Alexandra Beharry-Yambo – a pre-teen with an appetite for giving
Oct 22, 2017 , https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...appetite-for-giving/
At the end of every school year, children in the United States would empty their lockers or desks of stationery and other school supplies that are practically new. Little Alexandra Beharry-Yambo, at just 11-years old, came up with the idea in 2016 of donating her stuff to Guyana, rather than having them discarded.
However, this seemed not enough for her. She decided to promote a novel initiative which she aptly titled ‘Used Tools 4 Kids’. She invited other students from her school to donate their school supplies, too, at the end of the semester.
Initially, in 2016 Beharry-Yambo sent materials to Guyana from herself and other members of her class. These were shipped with no additional expenses by her grandfather, the Director of Hab International Incorporated.
When the materials arrived they were distributed to the Agricola Primary School by Candace Fraser-Andrews, a former employee of the Beharry Group of Companies and current president of the Parent- Teacher Association group for the school.
Upon the arrival of the materials Fraser-Andrews said she was surprised with the quality of the supplies, since she was expecting them to be used.
She spoke of how writing papers were still in their packets as well as several other things.
”The materials were distributed to the teachers who then gave to children as the need arises,” she explained. Fraser-Andrews added, “Sometimes teachers have to take money out of their pockets to buy materials for learning purposes so this helped them a lot. When a child does not have a pencil, teachers can now turn to the supplies they would have received.”
Among the items sent to Guyana were pencils, crayons, file papers, paste, hand sanitizers, cardboards, rulers, erasers, craft materials and story books.
After seeing the joy that the donation brought to the faces of children despite the used materials, a sense of joy overwhelmed the child. That convinced her to not only continue with the effort, but to get others on board.
She was also prompted her to create a poster to raise awareness on her project. Once that was started, children from her school, Franklin Academy in Pembroke Pines, Florida, all participated from Kindergarten to Eighth Grade.
With consent from the Principal of the Academy, Mrs. Elena Diaz, the children gathered the materials in one of the Laboratories at the end of the semester last June. The items weighed just about 1,700 pounds. Here again, Hab International took the liberty of transporting the materials to Guyana.
The materials arrived in Guyana and were distributed in August to teachers who expressed sincere gratitude. Benefitting from the supplies were approximately 15 nursery, primary and secondary schools.
Additionally, five church groups and a Special Needs School received items.
To show appreciation, students from Fair View Primary, Iwokrama designed a poster and sent for Alexandra and her schoolmates that were generous enough to send them the much appreciated items.
During an interview with the mother of the inspiring child, Michelle Beharry, she explained that she was blown away by her now 12-year-old daughter’s generosity. As a parent, Beharry said she felt proud about the way her daughter started the initiative at such a tender age.
She said she raises her children with the intention of them making healthy and productive decisions that will not only benefit them but so that they can impact those around them.
Additionally, she said she would speak to her children about being purposeful and was rather encouraged when she realised that her words would have “sunk into” her daughter.
She noted that Alexandra was likely to have come up with the idea after they would have had a simple discussion on the way her stationery supplies are being disposed of at the end of each semester while they may still be of good use.
Alexandra visited Guyana in 2012 and sensed the need for such a contribution.
Although she is pleased with what she has been able to do thus far, her craving for helping others have not yet been satisfied. With this in mind, Alexandra Beharry-Yambo is planning to acquire materials from not only her class or school, but from five other schools so that at least 10,000 pounds of items can be sent to Guyana and two Caribbean countries that were affected by the recent Hurricanes.
Dominica and St. Maarten are the two hurricane-affected countries that she is aiming at to send items to.