This COVID-19 Christmas, children facing crisis count on our kindness ...
10,000 children … 100 days! Just as COVID-19 changed the way we ‘did’ school in Australia in 2020 … so it changed school for the children in crisis you help through ALWS. Whether children fled to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya (like Abdo and Masega in photo), Displaced Persons Camps in Somalia, or simply safe places in South Sudan, COVID-19 has put their education at risk. While no one knows what the future will bring, these children must not be forgotten. Through ALWS GRACE Project, you can support a child in school for one year for $26. Essentials like school-books. Trained teachers (like Walid in photo). School desk. Uniform. Clean water to protect against COVID. Even school lunches! Our ALWS aim in the 100 days from 22 November 2020 to 1 March 2021 is to support 10,000 children to go to school in 2021 … because school today is a blessing always! THE LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION
70 years bringing your love to life!
Photo: LWF Somalia
Reviving my hopes Fatima is 16 years old. She lives in a camp for Displaced Persons in Somalia. A drought killed the family’s cattle. Armed militia attacked, wanting to kidnap young girls to be child soldiers or ‘wives’. Fatima remembers: “The situation was so hard. We did not have food and shelter. Sometimes I help my mother to do domestic work like washing clothes and that was the daily living for the whole family.” Fatima is one of 1,500 children in an Accelerated Learning Program you support, helping older children who have missed out on school to catch up. Students receive the school uniform you see Fatima wearing, have clean safe water (to help protect against COVID-19), school lunches, and toilets to ensure girls have privacy and are safe. “I am very grateful for you reviving my hopes. Now I can focus on my education. I want to be a teacher – a role model and pillar for other displaced children to become teachers in hard times.” The Australian Government supports your ALWS work in Somalia. 1,500 older students like Fatima are anxious to get back to school when COVID-19 allows!
Photo: LWF/P. Omagwa
Girls suffer most When COVID-19 hit the world in 2020, new dangers emerged for the girls and young women you help go to school through ALWS. Because schools were forced to close, these students became more vulnerable to dangers in their community, especially when lockdowns limited the contact aid workers could have. Early marriage, always a risk for girls, became more of a threat. (Schools, and trusted teachers, provide a safety-net that girls can turn to if facing early marriage.) There was also a doubling of teen pregnancies and reported cases of sexual violence. Your support enables LWF teams to find new ways to protect girls: • use local-living volunteers to follow-up on girls • teachers hand over homework packages in person, and check girls • give girls radios, and broadcast lessons on community radio stations Through ALWS, you help make sure girls have the same opportunity to go to schools as boys, and receive the special protection they need.
Like other learners â€œI am 14 years old and came from Ethiopia in 2013. I became blind when I was very young because of disease. It is good to be here and have the machine because I can write like other learners. I feel good to learn and I can get more knowledge from school. My teacher helps me a lot.â€?
Through ALWS, and our partner LWF, you support children with special needs to go to school at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Currently, 240 children with special needs like Meron, need our support to go to school at Kakuma Refugee Camp.
Like a calling “I have been working here at Kakuma for 5 years. I have a Special Needs Diploma which took me two years of study. I love my work! Before my training I met a blind person and I felt so sad for him. This inspired me to go to training so that I can teach and help those who are blind. It is like a calling.” Joash
Don’t forget those who are suffering, but imagine that you are there with them. Hebrews 13:3b (CEV)
We can feel lonely “We are three cousins. We are here from South Sudan. We left our country 5 years ago because of the war. We have no other family. They are all gone. It is just us. We have a small mud hut and we cook our food in the outside kitchen area. We can feel lonely, just the three of us, so we often share our hut with others. Each morning we walk to school. We don’t have many books. Our teachers write the lessons on the blackboard. We like all our subjects, and we also like to play soccer. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays we all go to the choir at church, and to church on Sundays. I dream of being a lawyer. Matu would like to be a doctor. Malook aims to be a teacher.” Wali
Through ALWS, and our partner LWF, you provide extra support at Kakuma for orphans and children who have arrived alone. L to R: Malook - 15 years, Matu - 16 years, Wali - 18 years.
So special … “It is challenging here because we have no building and need to use the church. This means a lot of children of all ages in the one place. It makes it more difficult for teaching. I really enjoy seeing the young children grow in their learning and I like to take care of them. The young ones are so special.” Achok Teacher, South Sudan
… so rich “We lost everyone in the family while escaping to Kakuma. I have no other family – just my younger brothers. I never had any formal education, but here at Kakuma I had a chance to go to school. I went right through to Year 8 - at Shabelle School where I am now teaching! My brothers and I have nothing, yet education is so rich. No one can ever take that from us or anyone in the camp. All possessions can be taken away, but not what is in your head. I feel very privileged to teach. We are so grateful for all the support we receive.” Deng Refugee Teacher, Kakuma
A better future “I did not go to school myself, so I am happy when I see my son go to school. When he gets an education, this will give him a better future. Please keep helping so our children can keep going with their education. Thank you!” Diing, with her son Wafula $26 can support a refugee child like Wafula in school for one year. Your gift of education to a child can never be taken away – skills, confidence, hope!
10,000 children in 100 days. Donâ€™t let COVID-19 mean little ones like Masega are forgotten. Just $26 supports a yearâ€™s school for a refugee child. Your gift of school today blesses always.
1300 763 407 alws.org.au
70 years bringing your love to life!
This COVID-19 Christmas, you're needed to help refugee children get back to school.