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or check out their website: http://thechoicetochange.org/