When we were younger we would often say I don’t want to go to school. When we got older we could say I don’t want to go to work today. But what if you never had a choice? What if you weren’t allowed to go to school? What if you weren’t able to find a job? How would you react?
We say in our local community in South Sudan that if you educate a girl you will educate the village, if you educate a boy you educate a family. But the challenge is getting the boys and girls to school. In this world the elders value the traditional life and customs. They struggle to change, to allow young people to be educated. But education is the great changer, young people are transformed by education, they seek opportunities, they ask questions beyond themselves and their culture. They argue against negative cultural practices. They demand more of themselves and their nation, they fight for their rights to be educated and to work.
As we pray this month let us give thanks for the gift our education and the chance to work. Let us remember the Pope’s intention and pray for the millions in parts of Africa who are denied these opportunities.
- Orla Treacy IBVM, extracted from Living Prayer