Wednesday, March 6, 2013

haunting

I dug out some photos of the school aged children that the director of the orphanage had taken for me when we were in DRC.  The photos are 2 years old.  Many of the children that are in the photos are still the children we are sponsoring today.  I spent a long time looking at their faces tonight, matching numbers with names.  I also spent some time looking for statistics about school and DRC.  Here is what I found (the source is IRC and the link to the report is found here).

Primary school enrollment - 58%
Drop-out rate in the first year of primary - 20%
Children in the east who have never been in a classroom - 31%
Average completion rate between the first and sixth year - 29%
Government budget earmarked for education - 9%
Unpaid government teachers - 33%

I've been looking at these numbers.  58% of all children are enrolled in primary school.  29% of those enrolled complete their sixth year.  My husband is the (almost) economist and would be able to give you a more exact interpretation of this, but for me, I read that and it hits me that if most of those children that complete their sixth year of school do go on to secondary school, the enrollment rates in secondary school are less than 20%.  Wow, that is heartbreaking.

And then I think, more than half of the fees we have been raising are for secondary school.  And it hits me all over again, how very important these fees are for these children.  They are essential.

Finally, I look at their pictures.   And I am haunted by their eyes; there are stories waiting to be told, stories waiting for someone to share them.  There is pain and hope.  This work is so important, because THEY are so important; giving a child a chance to complete their education is an incredible  gift with lasting effects.

One of the school children we supported 2 years ago.


Thank you for helping us pay the fees of the 77 children that we support.  We have almost raised the entire amount needed to send them to school for the next trimester.  Only three more students need their fees paid.  They are all in secondary school.  (Their fees range from $67.3 to $39.3).  Any funds we raise above this trimester's needs will be applied to next trimester (which will be coming in a coming in a couple months).  Thank you again.  You can donate here or through using the button on the right side of this blog.  

1 comment:

Lana said...

it is so true - education causes wonderous and powerful ripples of potential and development. this is such an importand contribution to DRC and to these children