For many high school students, summer means a chance to make a little money and/or hang out by the pool. But for rising CHS senior and Strive participant Redoane Kondo, it meant returning to his native Togo to visit family and make a difference there with the money he’s saved from his part-time job. The following are his words from a recent Instagram post, reprinted with permission. Judging from the comments, it made quite the impression on his peers, and we are very proud of his generosity and activism.
Centrale Region, Togo
July 24, 2017
Some great friends of mine thought it’ll be a great idea to share this with the rest of you awesome people. So the other day I decided to visit my hometown village where both @amdaneamdane and I were born and raised, while there I saw that a lot of things have changed since my last visit. Many of the kids weren’t attending school because they didn’t have enough money for an education. That’s when it hit me, I could have easily been one of those kids if god hadn’t blessed my family and I. The kids also agreed that school was also difficult since the teachers were strict and would beat the students for getting something wrong while in school, I also had to go through that dramatic experience and so did amdane, and that experience kinda made us stronger and tougher in some aspects. I agreed with them that it was too harsh and would have to do something about that. So my mother and I went to talk to the school board there about the policy and if they could do something to make it less strict and more affordable so the kids could attend. So I decided to donate $1000 (that was all I could do at the moment, since I’m not really working yet, and that’s a large amount in my old village) to the school for their cooperation in the name of amdane and I. And with that was able to get at least 37 of my old neighborhood kids into school so they could get an education. With god’s help I was able to get 3 of my cousins into college. I was also able to bail 2 of my boys out of jail for drug possession, they were only trying to make a living and help their families. So basically what I want to say is god is great man, and I love the life he has given me and I am grateful for everything. I was once like these kids but I was blessed with a move to the U.S. For a better life and opportunity that many of the folks there would die to have. So basically where some people see as less fortunate, I see joy, love, and peace. With gods help I hope one day I will be able to do more for my country and help everyone and my message to you guys is that no matter how difficult life seems right now, it will get better, I promise. So be thankful for what you have, even the little things in life ❤️
All photos courtesy of @red1_15.