Minneapolis students, motivated after learning about the struggles kids in Ghana face trying to get an education, have banded together to raise money and collect supplies.
At John Paul the Second Catholic School in Minneapolis, compassion is part of the curriculum.
“I kind of feel bad for them because it’s not fair,” explained student Rachel Criollo.
Lately, they’ve been learning about kids in Ghana, Africa who are struggling.
“It’s hard for like kids to get a good education so they can go to high school and college,” Helena Farrell added.
“When we introduced them to Ghana, and they understood there were children willing to walk miles to go to school, that sometimes girls weren’t able to go because of the belief, that they couldn’t,” said Principal Tricia Menzhuber.
After they saw some of the disparities through pictures, it got their young, compassionate minds thinking.
The students collected whatever money they could scrape together to send to help the students in Ghana.
“One of the students raised their hand and said, ‘How can we help?’ And we were just awestruck,” recalled Alison James, who acts a liaison between the school and Ghana. “Here you are a child and here you are with your own possible struggles and you’re wanting to help someone halfway across the world.”
They wondered what they could do, as kids a world away, that would make a difference.
“They don’t have computers or like the books we have, like religion books, science books,” said student Eva Heinecke.
And then it clicked.
“One dollar is the amount of four notebooks in Ghana,” said Helena.
So, the kids started collecting what they could for Ghana.
“We thought it was going to be coins, but it ends up being dollars,” said Alison. “Andy brought in nine dollars!”
Nine dollars is a lot of money for a 7-year old and the giving didn’t stop there.
From Minnesota to Ghana: This is one of the cards that will accompany the supplies the Minneapolis students will send.
“It says, ‘From Andy, I hope you have a good school year and I hope you like the book. From Minnesota to Ghana,’” Andy read from a card he made.
The cards and hundreds of dollars raised will go to Ghana in January. But the gestures will linger a lot longer.
“I felt like we did something to change the world, like for their future,” said Helena. “Maybe Ghana will become a better place for them to live like higher education, like better homes and cities and stuff.”
The coin drive for Ghana was a coordinated effort by kids from John Paul the Second and Ascension Catholic School in Minneapolis and St. Peter Claver in St. Paul. Those three schools and a high school in Ghana are all supported by Our Lady of Grace Church in Edina.