I have an opportunity to spend 2-4 months on the Sioux Nation in South Dakota in a volunteer project to help teach and work at the youth centre--helping children between 4 and 18 years old.
These kids are living in one of the more impoverished areas in the United States and have very little access to educational sources that we take for granted. I will be doing everything from teaching basic computer skills, working in the kitchen and helping with office work. Some of the kids come from homes where there is substance abuse or abandonment issues -
Here are some of the issues that these kids and their families have to deal with....
- Unemployment rate of 80-90%
- Per capita income of $4,000
- 8 Times the United States rate of diabetes
- 5 Times the United States rate of cervical cancer
- Twice the rate of heart disease
- 8 Times the United States rate of Tuberculosis
- Alcoholism rate estimated as high as 80%
- 1 in 4 infants born with fetal alcohol syndrome or effects
- Suicide rate more than twice the national rate
- Teen suicide rate 4 times the national rate
- Infant mortality is three times the national rate
- Life expectancy on Pine Ridge is the lowest in the United States and the 2nd lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Only Haiti has a lower rate.
I am also hoping to start a boxing and self-defense program for the little kids- Children who only know poverty and abuse have a lower self-esteem and a lowered outlook on life. I am a firm believer that helping them acheive their educational goals AND I know from teaching boxing to kids will build self-confidence and help them in other aspects of life.
In order for me to take that much time off of work, getting no income, I need to raise $2000-$4000 for expenses and to pay for my housing while I am there. Some of the money will actually go to the volnteer organization that makes this possible.
Please help in any way that you can. In addition to helping the kids, you would be helping me do some good in this world--after 47 years of taking--it is time for me to give back....Maybe you too?