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01 November 2016
Pastoral care in schools expands

Work in schools, which has grown ad hoc in recent years, is to become a key ministry focus in 2017 with its own dedicated project leader and team of trained counsellors.

This pastoral care project will involve the team visiting 30 schools each year and talking to both girls and boys about the issues they face in their lives such as relationships, sex and HIV.

Grace & Light aims to reach 4,500 students a year with the team visiting each school between three and five times per annum to give students ongoing support. This project will cost N3,375,000 a year (approx. £7,500) for literature, test kits and HIV screening materials, transport for the team and a fund to support vulnerable students.

Our UK trustees are organising a fundraising walk on 3 June 2017 in Surrey to support this project. Please do join them if you are able, contact Jo Ann Eastgate jo.ann01@btconnect.com for all the details.

History of schools work

Grace & Light’s work with schools began four years ago when the Jos team was invited to share the gospel and test pupils in a local school. The work has slowly grown through word of mouth since then with Tassie and the Jos team now visiting about eight schools a year.

As Tassie and the team have shared with pupils and begun to understand the issues they face, they have changed the content of their presentation. Now the theme is about how the choices students make today will affect their lives in the future.

The students are encouraged to live according to gospel values by excelling through hard work rather than cheating, being truthful rather than lying, showing respect for each other and for their teachers, caring for others rather than bullying, and by saying no to adults who would exploit them sexually for favours.

Students from poor families are particularly vulnerable to being forced to sleep with men close to their families in return for school fees being paid, school uniforms, shoes and books.

Additionally, the Jos team talk about HIV and AIDS with their social and health consequences. They counsel and test those students who wish to know their status then form life sharing groups to help students support each other as they strive to live gospel lives.

Photo: a school visit in February 2015

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