The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) states that access to education is a basic human right.
Every girl and boy in every country is entitled to [education]. Quality education is critical to development both of societies and of individuals, and it helps pave the way to a successful and productive future. When all children have access to a quality education rooted in human rights and gender equality, it creates a ripple effect of opportunity that influences generations to come.
In places where education is not affordable or accessible to all, many families are forced by their economic realities to choose which of their children go to school. Most often, though the decision is difficult, the oldest male child is the one who has the opportunity. That means that essentially half of that community’s or country’s population does not have the means to explore and reach their potential as productive and active members of society.
The Multiplier Effect
But educating girls has what UNICEF calls a “multiplier effect.” Girls who go to and stay in school are less likely to marry very young. They tend to be able to contribute more equally to family income, and have fewer children, whom they can more easily care for and invest in. Educated women prioritize nutrition, health care, and yes, education for their families. Their investments and decisions impact not only their own families but the community as a whole, helping break the chains of chronic poverty.
In Nicaragua, children are so committed to going to school and learning that they will choose to go to class even if they have nothing more than the clothes they are wearing. Imagine trying to learn all that is presented in a classroom without pencils, pens, or notebooks! In other parts of the world, when a family cannot afford school supplies, their children do not even have the option to go to class.
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Why School Kits Make a Difference
Providing simple tools such as those found in LWR School Kits helps those families have one less difficult decision to make. Thanks to your generosity, in 2016 alone, LWR was able to distribute 191,720 School Kits to communities in 12 different countries. Some went to countries like Burkina Faso, where families struggle with ongoing drought and the resulting income and nutritional deficits. Others went to countries such as Georgia, where many people face homelessness and other vulnerable situations in the central part of the country. And still others went to the Peru, to support families that are marginalized and excluded from private and public development efforts due to extreme poverty, sex, age and health.
Project Promise: Build Kits of Care
Through the generosity of Lutherans and others across the U.S., we are able to distribute hundreds of thousands of School Kits every year. And yet we still didn’t have enough of these precious Kits to meet all the requests we received from our partners. As the school year ramps up in earnest here in the United States, I invite you to be part of something simple that is changing the world, one student, one school, one community at a time.
That’s why you are invited to take part in Project Promise: Build Kits of Care, a project of Lutheran World Relief. Project Promise is the same kit ministry you love, with even more resources to invite your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers or congregation to turn ordinary items into extraordinary gifts of love!
Check out the Project Promise website, and get started making a difference in a child’s life today!