March 6, 2013

Africa needs an Education of Shalom

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As we continue to reflect on the time our Executive Director spent in Ethiopia and South Sudan - and think about making an impact there - we are encouraged by the African leaders who are leading the charge.

Samson Makhado is the Director of ASCI-Africa and works tirelessly for quality, Christian education from a Biblical worldview.  He is a passionate man with an inspiring story of his own.

In a memo he recently sent to all those involved with ACSI-Africa, he named 2013 "The Year of Action," calling for renewed inspiration and effort.  We have included some of his comments below, specifically as he, from an African's perspective, points to Africa's need for an "Education of Shalom."  This is precisely what we at EduDeo are working for - and is resulting in enormous impact around the world!

Samson writes:

At present in Mali, the DRC, Sudan and Central African Republic we are witnessing politicians trying to bring about peace by resolving the war issues. Education, especially Christian education, is the best instrument in bringing about this peace. Africa needs an Education of Shalom. Our continent needs spiritual leadership. If we seriously put Christian education into action, it will bring about the spiritual, social and economic healing that Africa so needs. Therefore, the type of education that is needed is the Education of Shalom.

Shalom is described as a state where people live in right relationship with God, themselves, each other and nature. In a community of Shalom, all the members have a full and secure place. It embraces all its members and uses truth, reconciliation and forgiveness as vehicles of justice and peace.

We should provide Christian education that seeks Shalom and brings solutions to Africa’s problems and issues. It must take advantage of African ways of knowing as we counteract the colonial impulse to elevate the Western cultural inheritance over others. We need Christian education that guides students on how to make a life as well as a living, to be critical of the status quo, and to be wise and discerning, as well as proficient. This is an education that honors Christ's lordship over all of creation and over all the realms of thought and action.

Our educational institutions must become effective learning centers, places that teach and model the living, breathing gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to build relationships that transform people and ultimately, transform culture and society. 

Let us not allow the past to enslave us.  Slavery, colonialism, apartheid and ethnocentrism have failed to answer for us the core questions on meaning.  The time to learn from our past mistakes is now.  The time to learn from each other’s strengths, weaknesses and differences is now.  The time for Christian education in Africa is now! 

Join us in this critical investment as we work to advance quality, Christ-centred education for children worldwide.  Join us as we work for God's Shalom in communities in Africa and around the globe.


Mar 7, 2013 at 4:07 pm

As a colleague of Samson I can attest to the tireless, excellent efforts of ACSI to bring Shalom to Africa. This continent has so much potential, so many resources, the greatest of which is its amazing people. We must join our hands, hearts and heads together to enable and strengthen Africa's children and youth!

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