In Sudan Christianity’s future is an uncertain one. A lot depends on whether it can continue to maintain its own schools. This is partly related to the attitude of the Islamic authorities, but has more to do with funding.

Teachers, books, clothing, electricity and water cost more than the pupil’s parents can afford to pay. Many can afford nothing at all, and face the prospect of having to send their children to a state – or in other words Islamic – school. For children there would be a risk of them losing their faith – and girls may not even been accepted in the first place. But thanks to your generosity we have helped Bishop Daniel of Khartoum to maintain three Catholic schools.

In Wadi Ramily there are 600 pupils, of whom 315 are girls. In the School of Our Lady of Hope there are 754 girls in one area and 743 boys in another. There is certainly no shortage of children and young people – in fact many classes have as many as 80 pupils. But there is a real lack of resources.

The average monthly income of the families is around €53, with some two thirds of them living below the international poverty threshold. Most of them are war refugees. Yet the standard of teaching is above average, which is why many Muslim parents also send their children to these schools. ‘This is an opportunity for us to show by example how we live the love of Christ’, says school headmaster, Father Sami Bakhit.

We have promised to support the archdiocese, to provide an education that protects them and helps them put down roots.

This article can be found in Mirror 0315.