An Opportunity for Education

Rachel Chimits

Our partners in some of the most restrictive Asian countries are working to help children in remote villages be able to go to school and connect their families with the church.

Education can make all the difference in helping a family break the cycle of poverty, especially in Asia where a high emphasis is placed on children caring for their elderly parents.

Most schools in South Asia have been closed since the pandemic started this year. Children in Japan and South Korea may have online education, but in many other Asian countries, those options have not been as reliably available. For youngsters in these areas, there are very limited opportunities for them to continue studying and learning, especially in rural and poorer areas.

Here, families have little to no access to printed study materials and also may not be able to afford internet or have access to educational broadcasts and television. Due to COVID and lack of funds, government agencies has been unable to provide proper school materials for children and have called on nonprofits to help.

Making a Difference for Kids

Our partners in this region have answered the call. They are focusing their efforts on reaching out to children, families and communities in one of the poorest provinces of one Asian country that normally has tight restrictions on believers’ activities.

They call their initiative, “I Want to Learn.” With the help of World Challenge, our partners have printed special self-study books developed in cooperation with the local government, and they are currently distributing these workbooks to thousands of children.

One team member said, “How can we ignore them [local kids] as they are the future of [country name omitted] and humanity? In order to address the need of the poor and marginalized children, this project has designed to provide printed self-learning books based on their school curriculum and facilitate their learning process, mobilizing parents, youths, teachers, municipality officers and community groups.”

Helping these youngsters stay in school and keep up with their grade level could change the outlook for their entire family and, in many ways, their whole community.

Between Church and Community

In a nation where the government has often persecuted those who are followers of God, this teamwork between local authorities and believers to bring educational materials to their neighbors is a special blessing.

Not only are local children receiving books to continue their education, but parents are also being coached, building relationships with believers and joining in this community effort to provide for their own children and others’ families. Most have started contributing whatever they are able for the books, and our partners are mentoring parents on how best to support their children with learning.

Churches and community groups are setting up tutoring opportunities to bring small groups of children together for learning. This is also a great opportunity to rally communities, both for the education of their children as well as to build confidence that they can tackle other needs in the future.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Asia! They are making themselves vulnerable in order to serve their neighborhoods and the next generation.