Ethiopia (MNN) — Koshe (also known as Korah) is a community built around a city dump near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Toi Mears* with TeachBeyond says the community original began as a leper colony. The community has lived near the dump for years, and around 150,000 people call the area home.
Surviving at the Dump
Families and individuals live off of the nearby trash. At the cost of their education, kids are often sent to scavenge through garbage.
TeachBeyond is working to patch education gaps and lift kids out of poverty. It is why the ministry partners with Brook Hill Development Organization in the area to provide education programs and educational intervention.
TeachBeyond’s project, Open Schools Worldwide, is available to kids 7-years-old and up in the Koshe area. Currently, the age range of students is 7 to 15-years-old. Most of these kids have previously received zero schooling.
“Open Schools, which is a program, it’s not a school, but it’s a program that is designed for children who have never been to school or have had very little schooling. And, it gives then the beginning skills so that when they can hopefully finish the Open School program in a year, they can then enter the public-school system and not be leaps behind,” Mears says.
During the program, TeachBeyond also teaches students about Jesus. This is the first time some kids hear about God. Mears hopes Open Schools Worldwide is the first of many education programs for the children of Koshe. For this to happen, the ministry needs support.
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“We also are collecting a lot of teaching supplies. And not just even paper, pencil-type things. In the afternoons, we do games and educational games, and just games and coloring and arts and just different things that they have never experienced,” Mears says.
“We such life skills in those afternoons because they’re learning to share. These children…they’re on survival mode. So, it’s just been fascinating just to see that transformation start to happen of being kind to one another.”
Another way to get involved with TeachBeyond is through service on the field. To check out TeachBeyond’s options to serve, CLICK HERE.
Pray for the protection and nurturing of children TeachBeyond serves in Koshe. Mears says because these kids miss out on scavenger time to attend the education program, they experience abuse at home.
“We’ve had a few children actually get abused. So, we’re just really praying that we can reach out to these families to let them see the importance of this education program and a way to connect, and just a way to help,” Mears says.
Pray for wisdom and discernment for the TeachBeyond team in navigating tensions and complications or their work. Ask God to give these children hope for the future, and a life buried in His love.
To financially support TeachBeyond or the Open Schools Worldwide program, CLICK HERE.
*Mears first visited Ethiopia during a mother-daughter mission tripe nearly five years ago. Through a series of events, God made it clear to Mears serving in Ethiopia was a part of His will for her. After spending 25 years as a reading specialist in the public school system, Mears connected with TeachBeyond and became a full member with the organization this last year.
Header photo courtesy for TeachBeyond.