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International briefs: Missile-free scouting in Ukraine

The scouting groups in Ukraine prayed for good weather, no missiles and God’s blessing as they made their pledges, received their certificates and enjoyed time outside.

Scout groups spring into action

As spring begins in Ukraine, several corps are taking their scout groups outside into the fresh air for exercise, activities and presentations. The children have been preparing for their certificates for months and praying that there will be no missiles and no rain to spoil their activities.

Prayer is a major focus point of the Salvos' scouting groups in Ukraine.

Many of the children, aged from four to 12, and their families are internally displaced. They have fled from the most dangerous areas in Ukraine and are staying temporarily near Salvation Army centres or are continually on the move.

Corps throughout the country continue to provide food and clothing, basic hygiene packs and other essentials to those who need them, as well as Bible studies, worship, crafts, games, classes and a range of activities for children and youth.

The emotional and spiritual support they provide is relied upon by many in local communities, including those experiencing shelling and missile attacks.

Please continue to pray for The Salvation Army in Ukraine.


Canadian shelter helps prevent homelessness

To help families that are having trouble finding stable housing, The Salvation Army’s Bayside Mission Centre in Barrie, Ontario, is running a 24/7 Family Emergency Shelter program.

The main purpose of the program is to help clients who have individuals under the age of 18 in their care, to prevent homelessness and work together to find proper housing for them.

Ayesha Karim is a family shelter caseworker and runs a program that helps prevent homelessness for families with children.

Ayesha Karim, who is a family shelter caseworker and in charge of the program, explained that the reasons why families seek assistance are varied, but that the root problem seems to be a lack of affordable housing.

“It is becoming a chronic problem; we have seen so many people reach out to us, and they are people like me and you. It could only take a couple of weeks for anyone to be in this situation,” Ayesha said.

The idea of the Family Emergency Shelter is to offer shelter to clients for 30 days. During this period, a housing access worker collaborates with the guests by creating a plan according to the needs that will help them address the obstacles that may be preventing them from finding a place to live. Clients can receive extensions after the 30 days are up, but they are highly encouraged to use this time to address their needs.

“We do require guests to actively participate and make sure they are addressing their barriers along with us because that initial step has to be taken by them,” Ayesha said.

This includes not just tackling the financial challenges, but also addressing other issues such as mental health, addiction, education and employment.

When families find permanent housing The Salvation Army’s service doesn’t end there. Ayesha keeps in contact with former clients and offers additional help such as food hampers if they need them.

Last year, the Family Emergency Shelter program housed 20 families. Currently, the families they help are housed in a hotel. However, this is a temporary measure until an ongoing development project in partnership with Redwood Park Communities in Barrie is completed. The new building will serve as the family shelter, and it will have enough units to house 12 families simultaneously.

According to a recent Salvation Army survey, one in seven Canadians faced housing security challenges in the past year.


Salvation Army schools educate half a million students

Internationally, The Salvation Army provides schooling to more than half a million students in over 50 countries, through 3000 schools.

Salvation Army education seeks to develop compassionate people of integrity and character with the relevant skills, knowledge and under­standing to achieve their full God-given potential in the community.

Salvation Army schools in Nigeria focus on safe, inclusive, relevant and equitable education for their students.

Salvation Army schools and education programs aim to holistically equip students; intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually, and nurture the development of foundational academic and life skills that enable them to adapt successfully in the 21st century and to be resilient contributors to the life of their communities.

These schools endeavour to provide an environment that is safe, protects the physical, emotional, psycho-social, and spiritual well-being of children and youth, is inclusive and equitable, and is relevant to the learners’ needs.

The Salvation Army is committed to breaking down barriers to girls’ access to quality education. Some of the ways Salvation Army schools aim to do this include providing access to clean water and sanitation, facilitating a safe journey to school, and ensuring school staff treat students with respect.

Family involvement through community parenting classes, economic

empowerment offered by the presence of the school, and community

engagement also contributes to breaking down traditional barriers to girls’ access to quality education.

The schools’ impact is not only measured by students’ exam results but also by attendance and dropout rates, teacher turnover, event participation, community engagement, and evidence of personal and community transformation.

For more information, click here.

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