International (MNN) – In 2017, children have been increasingly used as weapons of war. According to The Guardian, kids have been forced into being suicide bombers, they’ve been used as human shields, and they’re targets for extremist recruitments. Meanwhile, nearly 30 million children in these conflict zones have been kept from pursuing their education.
Children of War
Furthermore, other horrors children have faced in conflict zones in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Myanmar include abduction, enslavements, forced marriages, and even rape.
One of the major culprits of this abuse over the last few years has been ISIS. As of this month, though, 97 percent of ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria has been liberated. However, analysts are warning ISIS may be retreating into a virtual caliphate to use lone wolves for attacks. Again, kids are often targeted for recruitment and radicalization.
But, Tent Schools International has been working hard to counter the negative developmental effects ISIS and other terrorist actions have had on refugee children. How? Through education.
Change Through Education
This year, the ministry saw great strides for how they are meeting the needs of refugees all over the world.
“Tent Schools has really grown. This year we started that laptop program, both domestically for refugee families and also for schools overseas. Who are dealing specifically with refugees like in Nepal and Jordan, Lebanon, and Tanzania,” Tent Schools’ Dale Dieleman shares.
A school in Nepal recently asked for 20 more laptops so it can continue to meet the needs of the students. Tent Schools is really excited about what these schools have been able to do with the resources they’ve been given.
Dieleman recently received a quote from an eighth-grader in Nepal saying, “My favorite day is every day because when I come to school I have a new environment to learn new things. Every day we learn about God’s creation in our chapel, but it’s also fun to learn new things. And I like going to school five days a week.”
Why Education Helps
Educating refugee children is important for a number of reasons. For one, they’re being equipped to live God’s plans for them. Curious how laptops help do this? Well, they give these children access to online tools they otherwise wouldn’t have.
It can be a simple as having access to a Bible app or audio Bible as well as information about the world beyond their city’s borders. It’s this kind of learning and growing these kids don’t have access to at home.
Furthermore, these laptops help teachers be better equipped to teach the students and build relationships with them. Also, education makes the kids less vulnerable to extremist recruitments.
It informs them, builds relationships through which the Gospel is shared, and gives them the necessary tools needed to be employable, communicate effectively, think for themselves, and contribute to the societies they live in.
“These are kids who have been abandoned or rescued, and we just feel so great that through their access to the internet and they’ve been able to really expand their learning opportunities. So, we just want to thank God for that,” Dieleman shares.
“Please, please do not give up on refugees or displaced people. Whether they’re overseas. Whether your church is considering sponsoring or being involved with a refugee family. I mean, if you really want to make your church come alive, this is the way to do it.”
How to Help
One of the simplest, but most powerful ways to help, is through prayer. So please, pray for the spiritual, emotional, and mental challenges these kids and their parents face.
Ask God to protect them from spiritual warfare, provide for the physical needs, and to also give them hope and encouragement. Pray for Tent Schools’ ability to continue reaching these kids with both education and the Gospel message.
Want to tangibly help? Then consider giving to Tent Schools International and help provide schools and refugee children with a laptop for learning.
To donate and learn more about Tent Schools’ laptop program, click here!
Tent Schools thanks all the partners who’ve prayed for and donated to their ministry this year.