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Why Education Changes the World
mother would repeat this phrase over and over. I was lucky to have been brought
up by a hard-working, single, mother, who empowered my brother and me to climb
the socio-economic ladder by giving us the best education she possibly could.
Other children from broken families like mine did not have the same fortune. My
unwavering drive to give back and improve my community led me to join the
Rotaract club of Port-Louis, Mauritius in July 2012.
Seetal, middle left of banner, as a team assistant during District 5320’s
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event
“Driiiing! Driiing!” My alarm rang out
ona Saturday morning. My mind and
body knew it was the weekend, and ganged up on me so that I had to crawl
sluggishly out of bed. But the reason for my early wake-up soon dawned on me.
It was the day of Lolo’s follow-up doctor’s appointment.
Lolo is an eight-year-old
boy, living in a poverty-stricken area of the island, whom I had met during a
health-related Rotaract project. His mother was convinced that he was suffering
from cognitive disabilities, which she blamed for his poor grades, and for the
fact that he was constantly bullied at school. However, the diagnosis the
doctor gave us that day was different from what the mother had thought: hearing
impairment. Lolo was not mentally challenged. He just couldn’t hear properly!
appointments later, I visited Lolo. My heart filled up as he ran up to my
friend and me, sporting the widest smile. Thanks to a hearing device, Lolo
could now hear his teachers in class. He had changed from a sullen, withdrawn
little boy, to a cheerful child with glowing and hopeful eyes. I discovered a
passion: community service. I went on to become a Rotaract board member and
then the president of the club in 2013-14.
project and many others, it became increasingly clear to me that the reason
there were so many children roaming the streets was much more complex than I
had thought. Some are the dropouts of an archaic education system, others are
the victims of poverty and abuse, yet others are caught in their parents’ web
of drugs and alcoholism.
Back then, during
one of the long discussions I had with my husband-to-be about the societal ills
which continue to pervade our country, we came to one conclusion: we needed to
build our skills and knowledge further to make a difference on an even larger
scale. Though I am from a small island of 1.3million, thanks to a Rotary
global grant, I am now studying in California for a doctorate in Educational
Leadership, gorging on new knowledge and making the best of the international
exposure. I am delving more into educational reforms and the principles of
leadership, and I am eager to return to my country to bring about positive
changes in education.
I continue to
volunteer here for the Newport-Irvine Rotary Club, my hosts. The ties with
Rotary are life-long! Long live Rotary!
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Isma Seetal, Rotary Global Grant Scholar
from Rotary Voices, https://blog.rotary.org/2017/08/10/why-education-changes-the-world/
- The opinions
expressed in this Make-up Article do not necessarily represent the opinions of
Rotary eClub One and its editorial staff