Your Help is Needed Now More Than Ever! - Part 2
AEP began in 2009 to support Bishop John Danbinta's vision to provide educational opportunities to children of all faiths, regardless of gender or ethnicity in a less fortunate part of the world. We learned during our 2009 trip to Nigeria that certain school children in northern Nigeria were discriminated against, and that our partners live very close to an area that has, for years, been a hotbed of religious tension and violence. We started with the same goal we have today – to educate children of different faiths side-by-side without discrimination so that they learn together how to resolve their differences by non-violent means.
We knew nothing of Boko Haram (which had just formed in 2009), or that their acts would today represent the most extreme violence in the region, all in the name of stamping out modern education.
We always knew that our work was important. Only through the light of wisdom that shines more clearly in the dark shadows of tragedy have we recently understood our work to also be urgent. The many writings similar to Lola Shoneyin’s article, written in response to the mass kidnapping of Nigerian school girls, have revealed much greater insight into just how dire the state of education is in northern Nigeria.
We have gained an appreciation for the challenges facing northern Nigerian school girls – challenges not all that different from those documented in other parts of Africa (another informative article discussing non- profit assistance for female students in Zamfara state is at http://tinyurl.com/pahqwzz). As Ms. Shoneyin points out in her article, the World Bank recently reported that Nigeria has the highest number of children out of school in the world.
We are not only helping our partners provide an education of reconciliation over violence – we are indeed helping them provide an education in the first place. It is no wonder that demand for additional classroom space at Graceland International is so high, with many families asking when the second classroom block will be ready.
But we need your help and the help of everyone you know who has a passion for the power of education, for ensuring that education is made equally available to both girls and boys, and for fighting against extremist violence and fear.
You can either donate directly from www.africaep.org, or send a check payable to Africa Education Partnership, 99 Sand Hill Road, South Windsor, CT 06074. All of your donations are tax deductible. If you have made a pledge, consider paying ahead to help us raise enough money to complete the second classroom block before the start of this academic year. On behalf of the AEP Board, thank you for your continued support, and especially for helping us reach our goal of opening the second block of classrooms by the start of the upcoming academic year.
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