In this 15-minute podcast, TeachBeyond President David Durance explains how TeachBeyond is responding to the need for education among children at risk in many countries. This article originally appeared on the MNN website.
Food. Shelter. Health care. Safety. Jobs.
When it comes to essentials, these are probably the first things to come to mind. You’re not alone; when most aid groups work with refugees, they make it a point to provide these resources.
David Durance would like to see education make that list.
As of last April, David is sitting in as TeachBeyond’s president. That means he’ll be heading up the challenge of bringing education to the voiceless, especially when it comes to refugee children. He’s also looking at the ties between education (or lack thereof) and poverty.
“One of the things that we’ve seen is the cycle of poverty and the cycle of violence, and part of what happens in that cycle is the education system either wasn’t present, breaks down, or even gets much worse,” David says.
This isn’t just speculation; David has seen the impact lack of education has on a country firsthand.
“I was just in Central Africa in a country that’s been torn apart by war for the last 10 years, and we had a chance to visit some of the schools there, and just seeing the deep need, the hunger for education that cannot be met… people, even in this context, [realize] that one of the very few avenues out of this cycle is that education needs to be provided.”
Part of the problem comes down to priorities. Most global aid groups don’t prioritize education, especially not over food, health aid, or shelter. However, David thinks it is still crucial to crisis care and aid efforts.
“This is actually something that struck us when we had our German office call us a few years ago and talk to the global teaching community about what was happening in their back door,” David explains. “This was not being thought about by the German government… and they were saying to us and to Teach Beyond Germany, ‘Hey, how can you be participating in this need?’
“That actually helped birth a whole movement within Teach Beyond to respond to this need.”
At the end of this podcast, David talks about the initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo to provide professional development to teachers in thousands of schools. The teachers are learning what it means to integrate God into all aspects of the curriculum.