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Let's Get These Orphans In the Congo To School

As atheists, we're all aware of the role education plays in outgrowing superstitious thinking. So many ex-believers exercised freethought and became atheists in college and university. As such, secular education is one of our largest priorities at the International Association of Atheists. We want to spread access to secular education across the globe, whether it's in the wealthy, secular countries we live in or in countries where religion dominates. One of our passions is opening up access to education for orphans in poverty-stricken parts of the world. We're going to start with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as few places are in as much need as the DRC.

There are 4.5 million orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to Ebola, civil war, malaria, HIV/AIDS and accidents. Even if extended family serves as ‘guardians’ of an orphan, the child’s life is excruciatingly difficult. DR Congo is one of the world’s poorest countries and its orphans are vulnerable, neglected, the ‘poorest of the poor.’ This is why the International Association of Atheists is featuring the work of our partner, Humanist Global Charity (HGC) this month. HGC works with DR Congo Humanists and Thaliha Women’s Initiative (a humanist women’s collective) to keep orphans in school. Without education, these children have little hope of a good life. Education in developing countries is a key factor in better health and economic prospects. Ensuring these orphans continue their education is vital.

The DRC reports just 11% of its population as not being religious. Faith is a massive influence on society in the DR Congo. While the country is secular on paper, this doesn't always manifest in day-to-day life. The various churches in the DR Congo act as a sort of moral power over the politics of the country. Worse, superstition dominates the conversation surrounding Ebola, with uneducated villagers convinced that the sickness is a result of witchcraft.

It is an undisputed fact that lives would be saved in the DR Congo with education. That's why we're featuring this project for July and that's why we desperately need your help. Let's reduce superstition, educate children and save some lives in the Congo.

Here's how you can help:

It costs $120 a year for tuition, but you can donate as little or as much as you wish. All money collected this month will go to Humanist Global Charity. They will send the funds to Thalia Women’s Collective and the DR Congo Humanists and from there, the children in most urgent need will get their tuition paid.

The board was especially touched by HCG’s efforts that we have vowed to match the first two full scholarships!

Please donate here.

Goal 1: one trimester for all $1,640

Goal 2: two trimesters for all $,3280

Final Goal: 1 full year for all $4,920

Please donate here.

All donors will receive THANK YOU photos from the orphans.

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