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Our Philosophy: The gift of education to transform lives

In everything we do, we seek to serve the whole person: physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Whether addressing the needs of a vulnerable child, the challenges facing a family in poverty, or the issues preventing a community from thriving, we deal with specific problems with the understanding that each issue interacts with and impacts others. In this series, we focus on one specific facet of the complex challenges facing those in need around the world.

For most of us, going to school was something to be endured while we waited for life to “truly begin”. But for many of the world’s most vulnerable children, going to school is the key to unlocking life opportunities that can break their community’s cycle of poverty. Education is powerful; so powerful it can transform lives for generations. 

Education has a long-term and sustained impact on a family and community. It’s the foundation for getting a job. Jobs fight the root causes of poverty by providing families consistent income. When adults can support their families, their children are more likely to attend school. Children with a rich foundation of learning have better options for employment and are better able to lead financially stable families and strong communities when they grow up. In this way, a strong education has the power to accelerate generations out of poverty. 

According to a report from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), about 263 million youth worldwide (or one in every five) are not in school — a figure that has barely changed over the past five years. The UIS figures confirm that across sub-Saharan Africa, one in every three youths are out of school — with girls more likely to be excluded than boys. For every 100 boys of primary school age who are out of school, there are 123 girls denied the right to education.

At Cross International, we understand the challenges of poverty are interrelated. When a child is sick, hungry, or worried about where to sleep, focus — and hope — is lost. That’s why our educational initiatives are multi-faceted. Together with our ministry partners, our school programs seek not only to provide a place to learn, but to serve as a pillar in a community that offers a stable food supply, a community shelter for emergencies, and a space to find good counsel, learn about the gospel, and find hope. An integrated Christian education is more than teaching children about Jesus and His ministry, it is laying the groundwork for a commitment to life-long learning and service. 

To provide the greatest impact, we often focus most heavily on providing educational opportunities to those who would otherwise have no option. For example, over-aged children who are too old to enroll in primary school, but who still need a primary school education. By focusing on those who are the most marginalized, we can offer education to those who have no alternatives available to them. Our educational programs offer a full spectrum of options, including primary and elementary school services, educational infrastructure support, higher learning opportunities and vocational training. We also provide for unique needs like night school, support for children with disabilities, and adult literacy programs. 

We believe children shouldn’t just survive, they should thrive. These educational efforts have a unique power to transform lives from the inside out. Education is the key to equipping children and families with the intellectual tools they need to shape innovative solutions and find opportunities of their own. While a lack of education and illiteracy can contribute heavily to the generational cycle of poverty, education can have an equal and opposite positive impact on generations.

By giving children a strong education and the hope of the gospel, you give them the opportunity for stable families and strong communities as they grow up. Your prayers and partnership in our Thriving Kids ministry makes that possible. Will you join us in offering education to those in need so they can transform their lives and communities for His glory?

OTHER STORIES

Kenyan girl coloring a book while boy looks at her

Partner Highlight: Kupenda for the Children, Kenya

Many people in Kenya believe that disabilities are caused by witchcraft or are a punishment from God. Kupenda for the Children’s mission is to fight against these harmful beliefs by training community leaders to serve as advocates for children with disabilities.

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Children receiving lunch at the DSS summer feeding program

A Summer Without Hunger

Summer can be an extremely difficult time for children in the developing world. For some, school lunches are the only food they can rely on and without consistent meals, these children can begin slipping into malnutrition.

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Any gift you give before the end of the year will be MATCHED dollar for dollar, up to $75,000, to transform lives not only now, but into the future!

Help Children With Disabilities

The UN estimates that between 93 and 150 million children worldwide live with a disability. In developing countries, these children are often unable to attend school, play outside or access specialized resources. Negative stigma or superstition among their parents, neighbors and community leaders often reinforce these barriers.

This year, we’re providing $60,000 worth of medical equipment to Kupenda for the Children in Kenya. This is a very remote location, and your gift will help cover the shipping costs to this very worthy medical outreach.

This gift will benefit: Kenya

Heal the Sick

In developed countries, basic medical supplies such as gauze, wraps, bandages, and syringes are commonplace. Unfortunately, that is often not the case in the developing world. Christian doctors and volunteers in developing countries frequently run low on these supplies, and they also lack the funds to keep large inventories on hand.

This year, we’re providing $84 million worth of medicines and medical supplies. Your gift will help cover the shipping costs to medical outreaches in some of the most remote areas of the globe

This gift will benefit: Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya

Build a Family a Home

A gift of a safe, secure home is tangible affirmation of God’s love for a desperate family — it brings hope, health, stability and opportunity. Most poor families must settle for much less. Mired in poverty, they are forced to live in unsafe shacks fashioned from mud and thatch.

You can provide the life-changing gift of a safe, storm-resistant new home with Cross partners Ambuya Development Center in Malawi and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A new home will ease the family’s burdens, protect them from the wind and rain, and help them achieve their dreams.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Malawi

Education

The gift of an education is an investment that reaps long-term dividends for a child’s future. By opening doors for the children of the poor to enroll in Christian schools and get the same educational opportunities as their more economically well-off peers, you are giving not just a hand-out but a “hand-up.”

Your gift will fund Christian education to nurture vulnerable children mentally and spiritually — for thriving futures that will transform hopeless places.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Ecuador, Uganda

Rescue Women and Children in Crisis

Through emergency child rescue services, vocational training, anti-trafficking programs and Bible literacy classes, Cross International is helping vulnerable women and children reclaim their lives. Inspired by Jesus’ love, we work shoulder to shoulder with our in-country partners, empowering them to create change that lasts so that those who need help will eventually be able to stand confidently on their own. Be a part of this good news and make a life-saving gift part of your holidays.

Your gift will help protect victims of gender-based violence and also help save marginalized women and children from harm.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua

Provide Clean, Safe Water

Our ministry partner, the Kachere Development Center, has an ambitious plan to install 20 wells, providing 5,160 adults and 8,414 children with clean water. Our goal is to finance the drilling and installation of one well – part of an entire community water system, which includes training to maintain the well, and sanitation and hygiene training for improved health.

One borehole can provide 2,800 gallons of safe, life-sustaining water every day. Help us bring clean, safe water to one of these villages today — in a way that will last for generations.

This gift will benefit: Zambia

Give Tools for Sustainable Farming

One of nine people worldwide survive on less than $1.90 a day. Without training and supplies to grow moneymaking crops and breed profitable livestock, poor farmers stay locked in the cycle of poverty.

By supporting this fund, you’ll help families break free of poverty — transforming lives for generations. When families get the training and tools they need, it means bountiful harvests and small animals that produce income for a sustainable business model.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Nicaragua

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries.

Your gift will provide meals for ministry partners such as Divine Shelter Schools in Haiti and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

Most Urgent Needs

Inspired by the love of Jesus, we work shoulder to shoulder with local leaders overseas, equipping families with the resources they need to thrive – basics like food, clean water and healthcare, as well as longer-term community transformation projects that will ensure lasting change.

By giving to our Thriving Kids Initiative, you’re not only meeting children’s Most Urgent Needs, you’re also helping lift their families – even entire communities – out of poverty.

This gift will benefit: Africa, The Caribbean, Central America, South America

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries like Haiti, Malawi, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Your gift will support the provision of meals and other basic services that are essential for survival. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

Recommended Gift
$1,000 will feed 30 children for a month | $5,000 will feed 80 children for a month | $10,000 will feed 92 children for a month | $20,000 will feed 184 children for a month

Donate to Cross International’s Thriving Kids Initiative