10 Apr Sunlight In The Darkness
In rural Tanzania, many children do not have access to education because of poverty, or because their help is needed at home to run the household or take care of animals and farmland. Those who get to go to school may have to walk long distances as there are not schools accessible to all small villages. So between chores, walking, school hours, and studying, the daylight runs out for students before their tasks end. These obstacles are often greater for female students, as they are culturally expected to take on the work of running the household and caring for younger children. Older girls often miss some school each month due to lack of menstrual health supplies, and they also learn to fear being out after darkness falls at 6:00.
Rural Tanzania is Ester’s home. She lives with her mother and four sisters. Since joining the Lahash Child Sponsorship Program, she has been able to rise to many of these challenges and make great progress academically. She is now in her second year of secondary school (high school). But her responsibilities as a student and as a young woman are always increasing, and the street where she lives does not yet have access to electricity. She is always racing the darkness.
If she stays home, there are too many people in the house who all need to use the same limited light sources, so she struggles with keeping up on homework and grades. If she walks to her friend’s house with electricity, she is out at night which is not safe. When the staff from the Lahash’s partner ministry, Path Of Hope, asked what she needed most for Christmas this year, a solar lamp was high on her list. These simple devices are life-changing! By storing up energy from the bright Tanzanian sun, they can light up small homes like Ester’s at night. Homework and household chores can be done safely, even after the sunlight has faded.
Ester was so thankful to receive the solar lamp and set-up kit for Christmas from her sponsor, along with a new pair of shoes for walking to and from school and a suitcase to use at home for keeping her clothes and other items off the floor and organized. By bringing sunlight into the darkness, the solar lamp is increasing not only Ester’s academic performance but also her personal safety.
All the kids in the Lahash Child Sponsorship Program have been racing the darkness throughout their lives. They have bravely persevered through the darkness of poverty, malnutrition, sickness and disease, family and housing instability, loss and grief, and every other form of trauma that has shaped their childhood. Light breaks into that darkness when they are accepted into one of the wonderful programs run by our Lahash ministry partners across East Africa, and then get matched with a sponsor! It not only lights up their day-to-day lives, it helps them feel the Light of the World shining on them and within them. By that Light, they start to look beyond the shadows, and see a future stretching out before them that is bright, hopeful, and full of promise!
Are you a child sponsor yet? If not, visit lahash.org/sponsorship to see the kids who are still waiting to be matched. For only $37/month, you can make a decision that will light up their life and yours!