When a child learns, communities benefit and lives change.

From Canada to Burkina Faso, and Bangladesh to Serbia, MCC is promoting education in order to foster leadership capabilities and help young people overcome obstacles locally and around the world.

Through MCC’s education programs, we work alongside local communities and partners to increase access to education, improve the quality of education, support vocational training and promote peace.

Here are a few of our programs doing just that:

Seed of Hope – Ougadougou, Burkina Faso

MCC photo/James Souder

This education program through MCC’s partner Assemblies of God AIDS Action (ASAD) pays for school, food and medical costs for children affected by HIV and AIDS.

Above, Théodore Kangambega is pictured giving advice to children during one of ASAD's monthly meetings. Each month, the families socialize and participate in lectures and debates, centred on health and education.

Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme –Rajshahi, Bangladesh

MCC photo/Dave Klassen

Indigenous communities are among the most vulnerable communities in Bangladesh, facing poverty and language barriers.

MCC addresses these issues by supporting multilingual education and homework clubs for children from these communities through our partner Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme (CBSDP). This organization runs a multilingual education program in six schools in Rajshahi district, including the school where Megha Baski, left, and Prity Murmu, right, study. Multilingual preschools help prepare indigenous children to enter the mainstream education system in Bangladesh. The homework club helps students stay in school by reviewing what they’ve learned in class.

MCC photo/Dave Klassen

MCC worked with teachers, like Shefali Hebrom, and CBSDP staff to develop a standard curriculum for Santali children who are enrolled in the schools. 

Guarderia Moisés – Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Stansberry photo/Juliane Kozel

MCC partners with Stansberry Children’s Home in Bolivia’s capital. The children’s home has been a refuge for abandoned children since 1954. It also runs a daycare program called Guarderia Moisés, providing a safe, educational environment where children can learn and grow while their parents are focused on sustaining their families. Pictured above, students in the pre-kindergarten class attend their last week of classes at the daycare program.

Bolivian schools run for half days, leaving many children vulnerable while their parents are at work. The daycare provides snacks, play time and counselling to about 100 children from the children’s home and surrounding neighbourhood. The children’s parents can also participate in workshops focusing on improving life in the home, and in educational opportunities for those with little formal education.

Adult Learning and Education Facilitation – Kabul, Afghanistan

MCC photo/Emily Loewen

Life can be difficult for women who haven’t had a formal education. The Adult Learning and Education Facilitation (ALEF) project in Kabul, Afghanistan, concentrates on skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for these women to successfully navigate the literate world. Through classes on literacy, numeracy and conflict resolution, the MCC-supported project helps participants make better informed decisions to positively impact the well-being of their families and communities.

Bread of Life Belgrade Roma Education Program – Belgrade, Serbia 

MCC photo/Matthew Lester

Basic education can be challenging to complete when the ethnic group you belong to is oppressed.

Teaching assistant Amela Zejhulouski works with Besmir Bajrami, left, and Eldin Raimovski, right, at the Little School in Surčin, just outside Belgrade, Serbia. The school is part of Bread of Life Belgrade’s (BOLB) Roma education program, which is supported by MCC.

The project primarily helps Roma children complete elementary school and learn Serbian, and encourages parents to support their children’s education. The program also aims to decrease the prejudice toward Roma prevalent in the non-Roma population in schools and institutions. It also works to raise awareness of local authorities about their responsibility to actively work for the integration of the Roma into society. BOLB also provides adult education classes in Roma communities and leadership training for young adults.

International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP) – Canada and the U.S.

MCC photo/Alison Ralph

Moving across the world can be an education in and of itself!

Shirley Vaca Vargas, originally from Bolivia, is volunteering at the Indigenous Family Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, through MCC’s International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP). IVEP is a year-long work and cultural exchange opportunity for young, Christian adults. Each year, 60 IVEP participants come from more than 25 countries around the world to volunteer in the U.S. or Canada, where they live with a local person or family. IVEP participants serve at schools, MCC Thrift shops, retirement homes, daycares, farms and more. Shirley enjoys working with children, like Jordin LeClaire, five, pictured above, improving her English and learning about the Indigenous peoples of Canada. At home in Bolivia, Shirley studies medicine and plans to return to school at the end of the year when she moves back to Bolivia.

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