Moving Back to School

1 Comment » Written on August 26th, 2012     
Filed under: Community Development
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As many college students prepare to go back to school this fall, the prospect of moving into a dorm or apartment is on the forefront of many minds, parents included. Parents often have a hard time saying goodbye to their college students, knowing that they will be left to fend for themselves. Now imagine as a parent sending a much younger student, middle- or high-school aged, off to school on their own, not knowing if they had a place to stay at all.

This was the situation faced by many parents in in the Hongwe community of Kenya. In this region, educational opportunities are sparse at best, so when the Hongwe Covenant Church began offering classes for area students, they were met with a surprise. It wasn’t just local students attending the classes. Instead, many of the students were traveling very long distances but were having a difficult time deciding if it was worth the unreasonable distance every day without a place to stay.

Ongoing construction work, most of which is provided by church members

The school has seen the difficulty that many students are facing and has decided to do something about it. Their response has been to build a boarding house with rooms that the distance students can rent at a reasonable rate. This allows the students to have a more regular learning experience where they can benefit more from their education.

This project has the potential for community-wide outcomes:

    • Students are given a greater opportunity for education.
    • Parents are less strained as they will now be assured that their children have a safe place to stay.
    • Other students have an increased opportunity for education, as the profits gained from renting out the rooms will be used to provide scholarships for students who are unable to pay for their education.

The entire community benefits in a number of ways:local church members are able to provide most of the labor, allowing them to earn money and saving the church money; additionally, increased opportunities for children to have education is transformational for the community.

As you get ready to go back to school this fall, or if, as a parent, you are preparing to send your student back to school, please pray for those in the Hongwe community who are preparing for the same thing.

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