Stand With Students – Update!

As students across the U.S. head back to school, we want to celebrate our East African scholars and update you on the impact of Lahash’s Stand With Students (SWS) program!

In East Africa, only 2-5% of young people are able to attend Higher Education. Yet many find it difficult to earn a living with only a secondary school (high school) diploma. Due to decades of poverty, HIV/AIDS, and war in East African countries, it is really hard for most families to send their children to school. Young boys and girls lose hope of pursuing their future dream careers. In addition, growing up in poverty and struggling for basic survival leaves them needing help to lay a solid spiritual, emotional, and moral foundation with which to tackle the complex challenges of life.

The SWS program addresses these issues by pairing secondary school students with mature Christians in their local church and providing a curriculum for discipleship and mentorship as the young students transition into adult life.

Continued education has an unparalleled ability to open doors and create opportunities. “I want to appreciate the people who have helped Stand With Students,” says Michael Gere. “I didn’t ever think that one day I could go to higher education because of [my] hard life. But our God is good. He remembered me. And he has helped me. Now I have a lot of hope for my future. I’m on my way.”

SWS was created to help kids make the transition out of the Child Sponsorship Program and into young adulthood. Once a child has completed the Sponsorship Program and secondary school, they apply to join the SWS program. They go through the six-month mentorship process, gaining the life skills they need to prepare for university, college, or vocational training. If they are selected for a scholarship, Lahash covers their tuition and basic needs during the course of their studies.

Lahash Director Dan Holcomb visited with SWS scholars in Uganda during May

The outcomes are thrilling. Young men and women are confidently transitioning into adult life with a solid Christian spiritual foundation and with the skills, experience, and confidence they need to pursue meaningful careers. Many of these young adults are discovering that they are drawn to join ministries in their communities in order to bless others as they have been blessed. Sarah Night, a recent graduate, shared about her plans to return to serve at the children’s home where she was brought up. “I will have to give my time to volunteer with them. One of the things I would really love to do most as soon as I get there is to bring the little ones into the presence of God.”

Thanks to all of the donors who have invested in this program and in the lives of these young men and women!

SWS is a brilliant light shining across East Africa. If you would like to be a part of the work of SWS, or find out more, visit


“My name is called Sarah Night. Today I will tell the whole world that I am happy, I’ve grown up, I’ve gone to school. Thanks goes to all the communities of Lahash – for those ones who have given in. Be blessed. You guys are so, so, beautiful.”

– Sarah Night, Stand With Students Graduate

Jen Johnson