Every Child Everywhere in School Education Campaign Enlists 550,000 Signatures and Counting

With a goal of one million signed petitions, the Every Child Everywhere In School campaign has surpassed its half-way mark, reaching more than 556,000 signatures.

Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Michael Kruger, president for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), shared sentiments about the recent milestone.

“Half a million signatures is a testament as a global Christian family that every boy and girl worldwide deserve access to education. Jesus cares about these precious boys and girls and we as his followers must follow his lead. We have an important responsibility to help these children—so let’s continue to stand together to show support for education so we can have every child everywhere in school,” says Wilson.

“We are really encouraged by the tremendous support the campaign has received so far. But we can’t stop here,” Kruger says. “Every time children go to school, we are preparing them for life, endowing them with the power to think and do, and training them to better serve humanity. If those privileges are taken from them, they will continue to be forced to work long hours, live in war zones, or pushed into marriage at a young age. Simply put, education can change their lives. By showing our support, we are showing the world we care for every boy and girl’s future.”

Since the campaign’s kick-off in October 2019, under the leadership of the Adventist Church and ADRA, supporters from more than 220 countries have shown their support by signing the petition at ADRA.org/InSchool.

West Africa Leads in Sign-Ups

In the West-Central Africa Division (WAD), which has the highest signature count so far, young people in the Ivory Coast took to the streets for several weeks to reach out to university students and community members to gain support for the campaign.

"During our weeklong efforts, we received an overwhelming response of appreciation for the campaign’s mission with willing participants to sign-up,” says Kossi Dodzi Emmanuel, associate regional director and regional liaison for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in the WAD.

Countries in the WAD such as Chad, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania are considered among the poorest countries in Africa, and education is not easily accessible nor available for countless boys and girls.

However, with education projects implemented by ADRA, countries, like Mali, are seeing the benefits of learning. Families, who lacked the opportunity or resources to go to school, are now able to send their children to classes because of programs ADRA is implementing and can now fully grasp the importance of their child earning an education.

Divisions Get Involved

The East-Central Africa Division recently celebrated its “Mission Extravaganza,” a large event which occurs every five years. This year, the event occurred in the capital city of Kampala, Uganda at the Mandela National Stadium from February 12 to March 1 where thousands of church members attended to join in the special weeklong occasion.

“This was a great opportunity for ADRA to promote the education campaign with all the masses at the stadium,” says Joshua Safari Muhumuza, communication and marketing manager for ADRA Africa Regional Office in Kenya. “The Africa Regional Office, in conjunction with ADRA in Uganda, strategized to garner as many signatures in the shortest time possible. This included collaborating with the Adventist youth department to mobilize Pathfinders and senior youth to collect signatures through paper petitions.”

Petitioners stand in line at an ADRA booth during the Mission Extravaganza to sign the Every Child petition.

During the celebration at the stadium, ADRA also had a booth for people to sign-up. “We were surprised at how many people flocked our table to sign the petition,” Muhumuza says. More efforts to aid with sign-ups are underway he adds.

The momentum for the education-focused campaign has also caught on in other countries. Nigeria has organized petition sign-ups in various communities. In the South Pacific region, countries like Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea are making headway to gather petitions with local churches, schools, and communities, especially during the upcoming Global Youth Day on March 21. Additionally, the South American Division is conducting a major push through television and digital platforms in support of the global education campaign.

The Push for Education

At the core of ADRA’s global humanitarian efforts is community development, which involves empowering individuals and groups of people and providing them with the necessary skills to effect change in their own communities. For this campaign, education has been the focus for the Adventist Church and ADRA due to the staggering statistics of children affected.

Currently, there are 264 million children around the world who are out of school, based on a 2017-2018 report by UNESCO. Also, 90 percent of children with disabilities in the developing world are not in school and that displaced children are five times more likely to be out of school than their non-displaced peers.

To learn more about the Every Child Everywhere In School campaign and sign the petition, go to ADRA.org/InSchool.

About ADRA The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.

This article was written by Kimi-Roux James and originally appeared on the ADRA website.

Photo in Ivory Coast courtesy of ADRA.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/10276

Instead of just signing petitions, WHY doesn’t EACH CHURCH COMMUNITY
begin a program of Reading, Writing, "Rithmetic?
Even a few kids in each church community would be a start. The kids could
then go home and teach their parents what they are learning.
Encourage OTHER denominations in the areas to do the same.
Teaching some is better than none.

