Colombia (MNN) — Groundbreaking studies done on youth in Colombia gained national media attention overnight, causing government officials to turn to one ministry for help.
OneHope, formerly Book of Hope, has embarked on a project to gather data from 60 countries about the beliefs, morals and behavior of youth in those countries. After conducting intensive scientific research in Colombia, OneHope held a national press conference to reveal their findings and offer help to the suffering country. OneHope's Rob Hoskins explains the results.
"Colombia, as most people know, has been suffering with violence and is one of the leading countries in drug distribution in the world (cocaine). The country also has had internal political struggles going on for decades. We're seeing that it's had a tremendous effect on the nation. Violence in the homes is very, very high; suicide rates are very startling."
Statistics include rather upsetting facts, such as a 71 percent disregard for the law among youth as well as over 60 percent who said they had cheated in school in the last month. These statistics seem inarguably linked with the lack of any stable familial structures, which also seems to account for the incredibly high rates of violence, sexual promiscuity and suicide attempts among youth. It was discovered that 70 percent of youth spend less than one hour a week with their parents, and 42 percent spend less than 15 minutes a week with them.
Multiple other devastating statistics were put together on youth in Colombia. The exciting part is, OneHope now has the opportunity to do something about it in an incredibly significant way.
After the press conference, OneHope was on the cover of Colombia's national newspaper and was seen on the country's televised news stations. The government also took notice and, observing OneHope's dedication to the matter, accepted their offer to help. The government quickly recognized that its youth would determine how the country would be run in the future, and they have allowed OneHope access to places they had not remotely foreseen. Hoskins says they now have considerable and unexpected opportunities to reach out in schools.
"We are working with the department of education to create a curriculum that has value education in it that will be used in the school system to address some of these issues from a Biblical worldview perspective. So it really allows the Word of God to be implanted into the hearts of children and young people at the youngest possible age, and in cooperation with the government."
OneHope will not only infiltrate the school system by creating godly curriculum, but the ministry has also been given government permission to begin the creation of films that address issues such as drug addiction and suicide. Hoskins says that the films "will be shown in the schools to speak the language of the kids in a relevant way; and obviously in that, show that God's Word and the message found in His Word–the hope of Jesus Christ–is really the only way to overcome these systemic issues that are facing the country."
OneHope has been working in Colombia for seven years, but all of these developments have given them an opportunity to serve in youth ministry in ways previously not possible. The impact they will have is certain to be great, in Colombia as well as in the dozens of other countries in which they have yet to do research.
The Lord is working through OneHope in vibrant and unexpected ways. If you would like to be a part of OneHope's influence in Colombia or in other countries through their continued research on youth, click here and get involved. If you would like to see more of the results found on youth in Colombia, dial the number to the left of this article.