Efforts to rebuild tsunami ravaged areas are underway. Christian schools play an integral role.

By January 5, 2005

Asia (MNN)–Non-Government Organizations are getting school supplies together, even as dazed teachers look for a place to resume classes.

In and throughout the devastation visited in 11 countries in Asia and Africa, a move is being made toward whatever is familiar.

That poses a challenge in many areas, as a number of schools were flattened by the tsunami. Those schools still standing were closed in order to use the buildings for temporary refugee camps.

Worldwide Christian Schools’ president Scott Vanderkooy explains that the connection is social, communal and emotional. “The schools have a big part to play in relief efforts because oftentimes they act as distribution centers, and they also are a point where people look to for some return to normalcy.”

Nothing will signal hope more clearly than rebuilding and reopening schools. WCS Field Partners in Asia are currently helping children and their families secure a home and return to school.

Vanderkooy says getting back into a regular education routine is especially important for the children.

Many of the children have been traumatized not only by the devastation of the natural disaster, but also by its effect on their social circles. It’s another reason to get back into a routine familiar to the students.

Vanderkooy says their schools look very different from what they were just two weeks ago. “We have some schools that, as far as we can tell, over half the student body has been lost, and there are teachers that are missing as well. Most of the countries that have been affected were Muslim countries, so Worldwide is viewing this as really an opportunity to show the love of Christ.”

WCS is collecting funds to help get the schools back on their feet. 100% of all contributions to the Tsunami School Relief Fund will be put to work in the field as soon as possible. No percentage is kept by WCS or its operations.

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