Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 18, 2014

Dinner will benefit new school planned for Rwanda

Oct 29, 2013

By TRISHA PHELPS

Mt. Pleasant News

When her daughter, then only 12 years old, told her instead of Christmas presents she would prefer to go on a missions trip, Marti Boal didn’t realize the impact it would have on her own life and the impact she could have on others’ lives.

“She and I and three other women took off and went to Ethiopia and did some different kinds of mission work there and I fell in love with the people and have been supporting different types of organizations there ever since,” Boal said.

Boal has now started a school in Rwanda, Esperance Education Institute (EEI), teaching Rwandan adults the English language. She has plans to start a second school in Ethiopia in the next year.

“A friend of mine and I got to talking and we were just thinking something has got to change,” said Boal. “The difference between us and them has got to be education. Only two percent of people in Ethiopia graduate from high school They just don’t have the education to help themselves out.”

After coming to this realization, Boal and her friend, Alisha Vincent (previously a professor at Iowa Wesleyan College), did some research and found that there were no other schools like the one they had envisioned.

“It is a school that will teach English to adults,” said Boal. Most of the students being either genocide survivors, widows or ex-prostitutes,” said Boal. “These are people who have not had a chance to have any education at all and by learning English as their second language they will have the opportunity to have all types of different careers.”

According to Boal, English will be the main speaking language of Rwanda in 2016.

“We have a career center at our school so that after they learn English we can train them for a career so they can get a job and support themselves,” said Boal.

Each student costs the school $200, and there will be a “Dinner of Dreams” to help defray those costs.

Proceeds from the dinner will go towards start up costs for the school, with the first classes set to begin in January.

The dinner will be held Nov. 1, at the Airport Road Vineyards and Winery, east of Mt. Pleasant.

Local chefs Dave Heaton, Steve Mendenhall, Rob Perrenoud and Freddy Prellwitz will be preparing the main course. The salad course will be prepared by Carol Gard and Lillian Curtis. Bread will be provided by Stephanie Zinkle and desserts will be planned by Erin Heaton and Erica Prinkle.

The chefs have agreed to donate their time and talents to support the educational efforts.

“I wouldn’t be able to put food on my own table if it weren’t due in part to the education my husband and I had which helped us get jobs and start a business,” said Zinkle. “I don’t think families should go hungry because mom or dad didn’t have the chance to go to school and get a job. This is a great way for me to invest in education that makes a difference.”

Tickets for the dinner are available for purchase on the school’s website at www.esperanceinstitute.org/dinnerofdreams or at the door.

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