Project Build-A-School Surpasses $20k, El Salvador Outreach Continues
On a conference call with overseers and children’s ministry leaders on Monday evening, International Children’s Ministries’ KidServe Coordinator Michelle Brooks-Young announced that giving to the ministries’ mission project has surpassed $20,000.00. Project Build-A-School, which began in June 2019, is the largest and most ambitious mission giving project ever attempted since the first project in 2005, then called Helping Hands for Kids.
“I am both excited and overwhelmed with these project updates,” said Brooks-Young. “The collective teamwork of our churches and children’s ministries in the United States are making an impact in El Salvador! What an amazing accomplishment in just a few short months!”
Project Build-A-School is raising funds to support the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP) National Office of El Salvador in their effort to strengthen outreach ministries that presently serve more than 2,000 children every day with meals, tutoring, recreational activities, and spiritual training. For many of these children, these ministries provide the only stable adult influences in their lives, enabling them to be academically successful and develop a trade for future employment.
For the past decade, the COGOP in El Salvador has partnered with philanthropic organizations to open Centers of Learning in our local churches. Through the generosity of these organizations, our local ministries are enabled to hire professionally trained directors, teachers, and staff to serve the children in these centers. Each school is audited monthly, and every child is evaluated regularly to ensure satisfactory progress in their studies.
Although these programs are making a significant impact in the lives of El Salvador’s children and communities, the facilities housing the programs are insufficient. Because of the requirements of the donors, upgrades and expansions are required for our six flagship schools for the program to continue. Each location also has a waiting list of hundreds of more children who could be served if adequate facilities were available.
In December, KidServe distributed the first payment of $10,000.00. With these initial funds, the first site was completed in Gotera, El Salvador.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction of the Build-A-School sites has paused as building permits have been suspended. However, the outreach to the children continues with local churches safely delivering food and personal care items to the families they serve.
“It is exciting to watch as the leaders in El Salvador continue to invest in their respective communities, both in project building and community outreach,” said Brooks-Young. “Their initiative has not been paused due to this pandemic. It has opened new doors of opportunity for them to minister.”
El Salvador has been named “the most violent country in Latin America,” and its murder rates are the highest in the region. According to the United Nations, on average, 40 children are killed every month, the victims of poverty, civil war, and natural catastrophes. 1.8 million children are a part of the nation’s workforce. 4 out of 10 children live in poverty, with over half of all children surviving on less than $1.25 per day.
For more information about KidServe and Project Build-A-School, visit www.cogop.org/children.