After-school literacy program combats poverty and hopelessness in Zambia

By June 18, 2010

Zambia (MNN) — With over a million orphans in Zambia, few
have a chance to receive an education–something which could give them a flicker of hope to
improve their lives in the future.

Samfya Community of Care Providers (SCCP) pitches in as much
as they can and sponsors around 800 orphans, allowing them to attend local
school. However, these students then face obstacles, such as lack of nutrition,
focus and interest, coupled with inadequate school systems, which lowers their
ability to retain the information being taught. Often, any chance at success
down the road seems impossible.

That's why Bright Hope International interns Courtney O'Connell
and Heather Cogswell stepped up and developed an after-school literacy
program, working with SCCP and Bright Hope Partnership Developers, Mark and
Carmen Brubacher.

Starting with 15-20 students, the program meets two
afternoons a week and combines small class size with creative teaching methods
to be intentional with each student.

In most classrooms, copying what the teacher puts on the board
is the only teaching method, and students are not encouraged to think for
themselves. As Bright Hope gives these kids one-on-one attention, it boosts
their confidence and encourages them to want to improve.

The program develops the student's knowledge, understanding,
and usage of the English language, and all of their testing is done in English.
Through their grasp of English, they can be future productive members
of their own community, as well as being able to contribute globally since English is increasingly becoming a common language for people around the world.

Not only will literacy enable these kids to have hope for
their future careers and lifestyles, it will also give them a chance to pick up
the Bible and read it for themselves.

Pray for these children as they go through the rest of their
school. Pray they will see Christ's love and compassion in the actions of
Bright Hope's interns and the others involved in the literacy program.

To help sponsor this literacy program or other ministries
of Bright Hope, visit

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