The Child Rescue Centre is encouraging Senior Secondary school graduates to consider vocational or technical education if they don't do well on the college entrance exam. Throughout West Africa, graduates of Senior Secondary School (high school equivalent) sit for the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), to determine their eligibility for further education. Upon receiving their results, CRC students are welcomed to apply for a Promise Scholarship for university or votech programs. Many CRC students who scored high on the WASSCE have pursued university degrees including medicine, engineering, journalism, applied science, or social work. However, the test is difficult and many students don't earn scores that will gain them entrance to university.
The CRC aims to remove any stigma about votech education, and help every student become a self-sufficient, contributing member of their community. Director Olivia Fonnie and the CRC staff recently met with graduates to encourage them to consider vocational or technical training. "There are many successful individuals who do not go to college; they went to technical or vocational school," CRC Case Manager Victor Kanu explained. CRC graduate Amara Foday used his scholarship to attend welding school, a highly sought-after skill in Sierra Leone (read about Amara here) and is now enjoying a career in the booming Sierra Leone construction industry. CRC students have successfully completed vocation and technical education programs including catering, tailoring, and auto mechanics.
The CRC is offering extra tutoring and preparation classes for the students who decide to take the WASSCE again, in hopes of improving their scores.
"If you're not at the table, you're on the menu." - Simon Noronge, Jabali Foundation
Helping Children Worldwide was honored to be at the table with global child welfare leaders for the "The Global Church’s Response to Children Without Parental Care," in conjunction with the 2019 UN General Assembly on September 23rd in New York City. The group met to strategize how to engage the global church in the family reintegration movement, which seeks to place every orphaned or abandoned child in a safe and loving family. Melody Curtiss and Laura Horvath represented HCW in the meeting with other leaders of child welfare and faith organizations, including World Vision, 1MILLIONHOME, Catholic Relief Services, Home for Good, and the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). Many of the participants were present at HCW's Rising Tides policy conference last month.
The meeting was organized by Krish Kandiah, Founding Director of Home for Good, and Elli Oswald, Executive Director of Faith to Action. Krish encouraged the assembly that the global church could become a "champion for children," and fulfill the Biblical promise to "let your light shine before men that they should see your deeds and praise you," by leading the movement to find loving families for all children. "Although the western church has historically been a driving force in the proliferation of orphanages, it is poised now to become a huge part of the solution to the problem," Krish concluded. Doug Leonard, World Council of Church representative to the UN, assured the group that they "can be a vehicle for advocacy to the UN on behalf of every child's right to grow up in safe, stable families."
Presentations by the participants framed the challenge:
HCW is an endorser of the Key Recommendations. Plans are underway to share the impact of the meeting with other Christian organizations, and develop language to communicate the mission and purpose of the group to share with church leaders across denominations.
Above: Krish Kandish (second from right) and Elli Oswald (right) convened the meeting of child welfare and faith leaders.