Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) has, as its mission, the coordination of programs which can openly and accountably offer help, respect and hope to those who, in any country and at any time, are fleeing from oppression, disaster, conflict, poverty and injustice.
One of its current programs is the provision of education and activities to some 200,000 refugees in the camps situated in the remote Kenyan village of Kakuma.
ALWS in association with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is providing primary education, early childhood development, child protection and sustainable livelihoods programs to its over 12,000 youth. Critical to the repatriation of these refugees is that they are included in these activities and can discover for themselves, that a brighter future is realisable.
Education will build confidence and awareness, with entire communities benefitting as it works to break cycles of intergenerational poverty.
One such student, 22 year-old Mawuor Gai, attends school and sits at the front desk of a classroom full of young learners. Gai is visually impaired and was unable to attend school due to lack of any programs to help pupils with vision impairment.
Now, and because of the ALWS program and the donation of a braille machine by the LWF, Gai keenly listens to the teacher give instructions as he skillfully punches the keyboard of a project. “Being unable to read and write like my agemates had left me in a state of desperation. My hope for a bright future has been revived by this life changing donation, for which I am eternally grateful. Reading and writing is no longer my headache” he explains as his face lightens up.
Gai says his dream is to one day become a teacher so that he can also empower individuals and transform his community. “I would like to thank donors for giving me hope when all hope was lost. The assistive devices have opened my eyes to a world of opportunities”.
His special needs teacher Tutu Haidar stated that ‘Children with special needs can very easily miss out on basic rights like education, and I am pleased that our school is giving such learners the chance to pursue their life aspirations.”
Who is the Australian Lutheran World Service?
ALWS reaches out in love, for justice. It brings together people willing to work in service to help end suffering. In partnerships, it works openly and accountably in supporting programs which welcome, respect and bring hope through care to those fleeing from, or hurt by, disaster, conflict, poverty or oppression.
ALWS adds it voice to the voices of those unheard and excluded, together crying out for justice so that all can live in just and sustainable communities.