This semester Notre Dame students at the Middle School were able to learn about other parts of the world, other cultures and some great hardships that children their age in Third World countries have to live through.

In March a speaker visited Notre Dame in conjunction with the CRS Rice Bowl fundraising project – Mr. Thomas Awiapo from Ghana.  Thomas Awiapo tells a truly inspiring story of survival and success. Growing up in a small African village in Ghana, Thomas was orphaned before the age of ten and left on his own to struggle for survival.  He was the second of four brothers; his youngest two brothers died of malnutrition and lack of care.  His search for food led him to an elementary school, where he was fed a small meal every day. He survived, studied, and eventually won scholarships to attend college.  He later earned a master’s degree from California State University.  Thomas’ emotional story resulted in many tears and wide eyes from our middle school students, along with a lot of questions looking to learn more about his childhood and ability to overcome his challenges.

Thomas’ message was a great reminder of our own need to challenge ourselves to sacrifice and think of others before ourselves during this Lenten season.