Christian Partners in Africa is a registered charity based in Lincoln (UK). We work in partnership with African churches and Development Organisations to restore hope and dignity to individuals, families, and communities living in poverty in Africa.
We are primarily involved in childcare and education. We are convinced that by nurturing the physical, educational, emotional, and spiritual needs of a child, they will flourish irrespective of which country they are born in.
Jesus led the way by telling his disciples that children mattered. It is up to us to do the same.
Here is the latest information on just 2 of the projects that CPA are currently involved with:
In 2005, CPA was invited to open a kindergarten in the Afar Region of Ethiopia. This invite came from a small village called Asgefen on the border of the Danakil Desert. The people there, men and women from the Afar Tribe, were keen for their children to get an education and to learn new skills. This has been difficult for the Afar Tribe because of their way of life, which is labour intensive and vulnerable to changes in the climate, and because of their remote position in the country. The government has invested very little there.
Traditionally, the Afar People are nomadic pasture farmers and the herd is central to their way of life. For most families, sheep and goats are their only source of income and food. From a very young age, boys are needed to look after the herd and girls are encouraged to marry. Education is rarely an option and only 2% of the Afar Tribe can read & write; even fewer have access to formal education.
Asgefen Kindergarten was opened in October 2005 and it seems to have sparked something within the community. Some of the women have started a farming cooperate and are growing red onions (a cash crop) for the local market. The government is supporting these women by supplying irrigation equipment to water the onions. They have also given livestock & food oil to the cooperative members and have opened a veterinary clinic in the village.
The kindergarten employs Ethiopian Christian teachers and provides education to early primary level. Children learn to read and write in their own language (Afaregna) as well as their national language, Amharic. About 200 children attend the kindergarten and each one benefits from school resources, healthcare, midday meals, and uniform.
We have recently begun working with new partners in one of the Islamic Republics of West Africa. Together we are running Adult Literacy Classes in 14 different villages. The classes run 5 times a week (depending on the season) over a period of six months, at which point each student has the opportunity to take an exam.
The ability to read and write gives people access to the world around them. Gradually students can read government forms, public posters, and prices in shops. They are also able to write letters and sign their own name. This is an important step towards feeling capable and valuable; it moves people into a position where they can make choices, have a voice, and become agents of change within their community.
Our partners have been running Adult Literacy Classes in West Africa for 2 years. They are finding that once someone is able to read and write in their own language, they gain confidence and try other tasks that before were too daunting. They are also discovering a greater willingness amongst local people to acknowledge and address community problems, which suggests that literacy courses are a catalyst for change.
As a charity, we have seen the positive effects of Adult Literacy Classes elsewhere in Africa. We have worked with African Evangelistic Enterprises in Malawi to facilitate 4 Literacy Programmes in Kauma (a squatter camp in the capital city). These courses were delivered by a team of local teachers and each course had 300 students, who were taught in small classes. Some enrolled because they wanted to learn the basics, to read and write; others enrolled because they wanted to gain a recognised qualification.
For some, our programme in Kauma was their first experience of education, an opportunity to learn new skills and discover their potential. This is particularly true for the women on the course, who represented 90% of the students, and whose education is often under valued in Africa. We hope to see the same positive effects in West Africa.
For more information about CPA you can visit their website by clicking here.