COVID-19 has caused chaos in education around the world. In Bolivia alone, 1.6 billion school children and university students saw their studies interrupted.
But even in a pandemic-free world, Bolivian students don’t have the money to continue their studies past high school. And, even when they have the necessary resources, they often lack a sense of direction or purpose.
Growing up in extreme poverty, watching their parents struggle to survive conceals kids’ future in doubt and hopelessness. Unfortunately, a child who doesn’t know where their next meal will come from has no room in their hearts to dream about the future.
So, Bright Hope’s partner churches in Bolivia started the Jovenes Estudiantes Líderes (JOEL) program to help these students follow their dreams and build sustainable lives.
Through education, we’re helping young adults develop a legacy of Hope that lasts generations!
JOEL takes talented, motivated students from impoverished families and provides them with a path forward. These students receive guidance, discipleship, training, and a partial loan for the college education or vocational training they need.
Truly, this program has been successful because students, their families, and local church leaders all work together to help students grow intellectually, professionally, and spiritually. Families and church communities work side by side to help students complete university studies. Together, they learn to make disciples of other young people in their community, serve their church and community, and enter the labor force or start productive small businesses.
Participants in the JOEL program take part in discipleship team meetings and meet one-on-one with a mentor to receive guidance in dealing with personal, family, or financial problems. Then, the JOEL program reinvests its resources into other young people who enter the program.
Some of the JOEL program students are currently studying Civil Engineering, Medicine, Education, and Accounting. Thanks to the support of Bright Hope allies, there will be five new vacancies open in June.
Please pray for God’s blessing on each student and for more support for this wonderful program in Bolivia.
Education and vocational training provide the surest path out of extreme poverty, equipping young adults to build a legacy of Hope.
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