Uganda (MNN) — In Ghana and Uganda, Every Child Ministries noticed a problem. Kids moving through their sponsorship programs lost support after becoming teens.
Mark Luckey says, “You start to realize that in places like Ghana, practically 60 percent of the population is under 25. And Uganda, it’s even higher, as about 70 percent of the population is under 25. Between 15 to 25 percent of the population is teens whose needs are unmet. And many times, these kids are living in poverty.”
“You can have percentages like 30 or 40 percent of this age group living in poverty.”
That’s why ECM started the Next Step Program. It helps kids move from their sponsorships to independence.
How it works
ECM staff meets with the kids to determine what they want to do next. Luckey says, “We had one who wanted to be a teacher, for example. So we helped her to go to the teacher training college. She was then able to complete the teacher training school, get a job as a teacher, and is now working to support herself and her family.”
Other kids went into auto mechanics and welding. Those who want to get more schooling have access to scholarships.
This program started six years ago, but Mark says it has taken off in the last 2 years. “We’ve now reached a point where we can hold workshops and seminars for youth to receive support, encouragement, and training. There are very few programs offering them things like that. They’re certainly not getting it through their churches or communities.”
Pray the Next Step Program will help many teens across Ghana and Uganda. Ask God to strengthen them and work powerfully in their lives.
Header photo courtesy of Every Child Ministries.