Going to school is a dream not easy to achieve for African children. On average, one in five schoolchildren do not go to school, and according to UNICEF and African Union Commission, a high number of children start elementary school without having attended kindergarten. In 2019. They were 20 million, is, 56% of children did not have access to kindergarten.
Africa is a young continent and it has been progressing significantly when it comes to elementary school. However, disparities persist between countries and in the countries. Some groups of children face trouble to ensure the right to education, as the ones who live in underprivileged places, PWDs, in displacement, with their families and, particularly, the girls.
Given this scenario, PEPE has given hope to millions of children during its 21 years attending the continent. To many people, going to school was an unachievable dream, but came true in many cities, towns and villages in Africa. In a partnership with the local church, it is possible to offer a high quality education to the children that was excluded from this before, giving opportunity, then, to change the lives of these children, families and consequently the communities where they live.
The illiteracy in these countries is a barrier to child schooling, especially to marginalized groups. The human is a social being and in Africa this statement is seen and lived with intensity.
Then, PEPE does not work just with children, but also with their families through PEPE-GOES, a program of visits and support to the families of the children assisted by the project. In these visits, the local church becomes light in a practical testimony giving all the support possible to the families. Actions such as medical, spiritual (counseling, discipleship, baptisms) and social assistance are part of PEPE practices in many contexts.
The transformation in children’s lives can be seen through their cognitive and emotional development, but not only in these areas, it is possible also to see their spiritual growth, a discovering and experimenting process that the educators have the privilege to testify! Children are open to believe in God and they receive Jesus in their hearts.
Yes, PEPE has offered each benefitted child the opportunity to dream a better future, offering them a quality education and the hope of a worthy life, pointing the way to eternal life.
José Ricardo Nascimento
PEPE Africa Continental Coordinator
Translated by Débora Cristina Ribeiro dos Santos