I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
~ Mother Teresa
The problems in our world can seem overwhelming. Issues we see in our communities or on the evening news are so massive and complicated we can’t see how anything we might do would make much of a difference. And so we do nothing. Yet, over and over again on our family’s journey, we’ve seen the ripples of little acts of kindness. Good people take seemingly small actions and wind up having incredibly big impacts on the lives of others.
Analesi Tuicaumia is one of those people making ripples. She serves as the director of Little Ones Learning Center, a successful and well-respected childcare program in Suva, Fiji. A few years ago she saw a problem in her community. Although the Fijian government provides free education, transportation and school books to all children starting in Grade 1, many children in the small villages surrounding Suva were struggling when they entered school. Having never been in kindergarten or any type of learning environment, they didn’t have the behavior skills or base knowledge needed to enjoy the learning process and excel.
Rather than simply shrugging her shoulders Analesi brought the community together to give these kids a head start in their educations. The Mobile Kindy program takes preschool teachers, volunteers and learning materials out to impoverished villages on the outskirts of Suva. Teachers at the Little Ones Learning Center volunteer their time. Parents in the community donate food and clothing to support the students’ basic life needs. Community businesses and families contribute school supplies and educational resources. And all of this comes together because one woman saw a problem and chose to do something about it.
In our first service project with Mobile Kindy our family donated lunches for the program’s students. Our girls used their food preparation skills acquired during our project for the homeless in Prague and put together some healthy sandwiches. Then we delivered the lunches to the Little Ones Learning Center where Analesi greeted us with a warm, gracious smile and gave us a tour of the facility. When she took us into her Mobile Kindy storage room we saw evidence of the many people who have come together to support the program. Crates filled with learning materials were packed and ready to be taken to the village classes, and boxes of donated supplies filled the shelves. One woman choosing to make a difference gave dozens of willing community members the opportunity to make a difference along with her.