4 Likes

While I believe literacy is incredibly important and I support it enthusiastically, I find the timing of this release ironic, given that most schools worldwide are shut down at the moment because of the coronavirus.

6 Likes

SDAS love their own “programs”…if there isn’t an Adventist one available then it usually doesn’t happen.

4 Likes

Robert Burns had something to say about situations such as this:

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

2 Likes

There are many countries where parents keep their children out of school so they can earn an income or they think that their disabled or female children are not worthy of an education. There are also many countries that don’t prioritize education to the point where they encourage families to put their children in school and they spend few resources on public education. I think this petition is intended to speak against those societal ills and to encourage underdeveloped country governments
and citizens to step up.

…a great goal. People need to be educated and empowered to become masters of their own destinies so that eventually they will not need to rely on NGO’s, etc.

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Signing a Petition is very easy. Also it is QUITE DESCEPTIVE. I has the
illusion of “making us feel good” of “proving we have done something
positive.”
When I began visiting St. Francis Episcopal in 2005 I learned they were
promoting education in Tuan, Haiti. It began with a Sunday School class
when they were studying the Book of Acts. They began by raising $1000
a year to aid education in that little community.
Some little kids were walking up to 3 hours to school, and 3 hours home.
Many did not have breakfast prior to going. So we began with a feeding
program for lunch. but later became bigger. We financed teacher salaries.
After the Earthquake, the 2-story concrete building was not safe. We raised
$50,000 to erect a new building [something like one day SDA schools, but to
accommodate 250 students]. Every year we send down several teachers to
hold Continuing Education seminar for the teachers. Our Budget now is
close to $50,000 per year. They have better desks. Have solar panels on the
roof to supply lighting and to power the computers. They have a small garden
area to teach plant growing. Most of the ADULTS in that community do NOT
read and write. The students go home and teach their parents to read and write.
At grade 6 students have to take a test and pass it to go on to the next level
of schooling. And a student has to pass a test to be admitted to High School.
At this time we have 4 churches from 4 states assisting us with the school. One
of them is helping up to develop a Vocational Program. [These are different
denominations who heard of our program.]
We raise money for school supplies, purchase them, and then take them all
down there. Needed school supplies are not available 25 miles from Port-au-
Prince.
If the group had just “Signed a Petition” and sent it to that community nothing
would have happened.
The Seventh-day Adventist church there has a “Church School” but is NOT set
up to provide the impact on the area like OUR “Church Sponsored School” is.

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Every boy and girl deserves education but only boys can grow up and be ordained ministers in our SDA church.

Pastor TW, what message are you really giving our children?

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this disconnect between headship and WO supporters in our church is about as thorough as the disconnect between trump republicans and dems (and everybody else)…headship supporters would most likely say that they’re following the biblical distinction between males and females when they hold that only boys can grow up to be ordained ministers in our church…but this approach begs big questions when educated boys and girls in our church both become Dr.'s, lawyers, professors, university presidents, etc…

ultimately, headship supporters, like trump republicans, resort to a denial of plain and evident facts…but i’m not sure anymore that they even register that this is what they’re doing…

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Reverend Tutu of South Africa has been promoting 1,000,000
portable desks for kids in Africa. Kids have to sit on the floor at
most African schools. This Lap Board gives them a place to
write and they can easily take it back and forth to school. It also
has a lot of instructional information on it such as help with math
problems.
He started this several years ago.
Is ADRA helping to promote this idea?
It is being promoted by the Episcopalian churches here in Georgia.

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They don’t register. They definitely don’t. It seems that they all are on a different universe, and deny that our real universe even exists.

Since you brought Trump… It’s been a bitter experience watching the Presidential morning briefings. It’s nothing but a session of the Trump’s cult. don’;t be surprised if Dr. Fauci stops appearing on that production, since he is not starting his statements with, “Following the President’s leadership” … Besides, of course, telling the American people the truth - thus contradicting what Trump says…

And, no wonder Trump hates the free Press - because he lies in the morning and by noon the Press already figured out what the truth actually is. And it always exposes his deplorable attempt to minimize the reality of the current crisis and his lack of promptness. This why there was a victim of his rage yesterday. Poor Peter Alexander…

Stay tuned Jeremy…, more to come… :open_mouth:

it’s pretty hard to avoid the perception that trump really is in over his head…and now he can’t put together any more rallies to temporarily drug himself into feeling better about himself…

i have to say, though, that it’s particularly disheartening to read that trump was warned about this pandemic as early as january…that warning was apparently credible enough for a few senators to sell stocks and avoid heavy losses…

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