|One of the many secondary schools that children we support attend in eastern DRC.|
Remember the story of these children. Their mothers' died in birth or in the first year of their life and in order to ensure their survival their father (or other family member or friend) brought them to the orphanage to receive formula and then they were reunited with their family between the ages of 2 and 5 years old and now live with their families. As is often the case when there are very limited resources in a family that is extremely poor, some of the children are not sent to school and if they are sent to school rarely are they sent through secondary. For the past four years we have been coming alongside the CELPA church organization and paying the school fees for these children, many of whom (boys and girls) are now in secondary school.
We have a manager on the ground in eastern DRC but the cost of getting out to these remote villages prohibited us from sending him to check up on the children we have been supporting. Until recently, when we received donations large enough to buy a moto for his use! For the past two weeks, he has been driving through the mountains checking on the children we support. And for the last few days I have been looking through inspiring photos of children determined to go to school in a country where the rate of attendance in secondary school is less than 20% (please check out our website for more information/statistics with sources).
As I look through the beautiful faces of the boys and girls we support my heart is heavy with the horror of a story from Nigeria. Faces and stories of school girls in Nigeria that were abducted from their school. Brave girls that were determined to go to school and complete their exams despite all of their schools being closed because of a recent mass killing of school boys in their area (source). I've been thinking about their mothers too, given it's almost the day to honor our mothers. I've been thinking about the four girls I am honored to raise and I whisper up prayers for the mothers in Nigeria and their missing children, the terror of which I cannot begin to contemplate. Others have been writing much more eloquently about this tragedy, here you will find more detailed information, why we should care, and the link to a petition to sign and here you will find a beautiful prayer made on behalf of the girls and their families that echoes my heart; please take the time to read it and pray today. "Abba, be near to our girls and keep them safe, envelope them in courage and in love. Speak hope to them: someone is coming for them. We have not forgotten."
I will end here and leave you with a few of the courageous faces of sponsored children in eastern DRC. Faces that call me to not stop in prayer and action for the girls in Nigeria and all girls everywhere: the right for all children, everywhere, to go to school in safety.
Addendum: A friend of mine wrote up a piece on her blog about the overall situation in Nigeria as it relates to the abduction of the Nigerian school girls. She has a unique perspective and voice that I think provides some excellent commentary and truth worth reading.