Youth Exchange changing lives in Argentina
Charlotte visited the Rector Avanzi Preschool in a very poor neighbourhood. The school had been established in an old slaughterhouse that hadn’t been well cleaned out and it had almost no materials or resources. With only one room, classes had to be taken outside in the heat and dust of summer and the cold of winter.
Charlotte said that that comparing the school to the opportunities she had made her feel so sad she was determined to help make a difference.
“The preschool is in an area known as ‘Knife Neighbourhood’ due to how dangerous it is. The majority of kids born there will live there for the rest of their lives, just like their parents,” Charlotte said. “The school is giving these kids the chance to get educated and get a job and make a new life for themselves.”
Teaming up with the local Interact club, Charlotte and the Interactors built and painted chairs for the children and delivered them to the school.
“The look on the teachers’ and kids’ faces when they saw us walking in with the colourful chairs was amazing,” Charlotte said.
She also saw the opportunity for a larger project to construct a shelter on the side of the school building to protect the children from the weather while in their outdoor classes. Charlotte won the support of her host Rotary Club of Alta Gracia for the project and contacted her sponsor district 9920 to get more support for the project and its initial fundraising target of $14,000.
Impressed by the caring and compassionate heart of this young exchange student, many Rotary clubs joined with Charlotte and her family donations. The target fundraising is now almost completed with the last few hundred dollars expected shortly.
The project is expected to commence shortly and on completion will demonstrate what one young student can achieve within the framework of Rotary Youth Exchange with Rotary’s help.
Image: Rector Avanzi Preschool student in Alta Gracia, Argentina