It’s amazing how half a day can forever change your life. Janna Plewes was part of a two-month HOPE International program in Ethopia when her and four other girls made a trip into Kola Mashile. “It just had a profound effect on me,” says the second-year UNBC student.
Coming back to school this fall was a refresher course in disparity. “They’re struggling to survive every day, which is not something I’ve ever had to deal with on a daily basis.
Janna, though, has decided to try and make a difference, to not just talk about the awful conditions but actually try and smooth the life of people in this tiny village.
Along with her four friends, Janna has embarked on the Kola Mashile School Project.
“They have a school that is falling apart, it has a mud floor and no windows,” she says. “And it’s only from Grades 1 to 3.”
According to Janna, part of the motivation comes from the warmth of the Ethopian people. “They want to make you feel as much at home as they can,” she says. “They have such a warmth. I just can’t forget anything about it.”
The five are trying to raise $20,000 (U.S. funds) and this will allow for the building of a school that can house all the children in the village.
“This will account for everyone and if they do well enough, the government will pay for them to go to university,” says Janna.
The group has set themselves a deadline of April 31, 2000 to raise the money and Janna is optimistic the amount can be raised. She is the only Prince George member of the group and others are spread across B.C. and Alberta.
Janna is sending out letters to prospective donors and is planning two information sessions on February 5 and 7.
“We have affluence and choices, but they don’t have these kind of choices,” she says. “We want them to able to make these choices for themselves.”
Anyone wanting more information or to make a donation, can contact Janna at email@example.com