East Africa (MNN) — As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” However, education remains an unattainable luxury for most children in East Africa. Fewer than 20% of young people in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi enroll in secondary school.
To conclude our three-part series with Set Free Ministries, Dean Vander Mey explains the next investment they’re planning for East African children. Earlier in the week, Vander Mey told us about their Christian schools and how God is using Set Free Ministries to rescue and redeem vulnerable kids.
“About 250 to 300 kids are graduating each year from junior high, and there’s no Christian high school” in East Africa that caters to the children they help, Vander Mey explains.
“We’re discipling these children from ages five to six until they’re 12, 13, and 14 [years old], and then we’re losing the opportunity to invest in their continued discipleship.
“That’s a very dangerous time to lose teens.”
Without the protection of a family unit, orphans are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Previous MNN reports, like this one and this one, describe the numerous struggles facing orphaned children in Africa.
“The girls, if they don’t have a hope and a future, will just be sold and bought off, or they will just be child brides,” says Vander Mey. “We don’t want that to happen.”
With your help and prayers, Set Free Ministries wants to add a new chapter to their work in East Africa.
Hope on the horizon
In recent weeks, Set Free and their local partners purchased 60 acres of land in East Africa.
“We’re building a new high school that will hold 1,200 students,” Vander Mey states.
“We’re going to teach them how to prosper, and then they’re going to go out and change their communities.”
Curriculum will build upon scholastic and spiritual lessons taught in Set Free’s primary schools. Dormitory-style housing allows discipleship beyond the classroom. Vander Mey says that as students approach graduation, staff will help them prepare to launch into adulthood.
“If you want to go to university, great! If you don’t, we will have a vocational training center right in the school.”
Set Free Ministries needs your help to make this dream a reality.
“We need to raise $5 million in 3 years,” says Vander Mey. “We don’t know how to do that! We’re in way over our heads, [but] God is God. He can do it.”
“It takes quite an investment; that’s what discipleship is. Jesus said, ‘Go make disciples’…that’s not the ‘Great Suggestion’ it’s the Great Commission, it’s the Great Command.”
Header image courtesy BrainyQuote.com