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Graduation Day!

April 2, 2012

From the Field

As you know, The SOLD Project hopes to prevent child trafficking by offering children a chance for an education they might not otherwise have, and by keeping the door open to opportunities from which they might be excluded. According to the most recent survey conducted in the area, 45-50% of kids drop out of school by the ages of 11-13. Clearly, keeping disadvantaged kids in school is no easy task. But when, despite poverty, despite drug or alcohol-addicted parents, or despite abusive and broken homes, these kids rise above the challenges and make it, they show it is possible to do the improbable. When they graduate from high school and even technical college, the feeling for them is incredible. And for us at SOLD, we have a party!

On Friday, we celebrated our most recent graduates. There are sixteen of them! We had a receiving line to give them all roses. Each staff member present gave a small speech to congratulate them, to tell them just how proud we are, to advise and wish them all the best for their future endeavors. Then, each student stood up and expressed what graduating meant for them.

And we ended the day with a planting session, where each student gave a little back to the community, and contributed to the growth of our garden.

In Their Own Words

The students were asked to fill out a small survey. When asked how it felt to graduate, the students expressed a great deal of happiness, but they also said they felt proud. They felt proud of themselves for overcoming obstacles and marking this great achievement.

When asked how their life might have been different if it weren’t for their scholarships, they expressed gratitude for the opportunity for further education and a sense that, without the scholarships, they might not have finished – and that certainly life for their parents would have been much harder. One student remarked that, before when teachers talked about leaving this station in life, she didn’t believe it would happen, but after SOLD came into her life, she felt she had a chance at a different kind of opportunity. Another student said that SOLD had become like family.

When we asked them how they might have changed as a person since being a part of SOLD, many expressed gratitude for greater knowledge and ideas the various activities have imparted. Several said they appreciated the encouragement to have confidence in themselves. One student said that life has become vibrant, while another said that she has begun to see a higher sense of value and worth in herself.

For the future? They all plan to continue their education – many of them see themselves at university one day!

SOLD kids, we are so very, very proud of you.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2012 7:26 am

    I had to hold back tears. What beauty! Even though I had never met you (yet), SOLD kids, I believe in you and I am so proud of you.

  2. April 3, 2012 12:08 pm

    Love this! So proud of everyone! 🙂

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