Edward the Plumber (to be!)

EdwardWhen I met Edward in Malawi, he had just started his training at a technical school to become a commercial plumber.  Thanks to financial assistance from a private donor, Edward was on a pathway to a bright future in a country of high unemployment, or so I thought.  About six months later, while raising support for his brother, Patrick, to start college, I asked how Edward was doing.  This is how the Skype conversation went, with me asking questions, and Patrick giving answers.  B: “So, how are things going for Edward at Soche Technical School?” P: “He did very well last semester, but was told that he can’t continue this semester.” B: “Why not?” P: “Because he hasn’t paid the tuition expense.” B: “If someone is paying for Edward’s education, what’s the problem?” P: “The donor committed to pay for just one semester.” B: “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” P: long pause…  B: “Well, that doesn’t matter now; here’s what I want you to do.  Have Edward return to school, and inform the administration that his tuition will be paid immediately.” Here’s how it happened, and why…

Edward 2First, my reason why: I hate red tape, because it often tangles up what needs to be done and can be done quickly and efficiently.  I realize that some red tape is necessary to run big business programs, but not much, if any, is needed for grass-roots, “make-it-happen-now” enterprises, like Disciplers International Inc.  So, when I learned that Edward had no funding for his second semester, which was already underway, I felt the need to act immediately (yes, sometimes I act on my feelings).  The suddenness of my decision would not have happened if I knew Edward’s situation, but the fact is, Patrick did not want me to feel responsible for his brother’s education.  I appreciate people, who are not always asking for help, but doing the best with what they have.  Patrick and his family members are that way.  So, when a need arises, I am all the more interested in doing what I can for them.  With regard to Edward, I didn’t want him to miss a day of school, so I simply made the decision on the spot.  Since I am involved raising support for other members of the Readson household to get a good education, it is only right that I practice what I preach.  When I shared the need with Dawn, she immediately responded by saying, “Let’s do it!”   So, we did it by become sponsors, not only for Edward, but Christopher, too.

EdwardI asked Edward to share some of his story with you, so what follows is in his own words…I was born Dec 12, 1994 into a family of eight children, and grew up in a small, rural village.  Now I live with my elder brother, Patrick, his wife, their two children and three other family members.  Our parents encouraged us to do well in school, but the quality of education in the public schools of Malawi is very low.  Unfortunately, they could not afford to pay for our education beyond the primary level, Thankfully, Patrick found a way to pay for my last two years of high school.  Without help from my brother, I would not have finished.  My interests include helping my family and community, leading children’s choir at church, singing and sports.  I would like to work as plumber to benefit my nation.  Malawi is full of resources, but we lack skills to use them.  People are dying due to the lack of clean water, and they must walk long distances to fetch water.  I thank God for the opportunity to attend school in this field now, and am thankful to the family in America, who provided all I need to complete my first year of Plumbing Trade School.

Submitted by Bart Physioc

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