Thursday, January 12, 2012

School Registration

It's that time of year again. We've been busy busy busy getting all of our reintegrated boys registered for the new school year. This is always a mission as things aren't necessarily easy here in Mozambique. This process of school registrations always reminds that i live in a 3rd World country! Here are some of the frustrations:

* The responsibility lies with the parents or guardians to go to the schools near their house and search for a school with space for their child. The schools here are very over-crowded with an average of 50-70 students per classroom so this is not always an easy task! Some of our boys live with aunts, uncles, or grandparents who are not able or willing to oversee the registration process so the responsibility then lies with us.

* Because most of our boys abandoned school in the past when they began living on the streets, the process of getting them back into school is even more complicated. We have to go speak to the directors personally and explain the role we, as a project, are playing in helping the boy reintegrate into his family and community. Often we have to pay a fine as well for the boy to be allowed back in the school.

* If the boy is starting at a different school then where he last studied, we have to go to the old school and request his grades. This usually takes a day or two so we have to return later to pick it up. With some of our boys, we have had to go to 3 or 4 different schools in his community before finding one with an opening in his grade.

* Many of our boys do not have proper documentation (birth certificate) or if they have it it is at a family members house 2 hours away. Without documentation its difficult to register a boy for school because we cannot prove his age. In these situations, we are usually able to get special permission from the director for the boy to start studying with the promise that we will organize his documents within a set period of time. Other boys have documentation but it's not accurate. For example, we have a 12 year old boy whose birth document says he is 16. We are trying to register him for grade 4 or 5 and having lots of trouble because of the age on his document.

At the end of the day, its worth all of the frustration of going from school to school because we firmly believe that education is an important aspect of our boys being successfully reintegrated into their families and communities. Without education, their are few hopes for a successful future. Without school, many of the boys would end up right back on the street.

Please be praying for our boys as they begin their new school year in the next week or so. After being on the street it is hard for them to discipline themselves to go to school and study. Pray for good teachers who will really invest in them. Pray for the boys to truly see the value of education and the impact it has on their future.


Andrea Warren said...

I do believe you will be getting an email if you haven't already but I will tell you here as well.

My name is Andrea. I have three children, all boys, and have been married for 9.5 years. While my husband stayed home with the sleeping baby and our sick middle son, my oldest and I walked to church. When we got home, we promptly made lunch and sat down to enjoy each other's company.

During our normal chatter, my oldest son, Jackson, age 8 piped up and said,"Mom, I want to go door to door and ask people to donate school supplies." I gave him one of those "tell me more, what are you talking about" looks. He proceeded to tell me that he felt like he wanted to gather up a bunch of school supplies to send to kids in Africa. After some questioning, it was clear that God had put it on his heart...nothing from Sunday school, school or TV had put this idea in his head. He then let me know what his plan for executing this would be and I jumped on board.

I went on facebook see if anyone knew of a missionary group currently serving in Africa because to be honest, I had no idea what to do with the supplies once he gathered them! A friend on there said her sister and aunt had served over there and still had a friend in the field. That's where you come in! :)

I am happy to announce that you will be getting a box sometime in March with a variety of school supplies for the boys. He is very excited to be helping your kids there.

I look forward to keeping up with your blog.

Andrea and Jackson Warren

Andrea Warren said...

By the way, I set up a blog for his Mozambique Projects. I linked to your page, too! :)

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