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According to UNICEF, there are now 2.2 billion children living in the world. Disturbingly,  of those 2.2 billion, every second child (1 billion) is growing up in poverty.

But even more disturbing is that of these children in poverty, 121million children worldwide do not have access to basic education.

In places that Mercy Teams International is working,  we can certainly put faces to those child statistics. Children who, for numerous reasons, do not attend school or receive an education.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that:

"All children have the right to an education"  Article 28   

"The purpose of education is to develop every child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities"   Article 29

Mercy Teams International has found that not only is the poverty cycle a high contributor to childrens absence of education, but also the absence of basic education is, in itself, a high contributor to the continuing entrapment of poverty.

That is why MTI believes it is crucial that we partner with local poor communities, ensuring every child in that community receives a basic education.

One such place where MTI is working is along the Thai-Burma Border, in a small village (JW) consisting of around 1,800 people. The village situated on the Burma side of the Border.

Mercy Teams Educational team is bringing new hope thru Education to Burmese children in this village (see Project T-9521 Thai - Burma School of Mercy). In 2007 MTI built a village school for Mon and Karen children. This now has grown to a school of 130 children, Grades 1 to 7. The school is so popular that children will travel from many miles away, just to attend. Because of this, MTI has built a Childrens Home to accommodate the Karen children whose families are too poor to send their children elsewhere. These children return home to their families at the end of each term. During the school term, MTI cares for these children (up to 21) by feeding them and giving them a home and a House Mum to look after them.

Opportunities exist for Teachers and Educators to be involved. If you are a Pre-school or a Primary or Secondary School Teacher, who feels called to serve in a cross-cultural community, and embracing the poor by serving  disadvantaged children, then there may be a place for you to join an educational opportunity with Mercy Teams International.

Your role could include training the local Teachers in classroom techniques and English. Typically teachers will never have completed High School education themselves. Your role could also include developing curriculum and resources and challenging the teachers to move from rote learning methods to creative ways of teaching.

What better way to serve the suffering poor than through this most important developmental need?

Mercy Teams International also operates a Pre-school in Cambodia (See Project C-9222 Kampong Speu Kindergarten) along with two English Day School Classes where teaching of older students following their day in a state village school takes place. The pre-school allows working mums the opportunity to earn aliving in the rice paddy fields without the worry of knowing if their children are safe. Before MTI arrived, toddlers were in danger of drowning in the rain-filled paddy fields. Now, women know their children are safe and are even receiving an education for which they themsleves never had opportunity. For those older young people attending our 'extra English' school, new opportunities open for them should they later move to the city and find employment there.

MTI has other opportunities around South East Asia where Teachers with an interest in educating Children can serve. If you have a desire to live and serve cross-culturally, and have a heart to embrace the suffering poor, then we suggest you contact us by writing to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   and start a dialogue.   



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