In this third of four updates from my recent trip to Boma, the focus is on the educational element of our ministry in this community. Now that Faith Learning Center (FLC) is once again operational, we are faced with several challenges that must be addressed moving forward.
|Due to the lack of teachers, multiple grades are taught in each classroom. Also, there are not enough desks for every student so some sit on the floor.|
Faith Learning Center
One of our five strategic initiatives is to provide a Christian education for students in Boma. In 2007 the first two classes, Kindergarten and first grade, met for instruction and FLC was officially launched. Currently, we have 150 students attending in grades K-6. Thanks to the generosity of our partners, we were able to re-start the school in March after nearly a year of being closed. We are excited that the children again have the ability to learn and can receive a healthy meal each day. Praise God for this progress.
Robert writes the assignment on the board for the class three students.
Tribal fighting and rebel uprisings caused the school to be closed a year ago this past May. Students and their families that fled Boma are still in the process of returning. It was very important for us to re-start the school despite knowing we lacked the funding to fully equip FLC with sufficient staff and resources. Our only two Kenyan teachers at this point, Vincent and Robert, teach multiple grades in their overcrowded classrooms. Currently, we only have desks for 90 of the 150 students so the remaining kids just sit on the floor.
Carlitos is one of our brightest class 5 students
While this is sad, the alternative of having no school was not acceptable. Our 5th and 6th grade girls are reaching an age when their parents will soon be arranging their marriages; every day that school was closed reduced our opportunity to teach these children lessons that will affect their future. Therefore, we believed the best course of action was to re-start the school and then seek funding to add staff, desks and textbooks.
|Students at FLC wearing their new soccer shirts donated by Coram Deo Academy in Texas|