Why does Awana care so much about children who are at risk?
Shelley Welsh, Children-at-Risk Project Manager here at Awana, shares some of the statistics which make these projects so important.
The statistics are staggering:
More than 14 million refugees worldwide
26 million internally displaced persons (IDP) in the world
One billion people living in slums
These statistics are hard to comprehend … knowing what to do with them … is harder.
Half of these statistics are children – children at risk.
They grow up in environments that put them at-risk of not having childhood’s basic needs: food, shelter, education, health care, safety, and a loving family/community. These needs are crucial for a child to become a productive and valued adult in society.
Children at risk are largely ignored and have limited options for advancement, endangering their dignity and self-worth. Many organizations are working to meet the physical needs of these children, but not many are meeting their spiritual needs.
Through Awana Children at Risk (C@R), the hope of the gospel is being brought to these at-risk children by training, equipping, and empowering leaders to evangelize and provide long-term discipleship.
In three years, we have reached over 57,000 children in six countries in Africa and South Asia through weekly Awana clubs. These clubs exist in slums, refugee and IDP camps, and areas marked by HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, and extreme poverty.
Start by spending time talking with your church about refugees, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, poverty, and other issues of injustice. As you do that, share what Awana C@R is doing to bring refuge to children affected by these issues.
Then, get your Awana group to take action and raise funds to help Awana C@R train more leaders, start more clubs, and reach more children with the hope of Jesus.
What a great cause for your club/church to support in the New Year!