November-December 2016 | DIFFERENCE MAKER




Local 10th grader ships 490 lbs of reading material to elementary-school children in Africa

Worcester Prep 10th grader Henry Elangwe of Salisbury has not forgotten where he’s from or how fortunate he is. Born in Douala, Cameroon, Henry moved to the States when he was in the third grade and enrolled at WPS in the ninth. This summer, Henry packed up over 550 books and hundreds of magazines and shipped them to Little Angels Elementary School in Bamako, Mali, as part of his aunt Wele Elangwe’s “Ignite Africa” project. Opened in 2014, Little Angels is now in the process of building a middle school. The books Henry sent will help stock the future school library.

“I feel proud and happy going to a school like Worcester Prep, which has so many educational tools to help students learn,” said Henry. “I felt since I had the chance, I was obligated to give other children a chance to feel the same pride and happiness.”

Last year, Wele Elangwe’s developed “Ignite Africa” to help schools in Africa with limited access to books and other educational items. Henry collected new and used books from fellow WPS students with the help of Mike Grosso, head of WPS’ Upper School. His WPS bus driver, Larry Erickson of the Dutton Bus Service, was instrumental in helping transport books to Henry’s home, while cousins Nde Labah and Xavier Muapi helped pack the books to be shipped.  

“I was proud of myself for indirectly making a difference by helping to educate the next generation of children,” Henry said. “I am especially proud of my fellow students, teachers and my Worcester Prep family, who greatly supported me on my journey to help others in need from my [homeland]. My goal is to continue collecting books every year.”  


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