All of us in some form or another have seen the huge impact Covid-19 has had on education. Whether that be parents taking on home-schooling responsibilities, teachers having to rapidly adapt to online learning or others simply enjoying quieter streets with no school traffic.

For the 1.6 billion children and youth who have faced school closures across the world, the impact has been huge. Learning has been thrown into disarray and progress has been slowed.

The lasting implications of such disruptions are predicted by the UN to be vast. They estimate that 20 years of education gains have been wiped out across the world, impacting the poorest and most vulnerable communities the most significantly. [1]

Plugging the gap

The good news is our ministry partners are helping to plug this educational gap for those that are returning to school, and those where in-person learning is still not possible.

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In Nepal, most people do not have access to the tools which enable them to access online learning. Through their New Vision Children’s Home, Good Friends of Nepal has been loaning out the few phones and tablets it has to children giving them a chance to access online classes (pictured right).

In Guatemala, as children begin to head back to school and community centres are reopened, Potter’s House is providing students with PPE to protect themselves (pictured right). You can help them expand the reach of this and provide three months worth of PPE to a student through our latest Freedom Gifts range.

In India, JKPS and Mahima Homes have provided young girls and boys with educational support, even through periods of quarantine for those who tested positive for the virus, enabling students to keep up with their studies. Praise God that many have recently celebrated passing their secondary school exams even in the midst of much disruption. Student Vedika shares:

Because of this Covid situation, I often struggled to concentrate on my studies. In hindsight, the hard work I had put in paid off. I am encouraged by my performance and motivated to give my best in grades 11 and 12.

Education for the long-term

The importance of overcoming educational setbacks, is something that is vital to not only the children our ministry partners serve but the whole of their communities.

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Our newest ministry partner, Bangalore City Mission, explains why education lies at the heart of its development work serving rock-quarrying communities in Bangalore, India:

“Education is key to development, any nation that neglects the education of its children is choking its own life source… A shoemakers son would always be a shoemaker, a sweepers child would always be a sweeper and that’s what they would pass on for generations so education liberates people from that” – Jonathan Sinclair Paul, President BCM

As children gain new skills, they can then go onto to pave a new path for their families as they have access to a wider range of opportunities and better paid jobs.

A reality which one of our faithful UK child sponsors, Michelle, has witnessed first-hand through her 20 years of sponsoring children through the WorldShare ChildAid programme:

One young man, in particular, stands out as we sponsored him right through college. With his new job, he removed his whole family from an incredibly dangerous daily situation and was able to support them and begin a new life.

Find out here how you can play a role in enabling our ministry partners to reach out to many more children, ensuring they aren’t held back by the educational setbacks of Covid-19 and have a hope for the future.

By Harriet Robson, WorldShare’s Marketing Communications Specialist

[1] https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal4

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