Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter and former South African President, said “The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation.” Daphne P. Anderson somehow seemed to understand fully that power that education has to unlock the doors to endless possibilities.
A mother of seven children, with no formal education, she bore the hardship of providing for her family. To put food on the table, she worked several jobs, ranging from domestic helper to general help on a banana plantation. ‘Auntie Daf’, as she’s affectionately known by everyone in in her rural community, also grew a back yard garden and operated a small shop.
Auntie Daf was a strict disciplinarian and was very intentional about educating her children. Lacking a stable income, she saved year round to purchase the school supplies, clothing and books needed for school. She sacrificed her own comfort, foregoing proper shoes and clothing, in her dedication to her children’s education. She met with teachers regularly to confirm attendance, checked on discipline and overall scholastic performance. At the end of high school, all the sacrifice paid off for one of her children.
The Reverend Martin Luther King said “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Daf’s great work ethic and personal sacrifice alone were not enough to allow her children to continue their education after high school. But her youngest son Richard Joseph, thanks to being awarded the Sir Harold Mitchell Foundation scholarship, was able to pursue a college education at Rollins College.
This one act of generosity was a life altering moment. Completely changing the trajectory of this young man from rural Jamaica’s life–and those of his parents and siblings–forever.
This experience motivates him to pay it forward every day. First with volunteering, mentoring and financial contributions to various charitable organizations. Now at a greater level, with the Daphne P. Anderson Foundation. He sees it as a way to pass on and share Daphne’s legacy and belief in education. Helping others get the opportunity that education has provided him, just for more people than he ever thought possible. Putting them on the same unlikely path he was so fortunate to be led down, hopefully opening the same new world of opportunities and possibilities.
With your help we can make this dream a reality.