February in Sudan and South Sudan is an exciting time because it is the beginning of the new school year! For the past few weeks, our children have been reorienting themselves to their school year schedule and getting to know their new grade teachers. Some have been promoted from their journey through primary school to a new and rigorous high school curriculum!
It’s amazing to look back on this photo from 2005 and remember where our children began. War uprooted their lives and in the wake of that violence our children were too soon ushered into adulthood and forced to fend for themselves in the wilderness.
But God was up to something new and a global movement grew that has added strength to the expansive, transformation movement of LUV.
Because of your partnership, our schools today are very different and hundreds of lives are being infused with hope!
Preventing human trafficking in warzones where extreme poverty is the norm requires an agile multi-tiered approach to address injustices and inequities that leave children and women vulnerable and exploited.
With illiteracy rates as high as 70% in those over 15 years of age in South Sudan, empowering educational opportunities has been one of our primary focuses. However, education is more than just book knowledge and our programs also incorporate spiritual and emotional development and mentoring to support children on their journey toward adulthood*.
Our education program also includes:
Sports and recreation
Art and drama
Bible study and discipleship opportunities
This year we are also expanding our girls mentoring groups and developing a training program on farming practices, animal husbandry, and entrepreneurship so that our children have practical skill-sets to help them after they graduate*.
Our children have big dreams! They also have big challenges facing their nations—instability and corruption, lack of schools, healthcare or mental health resources, lack of infrastructure like clean water, bridges and paved roads, electricity, and waste management, as well as, climate change issues, and few employment, business or agribusiness opportunities (to name just a few).
However, since this mission began in 2005 we are seeing hearts, minds, lives and communities transformed. And, I know of nearly 2,000 precious lives and reasons to have hope for the future!
The act of lifting requires strength. We are strongest when we lift together. There is more to do to prevent human trafficking in warzones. Join us as we lift, encourage, and empower the dreams of the next generation of compassionate and educated peacemakers who will continue to lead the way toward hope, healing, and love!
Partners in Christ,
Chief Executive Officer
Also this February, the world watches and waits to determine if South Sudan and Sudan leaders will lead their nations toward peace:
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED : GIVE LUV TODAY
A generous donor has offered a LUV Day/Valentine’s Day matching grant of $25,000! Any donation designated for “Food” today through February 29th will be doubled and your gift will help us specifically send nourishing food to the vulnerable in Sudan and South Sudan.
*I’m often asked if we ‘age-out’ the children in our program. The truth is that some of our children begin school when they are 11, 12, 13, or even 16 years of age! So instead of “aging out” students we encourage them to finish high school. We understand that the traditional education track of K-12 is not the norm in nations were there is civil unrest. There are many older students who are responsible for the care of their elders and siblings; or who have had children themselves. This year we are also taking beginning steps to support and empower more children toward thriving even if they decide schooling is not the best option for them at this time. Stay tuned for more updates on this emerging program!