Refugee children miss an average of three or more years of schooling, according to Tent Schools International (TSI). And that’s not taking the pandemic into account. It’s going to take years to really understand how COVID-19 has impacted the development and education of kids living in refugee camps.
Anne Hamming with TSI says, “[Refugees] are bound largely by tight economic constraints that predated the coronavirus — which, of course, has everyone staying close to home. The countries where these refugees are located are experiencing lockdowns on a regular basis…. So it makes a tough situation even worse.
“Many of our children have only known life in a refugee camp or right in their very small community. If they’re outside of a camp, they stick close together and don’t have the freedom to move about to take a day trip themselves.”
TSI provides Christ-centered schooling for displaced children in crisis areas of the world. But that’s not all. TSI’s approach is holistic, focusing on arts, sports, and meaningful childhood experiences.
Hamming says, “Our schools have an emphasis on not just helping children to learn, but to help them heal from really difficult past experiences. We know that recreation and play are a very, very important part in normal child development, and particularly for children who have had adverse childhood experiences.”
For example, before the pandemic, TSI took students on field trips. They would go to the beach, nice playgrounds, parks, and other fun locations. When possible, parents are invited along as well.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for refugee families to sense Christ’s hope through TSI’s ministry.
- Ask God to use even simple programs like field trips to draw the hearts of refugees to His love.