Education plays a vital role in laying the foundation for a healthy and successful life. In fact, education can prevent the poor from being exploited, provide hope for the future and offer tools that allow individuals to act as advocates for economic change within a community! An educated population promotes a better educated nation and an improved social structure.
According to UNESCO, 58 million children of primary school age are not in school. In addition, two-thirds of the 793 million functionally illiterate adults are women. Yet, a child whose mother can read is 50 percent more likely to live past age five.
To learn more about WHI’s current education efforts, read the 2015 Child Sponsorship & Education Annual Report.
Early Childhood Education
According to UNICEF, early childhood development is the key to a full and productive life for a child. In fact, in the first years of life, children establish the cognitive, emotional and social foundation upon which they can build their futures. Recognizing this importance, WHI is working with UNICEF, the Ministry of Education, and the Bombali District Council on an Early Childhood Development Pilot Project that will bring community-run early learning centers into 10 vulnerable communities during 2016. These ECD Centers are housed in refurbished community structures and provide free early learning activities for children under six, led by trained members of the local community. The project is also partnering with WHI's Mother Support Groups and community theater groups to educate mothers and fathers about healthy parenting behaviors that promote healthy child development. By the end of the proposed 3-year project, WHI aims to have ECD programs available for vulnerable children in 44 communities in Sierra Leone.
World Hope International’s Education program gives children hope for a future, as they realize that someone cares about their living conditions and lack of opportunity. By providing tuition, uniforms, books and school supplies, WHI provides the essentials for children to receive an education. In addition, parents are taught how to provide for their families through vocational and community trainings, helping them to be better farmers or small business owners, improved community members, and enhanced parents. The Child Sponsorship Program is one way that WHI invests in the lives of children in need. To learn more about encouraging a child through WHI’s Child Sponsorship program, click here.
In Albania, we have an actively-running day care center for children of widows. Originally founded in 2008, this center has also expanded to offer after-school help and biblical education at another venue. Church partnerships from the United Kingdom have helped to sponsor this valuable project for nearly a decade.
Because many of the diseases that plague the developing world are preventable, World Hope International regularly reinforces the basics of sanitation and hygiene when working with a community. Key prevention techniques like hand washing, cleaning of utensils and positioning of sanitation facilities in relation to water sources are emphasized.
In addition, World Hope International has partnered with UNICEF to form Mother’s Support Groups in villages across Sierra Leone. These groups promote and educate mothers on child nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding, infant and child care, and disease care and prevention.
In developing countries, every additional year of education can increase a person’s future income by 10 percent. Adult education leads to a better educated workforce and more stable economy.
WHI supports English and computer education in Azerbaijan and Bosnia, equipping young adults with skills that give them a critical edge in the job market. WHI additionally trains teachers in Bosnia to improve both classroom technique and student performance.
In addition, WHI educates parents and law enforcement agencies in Cambodia, Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan about human traffickers and how to protect their children.
In Albania, we gather nuclear families together once a month for a nine-month class. In this class we discuss topics like parenting, domestic violence, communication, family budgeting, health, hygiene, community involvement and other topics. We have seen great impact on family’s lives here and are very excited about continuing this program especially since it is one of very few programs that engages the men in the family as well. We work together with other NGOs and also the local mayor’s office on this program.
We also have a pilot program in place, where we provide local people with education and assistance about the wide-range of problems that impact their communities. Focus areas include health-care, employment, welfare from the local government, disability/handicapped services, etc. Since most of the people have moved to the city from the villages, they are not integrated in the local system and are uninformed about how to seek proper care and services that may be available in the cities. This program seeks to connect these people to the programs and services that can assist them.