Be Educated

Just imagine your own life with no or limited education. Perhaps you have traveled in a different culture and faced the immense challenges of not knowing the language. You know what the local currency is, but you have little idea of its value, or what the exchange rate is. What if you were stuck in this land for the rest of your life? What if you had no opportunity to learn? No ability to gain reading or writing skills? Little chance to gain skills for simple commerce? How different would your life be?
Edify envisions a world that is no longer dominated by grinding poverty. We see a future where children grow to be responsible adults with good jobs.

Join us in making a difference. If we’ve piqued your interest, we encourage you to review the resources below. They are valuable sources of information about the overwhelming education needs of the poor, and the things we are doing to help.

Understand The Need

“Private education in poor countries takes off” was The Economist’s August 1, 2015 cover story.  It addresses the problem of subpar public education in the developing world, and the rising trend of private education. “Given the choice between a free state school where little teaching happens and a private school where their children might actually learn something, parents who can scrape together the fees will plump for the latter.” According to The Economist, there are approximately 1 million private schools in the developing world. And the fastest growing group is the “small, low-cost schools run by entrepreneurs in poor areas, that cater to those living on less than $2 a day.” Those are the very schools that Edify supports.

A Beautiful Tree, Everyone from Bono to the United Nations is looking for a miracle to bring schooling within reach of the poorest children on Earth. James Tooley found one hiding in plain sight. While researching private schools in India for the World Bank, and worried he was doing little to help the poor, Tooley wandered into the slums of Hyderabad’s Old City. Shocked to find it overflowing with tiny, parent-funded schools filled with energized students, he set out to discover if schools like these could help achieve universal education. Named after Mahatma Gandhi’s phrase for the schools of pre-colonial India, The Beautiful Tree recounts Tooley’s journey from the largest shanty town in Africa to the hinterlands of Gansu, China. It introduces readers to the families and teachers who taught him that the poor are not waiting for educational handouts. They are building their own schools and educating themselves.

When Helping Hurts
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Yourself
Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm, both to poor people and to themselves. Don’t let this happen to you or the ministries you help fund! A must read for anyone who works with the poor or in missions, When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications. The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel.”Initial thoughts” at the beginning of chapters and “reflection questions and exercises” at the end of chapters assist greatly in learning and applying the material. A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation. Efforts are characterized by an “asset based” approach rather than a “needs based” approach. Short term mission efforts are addressed and economic development strategies appropriate for North American and international contexts are presented, including microenterprise development.

Global Poverty Study
Global Poverty Study: http://perspectives.hopeinternational.org/
Grounded in the Bible and drawing on the experience of development experts, this eight-week study provides a holistic framework in which to study poverty. In growing numbers across the developing world, people living in poverty gather each week to save small amounts of money as members of solidarity groups, slowly building a reserve for the future. Not only do they save together, they learn, pray, and encourage one another as a group. In Perspectives on Poverty, a curriculum examining poverty from a biblical perspective, participants are guided to model their own small group on these solidarity groups. The lessons challenge and expand the group’s definition of poverty, explore God’s commands concerning the poor, and show the importance of integrating word and deed. Along the way, the curriculum incorporates challenges to apply these principles in concrete ways.

The Poor Shall be Glad Book Cover
The Poor Will Be Glad, A compelling call to carry God’s mercy and compassion to the hurting people of this world This eminently practical book by two leading experts in the field of poverty reduction offers a clear plan to help ordinary Christians translate their compassion into thoughtful action. Authors Peter Greer and Phil Smith draw on their personal experiences to provide proven solutions for effectively reducing poverty. With photographs by Jeremy Cowart included throughout, The Poor Will Be Glad examines the pitfalls of traditional approaches and outlines a new model of economic development aimed at breaking the cycle of dependency. Through microfinance and employment-based solutions, people who share God’s heart for the poor can reorient their efforts from giving handouts to offering a hand up, helping others provide for their families and regain their dignity. This book provides straightforward guidance for individuals and groups eager to carry God’s justice, mercy, and compassion to the hurting people in our world.

In-Depth Resources

IFC Report Cover
IFC Ghana Low Cost Schools Market Research Report – This study provides the most detailed on-the-ground survey that we have found on the Affordable Private School market in Ghana. It surveyed 136 schools from 80 different low-income communities and 40 lending and financial advisory institutions in October 2010.

How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better Written by McKinsey & Co, this study takes a macro/system-level view of improving educational outcomes. This work has been helpful in giving Edify a vision of how serving Affordable Private Schools can impact entire nations.

Join Our Efforts

We believe that the Lord has given us a sustainable, scalable model to provide a fine Christ-centered education and life skills training to large numbers of impoverished children. Through our trusted field partners, we make loans to sustainable schools. Modest tuition payments from dedicated parents are then used to repay the loans. We then recycle the funds to other schools so they can improve education and expand capacity to accommodate more children

By God’s grace, Edify has significantly expanded its outreach to impoverished children in the developing world through sustainable, Christ-centered schools.

Edify seeks to develop Christ-centered character, provide quality academics, and teach life skills such as English, computers, and entrepreneurship to students in eight different countries. Rather than spend a lifetime in abject poverty and corruption, children will become adults who will provide for their families and transform their communities through integrity, diligent work, service to others and the love of Jesus.