Grateful to Learn: Educational Scholarships in East Africa

Kanjogo's family have received educational scholarships for the last five years.  From left to right: Kanjogo, Prudence, Wanja, Faith.

As an organization, we believe that education is a human right and necessity. We consider ourselves a development organization, but that development is particularly in relation to education. We hold tightly to the expectation given to parents in Deuteronomy 6--to take the education of their children seriously--so that ‘you and your children and your children’s children, may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long’ (Deut. 6:2). As seriously as we assume the responsibility of educating our own biological children, we also consider ourselves responsible for the children whom we have come into relationship with. We think that the friends we have made in the regions we work are worthy to receive the same things we do--and in particular, deserve the opportunity to receive education. Because we believe that our friends have great potential to partner with us in our mission, we have chosen to invest in their children, by providing for their school fees. With the investment of individual members of G.O.D. Int’l and their individual supporters, we have provided for dozens of children to be educated in the four international regions where we work. We believe that with such an opportunity, they are better enabled to live healthier, fuller lives, and be a blessing to those around them.

Currently, in East Africa alone, we provide educational scholarships for 17 children, aged preschool through University, with several more on the horizon. The children we support are not randomly selected, but are the result of what we believe to be God’s involvement. Some are the sons and daughters of our cooperatives and others are children that we have come into contact with as we’ve worked in the region. These children have more complicated family situations, but have demonstrated a hunger to learn, character enough to take it seriously, as well as a degree of gifting that will help them to excel. We believe that the recipients of these scholarships can be a great benefit to their families and communities. The following paragraphs contain two testimonies, the first is from a parent of a child who received a scholarship beginning in preschool in Kenya and the second is from a young man who is attending a university in Kampala, Uganda.

Prudence has just completed lower primary (the equivalent of 3rd grade), and is looking forward to class 4.

“We humbly requested for the ministry’s support five years ago when Prudence was a small child but ready to join school. You responded positively because of your love for education. This young girl is now eight years old. She has successfully completed what is known as lower class education this week. She will be joining class 4 [upper primary that goes up to class 8] in January 2013. Throughout the five years, our daughter has proved that she loves education. Prudence literally cries aloud when she doesn’t understand things from the books. We sincerely lack sufficient words to express our gratitude for your commitment to see these kids go through school. Only God knows precisely how this is going to transform communities in near future.”

              --Erastus and Wanja Kanjogo, parents of Prudence (age 8), Kenya
“When I heard the news that I was granted a chance to study in Kampala on scholarship, courtesy of Global Outreach Developments International, I was very excited. My dream of furthering my studies was coming true. Thanks to the Almighty God for His loving kindness and tender mercies towards me and my entire family. I am short of words to express my gratitude to the G.O.D International family for this gesture of goodwill to empower the poor.
I am confident that the skills I will learn will help me to help others. One thing that I have been telling God, my fellow colleagues and moreso myself, is that God has allowed us to study for the purpose of serving Him by living for others in need. A majority of my college mates and even the lecturers are doing what they are doing for the purpose of making money and a name. The Lord has been teaching me to dedicate my studies for the sole aim of helping others in the field of my profession. Possibly this could be happening to me, owing to the fact that I am a beneficiary of goodwill from a family of GOD International whose concept is to serve others.
 --Japheth Odayo, Kenya, attending Kampala International University in Uganda

Erastus and Wanja Kanjogo and Japeth Odayo are only two of many testimonies similar in nature. We praise God for their commitment to education despite seemingly overwhelming challenges. We pray for the means to support even more children who need our help receiving basic education (we know plenty of them!), and invite you to share this burden with us, as many of you already have.