This year the focus of the Day of the African Child is “child-friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa”. Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounts for more than half of all out-of-school children worldwide, with one in five primary school age-children never attending school or dropping out, according to UNICEF.
What better way to honour of the Day of the African Child than to focus on how we can pray for children living in Africa! Compassion Africa’s Christian Formation Advisor, Dr John Laba, has a few ideas.
Pray for the child’s school environment.
Education is a fundamental part of holistic child development. There are so many key influences at a child’s school—their teachers, their friends and peers, and their general safety at school. With this in mind, pray that God will give the teachers the heart and wisdom to care well for the students; pray that children will have the courage to stand up for what is right and that God will provide them with kind-hearted friends; pray that God will protect children from harm as they travel to and from school.
Pray for the child’s local church.
Dr Laba says, “Pray for the child development centre and centre workers, [and] pray for the church and church leadership. Pray that they will catch the vision of God’s heart for children”. Let’s pray our church partners can reach out to other churches in their area and spread their vision of including child-focused activities as part of their church ministry.
Pray for the child’s caregivers.
Many sponsored children have broken relationships within the family. According to the United Nations “Africa is the only continent where more than half of parents are not able to help their children with homework due to illiteracy”. Pray that children will grow in a family environment of love, respect, and Christ centred values. Pray for the parents and caregivers who may not know the love of Jesus.
As we celebrate the Day of the African Child, will you take a minute to pray for these children?
By Katy Causey, Ryan Johnson and Monique Wallace
Photos by Chuck Bigger and Tom Kimmell