The New Year is off to a great start for the sponsored children at the House of Refuge. January was a time of new beginnings and in Nicaragua it means the beginning of a new school year! Did you know these facts about Nicaragua’s school attendance rates?
- According to UNICEF, it is estimated that approximately 11% of youth have NO formal education and 26% of youth have attained at most incomplete primary education, meaning that in total 37% of 15-24 year olds have not completed primary education in Nicaragua.
- In Nicaragua, 18% of children of official primary school ages are out of school.
Deybin is a thirteen year old young boy who is part of the House of Refuge Orphan Prevention Center. He is the only child and belongs to a family living in poverty in Leon, Nicarargua with no father around. When he was first brought to the House of Refuge, Deybin had little to no education. He could not even write his name. He did not have a desire to learn at all.
- According to the Ministry of Education of Nicaragua, 19.8% children are out of school for both primary and lower secondary school age. Poverty usually drives children out of school and into work.
- UNICEF representative, Philippe Barragne-Bigot, was described in The Guardian as believing that “Children drop out because of cultural norms driven by the cycle of poverty, poor-quality, lacklustre classes and the chronic lack of economic opportunities that makes school seem pointless.”
The fact that so many children drop out of school in order to join the workforce raises another concern: child labor. Nicaragua scores high in child labor. It is estimated that there are between 250,000 and 320,000 child workers in the country, with one in three under the age of 14. (Children Beyond Our Borders)
Deybin has been worked alongside with the “Tias” (Teachers) so he can have the opportunity to finish is secondary education. Through the House of Refuge, Deybin, along with the other children, have received backpacks filled with all the school supplies they need to complete their public education.
Just like Deybin, most of the children at the House of Refuge would love a chance to continue their public education because they know it will open many doors for them as they grow up and find a decent job to support them and their families. Here at the House of Refuge, we find BOTH Spiritual and Public education can help break the cycle of poverty, the chains of drug and alcohol addiction where these families have lived in through many generations, which is why it is important for the House of Refuge to receive dedicated sponsors for the children of Leon, Nicaragua.
As the second year of the House of Refuge begins, please be in prayer for each of the children at the center. Often times, we struggle with parents on the importance of school attendance. Here at the House of Refuge, we desire to make a difference in Leon.
The children were excited to receive their new backpacks and supplies and were enthused in returning back to school. As we continue to receive new sponsors, we can continue to accept new students at the House of Refuge.