The Middle School community witnessed genuine service in the spirit of Sacred Heart Goal 3 to educate to a social awareness which impels to action. We were inspired by the good work of Villages in Partnership (VIP). This amazing organization was founded in 2008 by Rev. Dr. Stephen Nelson and Ms. Liz Heinzel-Nelson. Ms. Heinzel-Nelson is the executive director of Villages in Partnership. She provided a detailed presentation about VIP's work in Malawi, Africa. She shared the organization's vision, "Our vision is a world in which communities from across the globe work together in partnership to transform each other's lives so that people are relieved from suffering and can begin to achieve their full potential. VIP partners with the people of several villages to excavate wells where there is no clean water, construct classrooms where there was never an opportunity for formal education, distribute mosquito nets and medication to stop the spread of malaria, improve food yield, irrigate fields, help to launch small businesses and much more." Ms. Henzel-Nelson and Carissa Joyce, VIP Development Coordinator, introduced us to four special visitors from Malawi: Wellings Mwalabu - Project Manager, Frank Mwenjemeka - Food Security Project Officer, Joseph Majamanda - Construction & Logistics Officer, and Madalisto Chakani - Health & Nutrition Facilitator. They shared their stories of hope, strength, and God's love. They expressed their gratitude for their VIP partnership in bringing about life-changing development for all.
Ms. Joyce shared a special thank you to Princeton Academy! She said, "It was a pleasure seeing you all today! Thank you so much for allowing us to come and speak with you and your students this morning. We are always so appreciative of the warm welcome we receive during our visits. Your students were a great audience and so engaged with the presentation! Ms. Heinzel-Nelson, myself, and our Malawian guests also enjoyed the tour given by your students. We were all so impressed by their passion for their school and the knowledge they shared.
Also, thank you for the generous donation of two goats! Livestock can completely transform the lives of a family. We look forward to working with you in the future!"
The Villages in Partnership presentation provided a strong foundation, connection, and relevance to the upcoming Sixth Grade Signature Project, the PBL experience "Water for Life." It is a collaborative project with the sixth grade at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart and the seventh grade at Riffa Views International School in Bahrain. The students will examine water crises around the world and learn to better appreciate the gift of clean water that we so often take for granted. Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart students will communicate with their partners from the other schools through a shared Google Doc in which they discuss their readings and experiences.
The sixth grade is currently reading A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park in English class. They will study water and filtration in science class and will solve equations having to do with carrying water in math class. In social studies class, the students will do a RAFT project to address a current or past water crisis somewhere around the globe. On Thursday, October 17, Princeton Academy and Stuart students will travel to The Watershed Institute to perform water studies and to learn survival skills. On Monday, October 28, Chelsea Simkins from the American Water Company will visit to explain the source of Princeton's water and how it is filtered and purified. The presentation will be followed by a Water Walk on campus. The sixth grade will host a Princeton Academy-Stuart Game Night on Friday, January 31, to support Villages in Partnership in their mission. In the spirit of Sacred Heart Goal 3 and in support of Villages in Partnership, we will work to raise awareness of this good work to inspire our students to be active, informed, and responsible citizens who are called to action.