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Solving Real Problems – by Carron Silva

posted Fri, Jul 29, 2016

Categories: Community voices Compass voices

I recently traveled to my birthplace of South Africa to help take care of my dad, who has cancer. I may never see him alive again, but my hope is that the next time I return there, it will be with solutions for some of the most mundane problems people face in the so-called “Informal Settlements”. It’s been five years since my last visit, and life in Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation is challenging on so many levels, especially for the marginalized. It’s winter down there and people huddle together in corrugated sheeting structures, homes made out of plastic, cardboard and whatever materials scrounged from behind factories and stores. It’s unimaginable that in today’s world children are still being born and raised in such circumstances. However, I have hope that at Compass High School, students will work on simple solutions for the problems of water, shelter and food for the masses. Students will not wait for adults to solve problems, but generate ideas and put into place systems of sustainable practice that enable people to help themselves by forging partnerships with the communities. It could be as simple as creating platforms on which structures can be built so people do not need to live directly in the dirt, and when there is a downpour, they won’t have to elevate sleeping mats or any household goods. Compass High School will bring hope to people who are struggling to survive, and I am very excited about that!