A Hartford woman is helping raise funds to provide families in Indonesia with school supplies, so they can hit the classroom.
Parents know that school supplies cost a lot of money. But on the other side of the world, that expense is actually keeping kids from ever going to school.
The island of Sumbain eastern Indonesia is north of Australia and it’s a long way from Joan Pritchard's Hartford home.
"Some of them are from Sumba and this is a project they've taken on,” Pritchard said.
Pritchard has become a voice for the kids in the island nation because they almost never get the chance to go to school. Mostly because they're raised to work on family farms and school is an expense that few can afford.
"I noticed in one photo as I looked across, every single kid had bare feet in the front row,” Pritchard said. “They just don't have shoes. They don't have books. They don't have pencils to write with."
Through her church, Pritchard met a woman named Yeni, a new friend from that part of the world who left Connecticut in January and decided to make a difference.
Together, they're using a GoFundMe page to raise almost $4,200.
Even though it’s not a huge amount of money, it’s enough to buy uniforms, books and other supplies for 120 students in four schools.
"It does work to solve a larger problem and that is the poverty on the island of Sumba,” Pritchard said. “The ticket out of poverty is education, as we all know."
Joan has done similar work in the past, having spent time volunteering at a school in El Salvador.
She knows what these kids are facing and from thousands of miles away, she also knows how to make a difference.
"To see the generosity is just, it thrilled me,” Pritchard said. “And I know we can reach our final goal, I think, with the generosity of the people around here."
If you're interested in helping with even a small donation, click here.
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