Shaker Forum will be selling Shaker High School Class of 2016 bumper stickers for $3 in the morning outside the Taft Hall Office, from Feb. 29 through March 4. Students and parents can also order and reserve a bumper sticker by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Stickers can be picked up outside the Taft Hall office anytime before homeroom throughout next week.
It’s another idea born from the 2015 Capital Region Institute for Human Rights Teen Summer Symposium, this time to benefit hearing impaired children in Uganda. One of the symposium’s goals was to help students develop tools to address a human rights issue important to them, using social media and websites. For three days this past July, students brainstormed on how to make a difference in their schools and larger community.
Three of those students, Sara Allocco, Anna Allocco, and Sonal Lakhotia, decided to pursue a project for the betterment of education in Africa, using their clubs, Shaker Forum and Shaker Interact as a means to fundraise. Their goal became to raise $1000 for a school for the deaf in Uganda, the first school there to teach sign language to both hearing-impaired and hearing children.
The students connected with The Giving Circle of Saratoga Springs, a non-profit local organization that supports the Busoga Primary School in Uganda, where the hearing impaired children will be taught. To celebrate The Giving Circle’s tenth anniversary, the organization’s Uganda based leader, Moses Wambi, visited the Capital Region, also stopping at Shaker High School.
“Having Mr. Wambi here made me realize how substantial our fundraising efforts will be for the children in the school,” said Sonal Lakhotia, a volunteer coordinator for Shaker Forum and Shaker Interact officer. “He represents the children in Uganda that need one piece of hope.”
Lakhotia called Mr. Wambi, “a piece of another world,” which Sara Allocco echoed.
“We take so many things for granted here,” said Allocco, President of Shaker Forum, a group that focuses on community, national, and international volunteerism. “We don’t realize how far 10, 20 or 30 dollars can go. To know that $1,000 will give these children the world is an incredible opportunity.”
Uganda’s Giving Circle Busoga School will begin its first programs for deaf children in February, with 27 students in need of sponsors. All of the money will support the funding of teacher training to open boundaries for deaf children. Shaker Forum and Shaker Interact will partner with The Giving Circle to reach their goal. A Shaker class bumper sticker sale is in the planning stages as one way to raise funds.
“It’s hard when you’re in high school, you think I’m just a teenager, I can’t do anything,” said Allocco. “To know you’re part of something bigger, is tremendous.”