FROM THE FIELD
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, “Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” (Matthew 25:40).
One of the best educational tools offered to students today is the ability to read, write, and speak the English language. For years, this opportunity has often been limited to those with money, depriving the poor of a tool that can help them advance their economic situation.
“The fees are steep and cater to people of a certain class,” reports the leader of A. College, one of our partner ministries in Sri Lanka. “[This] excludes those in the low income bracket . . . If children do not receive a sound education in English, this excludes them from future career prospects and higher education.”
Despite this, he says, poor parents dream of seeing their children in school, learning the language that can open doors for them as they grow.
And, thanks to the prayers and financial support of our friends, that has become reality. A. College – a school rooted in Christ – opened its doors to its first two students in 2016. By the end of that school year, there were five children in the first grade class.
Some of these youngsters couldn’t even read the English alphabet initially, but the instructors worked hard, teaching them this vital subject. Now, all of the original students are in grades Five and Six, and new students have replaced them in the lower grades.
“Unlike other international schools where the children already speak English, our children don’t know a word of English,” says the school’s director. “They first have to learn and understand the language before moving on to the subjects . . . Knowing English opens up a lot of opportunities to the children.”
In 2017, the school’s second year, students were moving up into grades Two and Three, and by 2018, there were 30 children in grades One through Four. Because there were so many students, A. College moved from a rented room in a building to an entire rented house!
This past year saw 50 students from grades One through Five receiving an education that, without the help of Christians in the U.S. and other countries, they otherwise would have been denied. Entering the new decade, Alpha College has 56 students covering every grade up to Six, but they are unable to take on any new students because of over-crowding.
Besides learning English, the children receive a well-rounded Christian education that is focused on sharing Christ's love with those who often feel rejected by the world around them.
“If not for A. College, these children would never have had the opportunity to be educated in English which, in the future, will provide them with many opportunities in higher education and the job market,” notes the school’s director. “We are blessed to have had the
privilege of opening a door of hope for these children and are extremely grateful to AIM for continuing to partner with us to open a
door of hope to the hopeless!”