Welcome to the eighth blog in our series, “The 12 Areas of Community Transformation.” Over the course of this year we are answering the question, “How is HopeChest different from other leading child sponsorship organizations?” Today’s blog is about the eighth of these 12 areas of primary community transformation.
In some countries, receiving an education is often taken for granted and people think that everyone has a right to go to school. However, education is not a right, but something to be worked for and cherished. Receiving an education opens doors to opportunities that may otherwise remain inaccessible. Just as a designer knows every aspect of how they created something, God knows how he has created each of us. Therefore, the first steps toward a real education are to know Him and His ways, which are the foundations of wisdom and knowledge. God wants each of us to discover things in life that will help us live up to the potential of how He created us. In Proverbs 1:7, scripture tells us: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…”.
Knowing Him is the first step toward an education that will equip us for life.
Where Does HopeChest Fit In?
At many of the locations where we work, Children’s Hopechest partners with communities in which many of the families are not able to send their children to school. In some cases, they cannot afford it; in other cases, the parents need the children to work with them to earn sufficient money to survive; still in other situations, the parents are no longer living. For some families, the “heads of households” are the oldest surviving child – who may be only 10 or 12 years old. In many of those cases, they have no option but to drop out of school and work in order to care for several younger siblings; to be sure that they can continue with their education.
A primary focus of HopeChest’s work is to not only help these children survive but we also want to give them the tools to be able to live and sustain themselves. We want to help prepare them break the cycle of poverty and to thrive in life. To achieve this goal, we often partially supplement what the family can contribute so that the child is actively attending school, and in some critical cases we cover all the required school fees and assessments for a child to be enrolled in school.
Many times children, who are partnered with HopeChest’s partners, come to a drop-in center in their community. As a part of the HopeChest programming at our CarePoints, they are integrated into Bible studies and personal discipleship because we believe that if we help children to know God, they will better understand the universe that He created.
How This Creates Sustainability
Education is more than just attending a school and going to classes. It is about learning how to live life. Education empowers people to learn and do things in life that would otherwise remain a mystery.
It is important that children do not just attend a CarePoint for many years and when they ‘age-out’ of sponsorship, years later, have no idea what to do. Optimally, they will have received an education or vocational training that equips them to sustain themselves and, potentially, raise and care for a family.
Programs Around the World
All of the countries we work with place an emphasis on the power of education. In Russia, orphanage graduates can visit the Ministry Centers for homework help, internet, and assistance in applying for college or vocational programs. In Moldova, we have classes for youth to tutor and enhance the children’s education. This continues with vocational or business training in their teen years.
The My Special Treasure Educational Center, Centro de Alcance, and Colegio Israel CarePoints in Guatemala provide specific examples of how children are provided with educational resources such as tutoring, computer labs, which empower them to succeed in their studies, and vocational training.
Educational support does not exclusively mean covering school fees or uniform expenses. In Uganda and Swaziland, many CarePoints assist with community gardens, which are used for supplemental nutrition in schools. When children eat before or in the middle of classes, they are able to concentrate on their studies with a full stomach instead of wondering when they will next eat.
Stories of Hope
Proverbs 3:13 – 21 “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. … She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.”
Receiving an education from a Biblical perspective, provides wisdom that is a tree of life for the young people at our CarePoints.
If you agree that education is a fundamental and critical aspect of changing the narrative for children in poverty, consider becoming a HopeChest Investor In Hope where your donation to our general fund allows us to do things like providing higher education funding and leadership academies to high potential youth in our programs.
This blog is part of our new, educational series that answers the question, “How are you different from other leading child sponsorship organizations?” Over the course of the year we are going in depth about how your support impacts entire communities in 12 unique areas of transformation. If you don’t want to miss one of the blogs in our “The 12 Areas of Community Transformation” series, subscribe to our blog, HopeChest Insights, here!