Jun23WedJune 23, 2021 By the TWR Canada Team
This past week, we recognized two important days. The first is International Day of the African Child on June 16, where we recognize the barriers African children face in receiving a quality education. The second is World Refugee Day on June 20, where we focused our attention on the plight of refugees worldwide.
TWR Canada knows the difference that an education can make on a child’s life. Through TWR Kenya’s Atoo Sifa station in Kakuma, listeners are hearing messages about physical health, biblical topics such as forgiveness, Bible stories and the importance of education. This station has been broadcasting live from Kakuma for eight months now and has continued to gain popularity among refugees in the Kakuma refugee camp and those in the host community.
Periodically, the station invites the Ministry of Education and likeminded organizations to come and talk about the importance of education. The station also runs Bible Stories Alive, which is a program for children produced in partnership with A Visit with Mrs. G Ministries in Toronto, ON. This program is well-loved by both refugee children and the local children. It has also gained a good following through online streaming, where children are participating from Mombasa, a coastal city which is about 1,200 km from Kakuma!
Our team at Kakuma first met Simon when he was grazing about 20 goats in the plains surrounding Atoo Sifa radio station. One day, he came carrying a clear plastic bottle of brown water. He had fetched the water from a nearby lagga (the muddy remnant of a dry riverbed) to drink while looking after the goats. The daily weather in Kakuma is typically hot with highs of 38-39 and lows of 26-29 degrees Celsius.
Simon is about six years old and, in the Kenyan school system, he should be in grade one or two, but he has never been to school and there are no signs of him ever attending. This is very common in Turkana County, where parents rely on their children to take care of livestock and don’t see the value in sending their kids to school. The staff at the station continue to engage in conversations with various child shepherds whenever they bring their flocks close to the station compound.
In the nearby Kakuma refugee camp, the refugee children receive free education, but there are unique challenges that hamper refugee children from attaining the highest level of education.
Papa T with his children's listener group Florette with her new Bible
Within the camp, Papa Teyiana, a faithful listener of the Kakuma station, acts as a guardian for many of the refugee children living there. He has organized a children’s listener group, and every Saturday morning, he gathers children in the refugee camp to come listen to the radio. Florette is a six-year-old refugee girl who is part of the group. The team invited Florette to the studio to receive a Bible after she had answered some of the Bible Stories Alive program questions correctly. She was so overjoyed.
We praise God for the new station at Kakuma refugee camp and the clear signal that has been broadcasting for eight months. We are so grateful for the work TWR Kenya is doing to promote childhood education, and how they are using Bible Stories Alive to share God’s love with refugee children. Please pray that those listening to the multitude of programs broadcast from Sifa Atoo will find hope in Jesus Christ.