Picture a classroom.
What do you see? Rows of students sitting at their desks? A teacher writing math problems on the chalkboard? Brightly colored folders and textbooks poking out of dozens of backpacks?
Chances are the classroom in your mind looks much different from the one that Jamal walks into every day. Jamal is a South Sudanese refugee whose name we’ve changed to protect his identity.
His classroom is a big, empty space that he shares with 150 other children.
Refugee children all around the world face similar situations. Refugee camps — and the makeshift schools there — are bursting with the growing number of young refugees. And many children’s education is suffering because of it.
But today, you can make sure that a child like Jamal receives the education he deserves. All it takes is $100 to give one boy or girl the chance to learn in a quality, Christian environment.
The classroom where Jamal attends school now has only about four or five desks. If he gets there early enough, one of them may still be open. But he opts to stand against the back wall so a younger student can have a seat. After all, they may have to wait up to an hour before a teacher arrives and they can begin.
There are never enough teachers because the refugee school can’t afford to pay them much. Jamal’s class will have to wait until one of the few teachers they do have finishes with another class and can come teach them their lesson.
Jamal never brings a bag to school because he doesn’t have any books to put in it. He does his best to learn all he can … but it’s difficult under these conditions.
Still, he’s grateful to be in school at all. More than half of South Sudanese children have had to put their education on hold.
When you think of the needs of refugees, you often think about the basics: food, clean water, and clothing. While these items are essential — even lifesaving — refugees like Jamal need so much more. They need hope for tomorrow.
And the ticket to a hopeful future is education.
“When we deprive these children of proper education, we are destroying their individual hopes and dreams, and doing irreparable damage to the future prospect of lasting peace in South Sudan,” U.N. Special Advisor Arnauld Akodjenou said.
When the violence in South Sudan finally ends, the task of rebuilding is going to fall on the shoulders of today’s refugee children … and you can make sure they are prepared by providing them with education.
The country will need doctors to heal those who are sick or wounded in the fighting. It’s going to need lawyers to fight for truth and make sure such horrible injustices don’t happen again. It’s going to need businessmen and businesswomen to rebuild the economy. Your gift can help provide a refugee child with education today, so he or she can be a leader tomorrow.
More importantly, you’ll help that child learn about Christ’s redemption and forgiveness — keys to moving forward and healing a nation.
“There’s no moral model in the refugee camps, which could be the greatest challenge,” our partner said. He explained this is especially true for kids who arrived without their parents:
If they don’t get help here, they will definitely be going back to become the militia. We need to change their direction of not going back to handle a gun but to go back as instruments of change.
We can’t let these children’s potential go to waste. Many of them have already had their childhood stolen by violence and war. Let’s not allow the fact that they are refugees destroy their futures, as well.
You can provide an education for a refugee in Africa or the Middle East for just $100. You’ll ensure one child like Jamal receives the quality, personalized attention he needs to succeed.
The South Sudan refugee crisis and the global refugee crisis are tragedies. But they also are opportunities for you to make a difference, to provide help for today … and hope for tomorrow.
Will you provide hope through the gift of education today?