It’s customary for each volunteer team of Global Volunteers to prepare a team journal for the service program. Each entry assumes the personality of the author, and many are greatly entertaining. One team member, Beverly Hall Burns, called on her expertise as a lawyer to declare one particular day of service extraordinary.
THE SUPREME COURT OF GLOBAL VOLUNTEERS MOTION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT
Brought by Petitioner Team 2, Reaching Children’s Potential Demonstration Program
September 7, 2017
This Motion asks that the Court declare the day September 6, 2017 a very fine day in the life, work, and experience of Team 2, Reaching Children’s Potential Demonstration Program (hereinafter referred to as “Team 2”). This motion is based on the relevant facts and law as set forth below: first, in a statement of pertinent facts and second, on the applicable law as applied to those facts. Team 2 is confident that, upon reviewing this Motion, the Court will be compelled to grant the requested relief: a declaration that September 6, 2017, was, indeed, a very fine day.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
1. Day broke with a fine mist and muted shades of grey, green, and ochre, and with the sound of Abby’s camera clicking away madly while volunteers gamely allowed their morning faces to be memorialized.Mama Tony’s eggs o’ the day and porridge with sweet golden raisins satisfied our tummies, and holding cold hands near Mama Tony’s blazing cook-fire satisfied the need to take the chill off the early morning air.
2. English Language Camp teachers strode purposefully in the wake of Captain O’Captain Tim, to meet their young charges — up to about 55 from yesterday’s 40. The team “flexated”— a term which appears wholly unrelated to Charles Atlas and body-building — by trying new and different approaches to engage, enrich, amuse, and show love to the campers. Every one of them used the hand-washing stations before lunch. A teaching take-away lesson? No matter how closely-aligned with curriculum — learning colors in English, for example — beach balls in the classroom are not a pedagogically-sound teaching technique.
3. The Hand-washing-station Building and Installation Team continued its record-breaking pace by installing seven new stations, recognizing that would have been impossible without the expertise of local partners like Julius and Babu who are able to take any pit or ditch and make it exactly right, and to stir up a batch of cement like some might mix a Betty Crocker box cake.
4. The Workshop Team brought education, fellowship, and treats to 13 moms, most of whom had brought their infants and toddlers; and the workshops boasted process-improvements like a second hand-washing station. Highlights of the workshops included impromptu praise singing and dancing in celebration of the hand-washing stations that would soon be installed at the moms’ homes; and, most spectacularly, visible proof that the workshop had had its desired effect when a mom took her toddler for a bathroom break outside, and immediately thereafter washed his and her own hands.
5. The Home Visit Team’s morning saw the team, with Regina, first rounding up and giving a ride to a few stragglers who were late for the morning workshop, and with good reason: their choice at 9 a.m. was to get water for the family or to attend the workshop. They, quite understandably, opted for getting water. A growing sense of community was evident, demonstrating that four women can sit down on chairs, elegant sofas, or logs anywhere in the world and talk about men, children, and the challenges of pregnancy.
That sense of community continued in the afternoon with installation of five hand-washing stations — three of them in a close little neighborhood with friendly moms and curious kids. An impromptu game of catch morphed into a strange version of keep-away and finally to a no-net, rudimentary volleyball practice.The sun set as it had risen, muted yet lovely, and it softly shadowed the evening walk some volunteers took to the nearest shop to buy, and enjoy, a local brew.
STATEMENT OF APPLICABLE LAW
The law in this matter is compelling:
- The Law of the Heart tells us we want to connect with others, both near and far.
- The Law of Adventure tells us to seek out far places and new people.
- The Law of Flexibility tells us that flexating is good for body, mind, and soul.
- The Law of Science tells us it is crucial to reach pregnant moms, babies, and young children in the first 1,000 days, to arrest and eliminate the preventable tragedies of stunting and disease.
- The Law of Logic tells us if people who can volunteer to help people who ask for help, great things can happen.
- The Law of Experimentation tells us to try, evaluate, and improve.
- The Law of Holding Babies and Giggling with Children tells us there is nothing better.
PETITION FOR RELIEF
Petitioners Team 2, Reaching Children’s Potential Demonstration Program, assert that the applicable law as summarized above, when applied to the facts described herein, leave the Court with no alternative other than to declare that September 6, 2017, was, indeed, a very fine day.
Team 2 by Beverly Hall Burns, Esq.
Its Attorney for the Day
To see more captivating photos (just like those above!) of Team 2 to Ipalamwa, Tanzania, please enjoy this photo album. Or, read these moving blog posts from our first team to Ipalamwa: