I love reading and I think the students will benefit from a book report. So I started investigating good Geography books at their reading level and made a little list for them to choose from. I've read most of the books on their list (things like 3 Cups of Tea, Kite Runner, 1,000 Splendid Sons, Poisonwood Bible, etc.) but there were a few that came with high recommendations that I've never read...hence my current quest. I read all of Left Behind, a book about a woman who survives the Rwandan genocide in a bathroom, on Friday night and I'm about to finish A Long Way Gone, about a boy soldier and his experiences in Sierra Leone. I've also started to put a dent in three other similar books, while reading And Still We Rise, a book about kids from inner-cities that still pursue higher education.
These books are phenomenally captivating and interesting but yet I read them feeling so...helpless. I feel like I fit the description of the Americans that are described in Hotel Rwanda as seeing footage of the genocide, saying "that's horrible" and go on eating their dinner. What can I do?? We watch current events in my class about the destruction in Japan and that awful state of the people in Haiti still, yet I don't offer any solutions to the problems and we go on with whatever it is we're doing.
I feel like I have 200 students at my disposal and could have them help in some way, but I don't know how. I HATE fundraising, with a passion, and don't want to collect money from people in any way. Is there any other way to assist people in need? Sometimes I wish I were a doctor or somebody with a very obvious "skill" so I could easily offer aid to those who need it. I also don't think that the best way to help struggling nations is to go visit them and patch things up for them. Again, I have no idea how to help the less fortunate in a way that seems appropriate. Does anyone have any good suggestions? There are like a million bijillion NGOs out there that all seem to be doing good in some minor way but again, I can't decide if I agree with the way they do things and instead do nothing.
I'm experiencing some pretty major cognitive dissonance because of this.....hmmm...