Child sponsorship brings hope to La Playa

By July 9, 2008

Colombia
(MNN) — 400 children in La Playa, Colombia are receiving a Christian
education through child sponsorship from La Rosa de Saron, or The Rose of
Sharon school. 

In addition to a quality, government-approved education, the
students also receive school uniforms and one hot meal a day. In addition, the school staff have the
opportunity to share the Gospel with the students and their families. 

Since Colombia
does not offer free public education, the students at La Rosa de Saron would not be able to receive an education from
any other place. 

Over 2000 families live in squalor in La Playa, a community
outside the city of Barranquilla.  The community suffers from 80 percent
unemployment, and single mothers lead the majority of the families.

1200 more children in La Playa do not have access to
education. Guerilla groups and criminal gangs frequently target children who do
not attend school. Martha Villamizar de Palacio, Executive Director of I.N.
Network
Colombia
and founder of La Rosa de Saron, hopes to expand its student body from 400 to
650.

She also hopes to provide a base salary for the teaching
staff. The teaching staff currently
receive no salaries. All of them are
Christians, and they volunteer not only to provide an education but to raise up
strong leaders for the kingdom
of God. 80 people worship at a church on the school
property, which is pastored by de Palacio's husband in conjunction with another
pastor. 

Almost half of the Colombian population lives in poverty,
and armed conflict has displaced two million people. Violence, often tied to drug cartels, is
common. 

Due to economic hard times, many of I.N. Network's child
sponsors have had to discontinue their sponsorships. Many children need new sponsors. Click here if you can help transform a
community by sponsoring a child for just $32 a month.

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