A Lesson in Value: Inspiring Change in Young Minds
On Tuesday 16th January, 2024, an opportunity presented itself for me to connect with the parents and children on a deeper level.
During our welfare and visiting days, we usually have counselling sessions with Jessica from Empower Pacific. However, this Tuesday was different. Jessica was unable to attend due to medical reasons.
Despite this setback, we had a remarkable turnout of 25 students and 10 parents at the Welfare, where they came to collect their school uniforms, books, and stationery.
It was the perfect moment for me to address the conversations circulating among them regarding the $200 they had received from the government.
Many of them seemed fixated on buying expensive sandals worth $165 and bags worth $95. I felt compelled to share some wisdom with them.
I emphasized that it’s not about the price but about how they handle their belongings. I encouraged the parents not to let their children have the upper hand but to assert their authority.
I urged them to discuss important matters privately as a couple and then present a united front to their children. Furthermore, I stressed the importance of taking care of their possessions by finding a designated place to store their bags and sandals when not in use.
Most importantly, I reminded them that their worth is not measured by the items they wear or carry.
As I spoke, emotions ran high, and tears welled up in their eyes. It was clear that my message had struck a chord with them. They expressed their gratitude before leaving.
The very next day, a mother and her son who had initially insisted on purchasing the expensive sandals and bag returned to collect their uniforms.
Curiosity got the better of me, and I asked the son if he had bought the expensive items. To my surprise, he replied, “No, madam. After you spoke to us, I changed my mind and bought a more affordable sandal worth $65 instead.”
Overwhelmed with emotion, I got up from my chair and embraced the young boy, thanking him for his decision. I made sure he understood that regardless of the brand or price, he would always be my top student and a prefect.
To conclude, I gathered everyone together one last time and shared a heartfelt message. I acknowledged that I had been strict with them throughout their time at the school.
I wanted them to know that my actions were motivated by a desire to see them succeed and break free from the cycle of poverty.
I expressed my utmost disdain for the idea of any of them ending up on the streets, begging for survival. I implored them to strive for a better future, not only for themselves but for their families as well.
As our time together came to an end, I hoped that my words would resonate with them and ignite a fire within each of them to create a different story for themselves and their loved ones.
I longed to witness them rise to higher positions, breaking free from the shackles of poverty and never having to beg for anything again.