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What You Just Don't Know

Updated on March 30, 2015
Dawit Dereje - standing outside the school's gate - before he was enrolled.
Dawit Dereje - standing outside the school's gate - before he was enrolled.

I've been thinking of Dawit Dereje. I miss that kid. And, how so many more children could attend school too if only we cared more than we say we do. And how we turn those thoughts of caring into actions of caring. And how to convince the ones who want to ignore... It's not my job to convince others to give but it is also not my job to stay silent either. God forgive me if I get angry over it but you just don't know.

So, get ready to know.

Ethiopia, a country roughly twice the size of Texas with over 96 million people populating the beautiful country (as the CIA informs us here) and while improving, is a country that still struggles to educate its youth and to provide a means of self sustainability. Over 2 million girls and roughly 1.7 million boys remain out of school, according to The World Bank's data found here and here. Global Partnership's website says, "More than a quarter of children who enroll in first grade drop out before they complete their first school year."

This is for a number of reasons: most having to do with being an impoverished nation. Many of the children who quit school quit due to lack of financing their education or lack of money for the family so they quit to beg in the streets or to find labor. GP also states "Out of the children who complete primary school, 79% (2009) continue to secondary school." It's merely a matter of getting them enrolled and encouraging them to keep at it until they finish.

Having taught Spoken English in a school while serving as a missionary through Blessing the Children International in Ethiopia, I can tell you that teaching techniques are poor quality compared to western schools, and this is where they need you and I to help encourage and educate them in new ways to help their own. It is not that they can not do it. It is that they need help in finding teaching methods that work in a land beaten down with malnutrition and disease. "28% of all child mortality in Ethiopia is associated with undernutrition," based on World Food Programme's information. Part of combatting the education problem is to combat the other problems that exist like hunger and HIV/AIDS. So how do we even start to do this? Where do we begin?

It begins with a step.

Whether your step is to sponsor a child, or to take a trip to minister, to start an NGO, or to write articles such as this to educate and promote awareness with the hopes of leading to lasting change, your step to revolutionize the way these people live matters and it means progress. So let's make progress together. Let's help and not hurt. Let's do what we can with all we can to love on a nation that so desperately needs to know our Father, who needs His people to step out in the knowledge and understanding that 'love is a verb.' We can do this. We can do this as it is what Christ would do and it is what He calls us to do. We can do this until it becomes who we are and they and everyone around us can see who He is.

Just take the first step.

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