An education is a child’s future. Too often, children are placed in orphanages so that they can access an education. Others remain in their families but are unable to attend school because their parents cannot pay for school fees, textbooks, supplies, uniforms and exam fees, or because children are needed to help care for ill parents or contribute to the family’s livelihood. The cost of secondary school is much higher, and in many regions often entails boarding fees. Children who are not in school are at greater risk for HIV infection, labor exploitation, and abandonment.
Churches and community organizations can help children remain in school—and in families—by providing support for education costs and by helping to lift families out of poverty. Pastors and church members can encourage their fellow community members to make education for all boys and girls a priority and a means to end the cycle of poverty.
Hunger and emotional distress can also prevent children from being able to participate in school. Programs that take a more holistic approach provide children with the food and the counseling they need to be able to learn.
Faith-based organizations around the world can also play an important role in advocating for the universal and unrestricted right to an education. Community-based groups can also join with other civil society organizations within their countries to advocate for removal of both formal and informal school fees.