Refugees Get Schooling through TV — the Cries of Middle Eastern and Northern African Children

Youtube screen capture of a SAT-7 ACADEMY programme, City of Stars

 

“Through satellite TV, we can reach out to 450 million people in this part (Middle East and North Africa) of the world, where most people have never met a Christian, seen a church or had a Bible in their own hands, but they can see the Gospel at home. They can watch our programmes in their language 24 hours a day — our production crew knows their problems and difficulties, and also their source of happiness.” —Kurt Johansen, executive director of SAT-7 Europe, Asia and Pacific

 

The conflict in Syria has already been 8 years. Although extremist group ISIS was reported driven out of the country, this multi-nations battle is yet to be ended. The Syrian government forces were still fighting with the rebels in May. Chronic warfare resulted in uncountable casualties and destruction. Millions of civilians lost their homes, and were either displaced within the country or have fled to countries in the Middle East and North Africa to seek asylum, such as Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. When their homelands were still devastated by conflicts, rebuilding their country seemed impossible. How do these refugees live in neighbouring countries? Why are their children and other Middle Eastern and North African children described as “the lost generation”? While facing multifaceted challenges, how does this younger generation bear hope for the future? Kurt Johansen, executive director of SAT-7 Europe, Asia and Pacific, a partner of CEDAR, answered our questions one by one.

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We are awake: STOP Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

[“SHARE” APR – JUN 2019 ] JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS

 

We put on armors to fight to eliminate harmful traditional practices
Subvert the harmful influences and effects
We are united and determined to take actions
Because we are now well awaken to the scourge.

 

Ignorant people in the past
Have been badly harmed by them
Because they did not know any better.
Ignorant people in the past believed
Harmful traditional practices were good for them
When indeed their lives were at stake.

 

Female Genital Mutilation is a major harmful practice.
Sugar-coated as prestigious and noble,
FGM suffocated our mothers
We regret and repent for the harm incurred.
FGM steals away sexual pleasures, corrupts marriages
And adds complications to child birth.

 

(Lyrics edited by CEDAR Fund, originally written by a member
from the ant-FGM group in Ethiopia.)

 

Under the warmth of the bright and serene sun, a group of Ethiopian village and school girls stood before a hundred villagers, and sang the above song with shiny smiles and beaming faces. Some of them had a uniformed yellow T-shirt on, where the slogan “STOP Female Genital Mutilation” was displayed clearly in the local language. This day was the special day of village education day, and also the performance day of the advocacy club.

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Let the Community Be Responsible for Their Children’s Education

[“SHARE” JAN – MAR 2019 ] JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS

 

Education is a very important part of eradicating poverty. Yet, many children living in low-income countries do not have the opportunity to receive proper education. Their parents are usually occupied by work to earn a living to put food on the table, thus they seldom think about the future of their children, who they thought would likely share similar fate like them. Because in their eyes, earning income to support their families is more important than getting an educational access for their children.

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Julie who Does Not Give In to Circumstances

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2018 ] JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS

 

Every individuals should be entitled to basic human rights, no matter adults or children. However, in reality, millions of children are far from having their rights secured. Children’s rights is not just an ideology, but are about children’s survival, children being free from any form of abuse and exploitation, children’s entitlement to education, children’s freedom of expression and their rights to enjoy social and cultural lives.

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Growing Up in the City’s Forgotten Place

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Situated in southern India, Chennai is the sixth biggest city in the country. It is the cultural, economic, and academic hub of South India. Many travel websites named Chennai as “hottest city for travellers” and one of the “best cosmopolitan city”, attracting numerous tourists and expats. However, behind the prosperity are families in slums struggling with everyday living.

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Me as an Ordinary Person

[“SHARE” APR – JUN 2018 ] JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS

 

Amongst the children ministries of CEDAR and its partners, post-war children ministry in Myanmar must be the most well-known one. You may ask, “Why do we still support this particular children ministry after two decades?” The answer is simple: Because it is worth it. We saw how God worked amazingly on these children, and we hope that they will become ambassadors for reconciliation.

 

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