Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lend a hand

About one-fifth of adults globally have no formal schooling

Education makes the critical difference for young folks hoping to make their way forward, but it's difficult for many to achieve.  Developing countries struggle with a lack of skilled workers; they need their children to get education and specific skill training.  What's the hold up?

It's slowly getting better worldwide, but those on the fringe still struggle.
In one western Africa country, they've recently gone from four years up to six years of government funded education.  It's what they can afford to provide.  About 70% of children fail to complete the six years, however, and for those who do, high school costs are not covered and remain a significant hurdle.  Their economy means that from the start, the costs for fees and supplies and uniforms can be more than a household can manage.  School can be a long way from home, and transportation costs more.

The next to the last day of final exams in elementary schools,
the principal and teachers kick things off smiling.
The kids are polite, but not smiling as much;
these exams determine if they get to advance
to the next grade.  About 70% don't pass
beyond the 6th grade level.
So a bunch of us got together and chipped in, and kids get to stay in school.  Five in one family, four in another, three in another .... we started with nineteen.  Several have graduated from high school (the equivalent of college in their country).  Two have graduated trade school, one graduated from college.  One young lady is first in her class in the 10th grade now, and her mom is so proud!  Another and her sister are first and second in their classes in secondary school, which is a huge accomplishment.  These are kids we've met personally.  We're doing our best to support another 65 starting in a church school in Kenya.  A semester costs maybe $40 for elementary school.

If you'd like to help, you'd be welcome.  If you'd like to go see for yourself, they'll welcome you like they did us, and if you like, we can arrange introductions via local service organizations we know and approve.  :)

At the end of the road is the fishermen's beach where they launch their boats.
Too, there's the local church and school.  Home to some of the world's
nicest people, this small country in western Africa is one of
so many laboring to make their way forward from the
wreckage of colonialism, and now as
part of the globalized economy.