It All Began With a Bracelet......
At Sanyu we believe in changing lives through education. We also believe in serving the least of these. We want you to get involved in both. Through the sale of jewelry, it is our mission to impact students around the world with the Joy that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
When you look up the definition of education in the dictionary, you get two different meanings: 1. The process of giving or receiving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university. And 2. an enlightening experience. Both of these definitions are important and both have a place here at Sanyu.
We believe that every child deserves an education. We have all seen or read the statistics that show how valuable education is to a child’s future:
Every year of primary education completed raises the future wages earned by 15% for boys and more for girls.
Every year of secondary school completed raises the future wages earned by girls 15-25%.
A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to live past the age of 5.
Children who are educated have a much higher chance of living a life free of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, have a lower probability of being trafficked, and tend to get married at later ages having fewer babies.
Educate Teachers Here and in Uganda
We know that education impacts poverty, but so what? What does that mean to us and what can we do to help students around the world become educated?
For me, it all began to take on new meaning when I visited Uganda and spent some time with students and teachers. Students in a state run school who don't know when they get there in the morning in if they will have desks or chairs to sit on because there are no doors to lock to keep thieves out. Students who cram into a classroom with 60 other students and sit for hours waiting for a teacher who never shows up. Students who take tests at the end of 7th grade that will set the course for the rest of their lives. And teachers who make $100 per month teaching. Teachers who can not afford to live with their families because they don't make enough money to support them.
When you get to know the students and hear the stories, it begins to affect you. As a teacher, these experiences made me start to ask questions. First, I wanted to know how I could help. Then, I began to wonder how our students here, in the US could benefit from a relationship with Ugandan students. What could we do to help each other?
I believe the answer lies in relationship. Relationship with each other and relationship with Jesus. Learning how to love someone across the globe is not easy. We don’t have much in common, we don't get to talk often, we may never meet, but we do have one thing- we love Jesus. Teaching the kids on both sides of the ocean that the one thing they have in common is THE most important thing is the beginning of empathy and joy and true friendship.
Now down to the hard work- what can we do about it? To begin with, Sanyu wants to financially support ministries that have put in time and hard work in Uganda and know what the needs truly are. We have a relationship with Good Shepherd’s Fold, an orphanage and school in Jinja and we believe that they are doing great, Kingdom building work. We want to support them in the work that they are doing by providing financial resources for their school and teachers. This tangible support for the work already happening in Uganda is the easy part. Changing hearts and lives through these relationships is where we begin to affect lasting joy.
Sanyu also believes that it’s important for students in the US to know how different life is in poverty stricken countries, how blessed they are to live here. This is where our teacher mission trips come in. When teachers spend time on a mission trip, they are changed. When they return to their classrooms, they can’t help but take those changes and experiences with them when they teach. By sending the teachers, we are reaching all of the students that they teach.
When you purchase jewelry from The Sanyu Collective, 100% of the profit is being donated to these two causes. Our prayer is that through these initiatives, students and teachers all around the globe will begin relationships with each other and deepen their relationship with Jesus through learning the joy of serving others.
Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”, and at Sanyu we truly believe that. Join us in spreading the joy of education to students around the world!