Fund the Education of Young People in Madagascar
Project Code: 134-08-49
"Given the situation of young people and the importance of the family, I consider this to be a most important project." These were the words of a local bishop in Madagascar, asking for continued support for a project to help young people in his diocese.
The Catholic Church in Madagascar is focusing her work above all on the education of young people because they will one day be the future of the Church and of their country. Some 80% of young people in Madagascar currently live in extreme poverty and many of them in an unstable family environment – making them fall easy victims to the lure of criminal gangs, which drag them down into a lawless way of life. Drugs, alcohol and disordered sexual living are widespread as a result.
In a bid to strengthen young people and encourage them to live their lives according to Christian values, the Catholic Church is establishing educational programs throughout the country. In the Diocese of Farafangana one such program covers "Education for Life" and "Love and Education for Family Life," (EVA/EVF). The program is being taught in Catholic schools and parishes. Topics such as love, partnership, sexuality and the teachings of the Catholic Church are openly addressed and discussed.
"The program has met with a very good response among young people, and the demand for it is great," writes a representative of the organizing team, of two priests and two lay workers, in a letter to ACN. "We, too, as educators, are already seeing the fruits in the changed behavior of the young people, who are becoming more stable and more responsible."
Encouraged by these initial positive results, the team now wants to extend the educational program within the diocese and also train up interested young people to become group leaders. For this a number of training sessions are required – one week basic training courses for up to 60 people, to be held three times a year, plus a three-day intensive course for 376 teachers currently teaching in the Catholic schools.
ACN sees this program as an important instrument in the pastoral outreach to these young people, and we hope to be able to support it with a contribution of $9,100.
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