Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Educating Ashani: Unexpected Bumps in the Road

A number of you might recall my blog post about Ashani and what lengths she, her family, and countless others went to so her dreams of a secondary education could become a reality.

I'm pleased to announce that after being in school for a couple of weeks, Ashani is loving it. But here's the bad news: A couple of days ago, Ashani and her Cosmetology classmates were given SIX -- count 'em, SIX - pages of materials they are required to purchase for their class modules -- and purchase sooner rather than later, I might add. We're talking everything from nail files and nail polish to mannequin heads, scissors of all types, brushes, combs, and everything in between.

To say that Cathie Kelly, Ashani's sponsor, and I were shocked, amazed, outraged, fill-in-the-blank-emotion-you-can-imagine here, is nothing compared to what Ashani and her family have been feeling.

After attending the school's orientation, both Cathie and I were under the impression that the school would supply at least some of the things the students needed for their classes. However, after Cathie spoke with a couple of the school representatives, the answer was Nada – the students are responsible for everything on the lists. And considering that we heard during orientation that a student would receive demerits for not having the necessary materials for class, well, that only adds to the anxiety level.

Cathie and I decided there had to be some way to see if we, and others, could help Ashani out over this latest bump in the road. After a few electronic and verbal confabs, we thought the quickest way to reach people was to set up a Facebook group page called "Educating Ashani" to see if there might be folks who would want to help purchase some of the items Ashani needs or donate funds to the effort. 

If you don't have a Facebook account, you can see the list at "Ashani's School Supplies", which will take you to a Word document. I took the original six pages and grouped like things together, figuring it might be easier to digest. It's worth a read just to see how much stuff these kids need to purchase. And bear in mind, it doesn't include any of the items for her Makeup Application module (we're waiting to receive that info), the hair dryer that a generous lady here donated, or the $50 BZD Ashani needed to buy a lab coat.
What makes this situation even more interesting is that there are no beauty supply stores here in Corozal. Yes, you can find some of the smaller items like nail polish, hair dyes, and emery boards, but the bulk of the purchases will need to made over the border in Chetumal, Mexico. I'm guessing that will mean customs/duty will need to be paid on at least some of the stuff, which adds to the overall expense.

Speaking for myself, I'm still trying to keep my blood pressure from spiking. I mean, seriously, how on earth are these kids expected to pay for all this stuff? 

What does warm my heart though is that since launching Ashani's Facebook page yesterday afternoon, we already have 87 members in her group! On top of that, financial donations have started coming in. There are so many people, friends of friends of friends, who want to see Ashani succeed. To all of you, thanks for everything!

Should any of our blog readers care to donate money via PayPal to go towards the purchase of Ashani’s school materials, please go online to that page and click on "Send Money" to Cathie Kelly's account. Her email address is

If you don’t have a PayPal account, Cathie can provide info on alternate means for her to receive your donation. She can be reached through a Personal Message on Facebook or you can send her an email.

A huge thank you in advance for your support of making Ashani’s dreams come true and please feel free to share this post and Ashani’s Facebook page with your friends.

P.S. Once you are a member of the Educating Ashani Facebook group, you can invite friends by typing their name in the box located at the top right of the page or be sending them an email invite. Full details on why the group was created can be found in the "About" tab, located right under the banner.

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