Thursday, January 5, 2012

EDUCATION: The Key to Opportunity!

Our primary assignment here has been to help open the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) in Tanzania. The fund is supported by contributions from donors worldwide. Young adults, usually 18-30, many of them returned missionaries, receive loans to attend school in their own communities. The program has improved the lives of some 50,000 participants in over 50 countries. The effects are perpetual as the money is repaid and then loaned to other students. Members of the church in the Dar es Salaam District were anxiously waiting for this “ray of hope” to break the cycle of poverty, not just for individuals but also for their families and community.

We had a successful start to PEF with the kick off Fireside in October which brought close to one hundred youth and leaders together. President Balilemwa, District President, welcomed and inspired the congregation by explaining how it took a miracle for PEF to finally have government approval in Tanzania and how thankful we must all be for the Lord’s care and concern for His people here.  Bruce then gave an instructive and edifying Power Point presentation explaining how the entire program works.

One of the requirements for PEF is to attend the “Planning for Success” 4 week workshop.  PEF and the “Planning for Success” course are built on a foundation of Gospel Principles: Faith and Hope in Jesus Christ, Education, Work, Sacrifice, Self-reliance, Integrity, and Service. The course teaches how to identify options, gather information, and make important decisions about their Work plan, Education plan and Finance plan.  Ten students completed the first course by the end of December. We will continue to teach workshops throughout the coming 2012 year.  

We were excited to receive official notification on January 4, 2012 from the Salt Lake City PEF Executive Committee that Tanzania was officially opened for the Perpetual Education Fund!
The First Students to Complete the Planning for Success Course

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