...and then there are days like today.
There are days when things are challenging at GPI.
Funding requests denied. Technology problems. Access issues. Etc.
And then there are days like today.
I awoke to word from Sehrish and Padma that the Sri Lanka office opened without a hitch and the first day of training in our newest News Desk was a success. I received press pass headshots of each new trainee. For the first time, I got to see the faces of the next 7 women who would use this opportunity to make their mark on the world.
I arrived at the office to news that a grant for our Kenya News Desk had been awarded.
And then I headed out to a local middle school to spend the morning with 40 7th graders embarking on a journalism unit in their English class.
I’ve done a handful of school visits over the last few years. But there was something about today’s visit that left me inspired.
Two months ago, David Cole, a 7th grade English teacher at the Sonoma Country Day School, emailed me after seeing a feature story about GPI in the local paper. He invited me to his class and I agreed. It seemed straightforward enough.
What I was not prepared for was the level of passion Mr. Cole possesses for both his students and for journalism. Throughout the morning we talked about GPI; why the world needs journalism; why journalists need ethics.
Then, Mr. Cole debuted his innovative assignments. His class will spend the next 3 weeks using GPI news stories as models for how good journalism is made. As a class, they read aloud a story about Nyakatsi homes in Rwanda, written by Alexandrine Mugisha, GPI’s pilot reporter in Kigali. As the class talked about angles and thought about impact, I couldn’t stop thinking that today, everything was just as it should be.
Mr. Cole is an exceptional example of someone who really “gets GPI.” (And let's face it, not everyone does.) He understands the need for our work and he wants to use GPI as a vehicle to make his students more globally aware.
In April, the class will do a live video chat with 4 GPI reporters. They will meet face to face over oceans and countless cultural barriers. And our reporters will turn these concepts of “impact” and “awareness” into action. They will teach. They will inform. They will inspire.
There are days when few things seem to work in our favor.
And then there are days like today – when new members join the GPI family; when new advocates make an investment in our work; and when 40 7th graders remind me that the value of our journalism is endless and the power of our reporters is unstoppable.