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Friday, 15 April 2011

From Cowhand to Surgeon

I met George in 2003 when he was about 14 and his job was to look after the cows on my friends family farm. Like many children in Africa he had missed out on any schooling at all. But then neither had his parents or any family members.

But in 2003 St. Zoe’s had been open for two years and the school was about a mile from the farm where he worked.

"Would it be possible for me to come to school too?"  was the question he asked one day. Yes, I know that Primary 1 children are 5 to 6 years old but I can handle that.

With that sort of courage he started in Primary 1 and moved ahead very rapidly, soon catching up and overtaking the little ones.

He had grown up with a love of animals. After all that was his job. But his vision and his love of animals had made his career ambition very clear. “I want to go to college and †rain to be a veterinary surgeon”

We met George again in February. He has finished secondary school and is doing a further education course as a preliminary to University to study to be a vet.

There is such a lesson for us in England. How is it that a 14 year old who misses all the early years of education can join in and hopefully will become a vet and have a really rewarding and satisfying career while we have such hopelessness and dependency in so many young people.

There are no bad kids. Just missed opportunities and suppressed ambitions.  

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