The LCA/NZ’s overseas aid agency, Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS), last month launched a 100-day campaign to support 10,000 children in refugee camps and other crisis situations to return to school when COVID-19 allows.
Children targeted are living at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, Displaced Persons Camps in Somalia, and poverty-affected areas across South Sudan.
According to ALWS Community Action manager, Jonathan Krause, these areas already know the critical value of Lutheran-supported education delivered by ALWS partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF). ‘Just as in Australia, where the word “Lutheran” signifies high-quality education from teaching teams that value each child individually, the same applies where our Lutheran family works through ALWS’, he says.
The ‘10,000 children … 100 days’ campaign was launched on Sunday 22 November because the gospel reading for that day is Jesus’ call to reach out and serve those ‘overlooked or ignored’ (Matthew 25:40 – The Message).
‘At ALWS our mission is to seek out those who might otherwise be forgotten, and enable our church to give the care that brings love to life’, Jonathan says. ‘In education, the forgotten may include older children who have missed out on school because they had to flee conflict, girls at risk of being forced into early marriage, orphans and children separated from family and, of course, children with special needs.’
ALWS says it can cost just $26 to support a child in their schooling for one year. This can help supply such essentials as school books, uniforms, school desks, training for refugee teachers, school lunches and clean water for drinking and for handwashing to protect against COVID-19.
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