In the Central African Republic (CAR), barely half the population can read or write and only 22% of women are literate. The Young Women's Scholarship Program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) aims to improve the level of women's education. Girls who have successfully completed elementary school are eligible to compete for scholarships which will fund their education through the high school level.
Pastor Rachel Doumbai of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in CAR (EELRCA) and I recently visited thirteen of these girls, aged 11-18. They are studying at the Catholic Technical High School, a boarding school in Maigaro, in western CAR near the city of Bouar. Reine and Delphine (photo above) are two of the four girls who will graduate in May and hope to continue their studies this fall.
Reine wishes to study law, and perhaps become a lawyer or a judge. Delphine plans to study biology at the university, then go on to medical school to become a doctor. In a country where infant mortality is near 20% and the average life expectancy is around 40 years, Delphine will certainly be able to make a difference if she achieves her goals.
All thirteen of these girls are extraordinary; in the CAR it is unusual for a girl to finish elementary school, much less graduate from high school or university. ELCA and its partner church, the EELRCA, are doing their part to encourage girls to stay in school and to become community leaders. If you wish to make a gift that will bear fruit for many years to come in one of the most impoverished nations of the world, please send it to ELCA Global Mission at the following address.
Rev. Twila Schock
Director for Global Mission Support
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631
Checks should be made out to ELCA Global Mission and labeled "Young Women's Scholarship CAR."
Thank you very much!
Joe and Deborah Troester are ELCA missionaries in Baboua, the Central African Republic. Pastor Deborah teaches at the Theological School in Baboua. She also works with the FCC (Women for Christ) and the Village School Project to improve communication between the CAR and the United States. Joe serves as technical advisor for PASE, which provides clean drinking water and promotes good hygiene and sanitation to villagers.