For those of you are not familiar with the concept; the course consists of 10 assignments which focus on various topics such as the various types of Child Abuse; Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse; What to do if a child discloses to you that they are being abused; What a children's worker can protect themselves against allegations of abuse; How to support the child who has been abused and their family and various other subjects.
The current course started in January with students from Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria. In the past we have had students also from Myanmar and Tanzania. Interest has been shown from other countries also.
At the beginning of each month, I, (Pamela) email the current assignment to the students. The assignments consists of background information and guidance and then a set of questions. Each assignment is marked out of 50.
The students then have around 3 weeks to complete the assignment and email back their answers. They then have a week off while their assignments are marked. This brings them to the beginning of another month when the next assignment sent and the process begins again. At the end of the course, the students will receive a certificate with their overall average mark. This is also emailed to them and they can print themselves.
The students can face many challenges. Finding time amongst their family, work and Church commitments can be a challenge. Finding the funds to visit the internet cafes can be another challenge....most do not have their own computers. Sometimes electricity can be a problem and so sometimes it is not possible to use the computers. At the cyber (internet café) the longer they stay, the more they pay. They also have to pay for printing out the assignments. So they have to decide can they stay long enough to complete the assignment on screen, or should they print it off to work on at home.
Please pray for the students as they face these very real challenges. Pray that they will have the resources and time available. Pray that they will have the discipline to complete and return on time. Pray that what they learn will be of benefit to them in their ministry to boys and girls.
The advantage to FML is that this is a very inexpensive form of ministry as it simply involves emailing. However, marking takes up a lot of time....but the answers given always impress and we learn ourselves....especially in regard to cultural issues.
We would like to introduce more such courses in the future and ask that you pray to this end that we would know God's leading and guiding. Before he passed away, Cecil had been developing new courses for use in this way. As yet I have not looked at them in depth to see what work is needed to complete them and introduce them as courses, but I hope this will be something which can be done in the near future.
Meantime, pray on for the students and pray that others too will be keen to learn in this way.