It’s back-to-school season in the United States. Yellow school buses once again join the morning commute; teachers prepare lesson plans for the year to come; social media brims with photos of eager, sharply dressed children.
But around the world, many children are again seeing their peers don neat, identical uniforms and walk to school—and wishing they could join them.
Where education at a young age is both an expectation and a requirement for many of us, it is a hard-earned luxury for much of the world. The numbers are staggering: Around the world, an estimated 62 million elementary school-aged children are not enrolled in school, according to the World Bank.
When resources are scarce, families have to choose between immediate needs and long-term needs, like education. With limited funds available, choosing to pay school fees can feel impractical. And beyond the financial constraints of school fees, sending a family to school means one less set of hands to work at home and in their fields.
In HOPE’s newest children’s book, we meet Keza, a young Rwandan girl who loves the brilliant colors she sees in the hills and field around her home. More than anything, Keza dreams of joining the other children at school to learn to read and write. But, like so many children in her country and beyond, her family struggles to make ends meet, leaving nothing left over to buy the blue school uniform Keza needs to go to school.
But things are changing in her family—her papa has joined a new group at church where families will work together to meet one another’s needs. Will this be the year Keza finally goes to school?
Order your copy of Keza Paints a Bright Future on Amazon to read the rest of the story!
Pictured: A school in Rwanda where a savings group member, Odette, works.