Friday, October 9, 2009

Ushindi Center School Fund

Ushindi Center now has a School Fund for the 68 children of women survivors of sexual violence who are members there.

On my return, the women made clear how important it is for their children to be in school; some can pay school fees for half their children, but none can pay fees for all their children. The children left behind are usually girls, who are expected to do chores at home while their mothers work.  Sending boys to school first, then the girls if there is enough money, is the cultural norm here. And as many of you know, educating girls correlates highly with stable economies and reduced conflict.

The School Fund was founded by a generous grant from Charlie Dawson, Empower Congo Women Board Member, who asked that his contribution go towards starting a fund to send these children to school. Having young kids of his own, he realizes how important education is for children.

So yesterday, I paid the school fees for 68 children for one month. Then we gathered for photos, and the children celebrated by gobbling heaping plates of rice and beans.

The children were very appreciative and several older ones stepped forward to give thank-you speeches, praising God first, then me and the donors. They said we are their first school sponsor, so this is a very worthwhile cause.

October is the beginning of the school year, so the children were able to enroll the first week of school. To be fair and make education available to all the children, the program will pay basic school fees for primary and secondary grades for the entire school year. We will take it one year at a time, with the intention of following these childen through Level 6!

Please make a contribution to help all these children attend school now and for years to come. We're off to a good start, but we need your continuing support to make a real difference in their lives!

To donate: 

With love and gratitude,

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