The Transformative Power of Holistic Healing - how our education model equips students to live independently and inspires them to help others

Education is essential for any nation’s prosperity, especially the kind that begins with a recognition of God, equips students to live independently, and inspires them to help others.

The focus of our holistic education model is academic excellence which includes the children’s physical, emotional, spiritual, and developmental well-being.

Our programmes provide nutrition, counselling, medical and dental care and social activities. We try to ensure our students have everything they need to succeed. 

The following stories will make you smile because they demonstrate what the generosity of our supporters is accomplishing globally.

Full Stomachs = Flexible Minds = Loving Hearts

Linking Nutrition & Education in Zambia

Malnutrition among students is a global problem. Studies show that students lacking proper nourishment are more likely to have diminished health and protein deficiency, low grades, and high dropout rates.

A child can't learn on an empty stomach, yet in Zambia, where over 30% of the population is undernourished, some children barely eat a daily meal.

Kids Alive Zambia Academy is confronting the problem. The children enjoy a nutritious lunch daily. One of their favorite meals is Nshima, a Zambian staple food full of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and other nutrients. For some children, that’s their only meal of the day, keeping them in school instead of roaming the streets looking for a way to survive.

We’ve had no cases of malnutrition among our 525 students.

As a result, children can focus on an education that helps break the poverty cycle. Fueled with healthy food, the children studied maths, science, history, technology, home economics, and moral instruction. Students also join clubs, sports teams, and other social groups that instill leadership and productive activities.

One such leader is Nicholas Katongola, 16. He comes from an impoverished family and walks three miles to school daily. Nicholas’s behaviour is dignified and mature, and his grades are exceptional, among the top in his class.

Nicholas wants to become a medical doctor to help his community stay healthy. Angela, his mother, says the Kids Alive programmes empower her son to overcome generational poverty.

How to make Nshima the Zambian way

Nshima is made from pounded maize (corn) served in lumps alongside relish, stew, and/or vegetables. The children eat it with clean hands. Here’s how to make it.

  1. Heat some water in a pot until it boils.  
  2. Make a paste in a bowl by mixing 1 cup of mealie meal or corn meal with 2 cups of room temperature water.  
  3. Pour the paste into the boiling water.  
  4. Stir and reduce heat to medium.  
  5. Cover the pot only halfway and let it cook for 15-20 minutes.  
  6. After it cooks, start adding more mealie meal bit by bit, stirring vigorously (known in the local language as “kutyakula” or “ukunaya”), and continue adding the mealie meal until it thickens. (Do not make it too thick). 
  7. Cover the pot for about 3 minutes.  
  8. Stir vigorously.  

Peru: College Dreams Fulfilled

Wendina* came to Juniper Tree Children’s Home as a young girl. She loved to learn, excelling through high school. Thanks to Kids Alive Peru’s higher education fund, she fulfilled her college dreams and graduated with honours in interior design. Wendina gave the card (pictured below) to our staff, asking us to convey her heartfelt thanks to everyone who made her education possible – staff and donors. She says she couldn’t have done it without you.

“I was sad, full of doubts, and lacked understanding when I arrived at Juniper Tree Children’s Home. The staff took care of me, helped me, and taught me God’s love. I am now writing this letter to express my gratitude for helping me fulfill one of my dreams: an interior design degree with honours.

I still have many dreams and goals I want to achieve, but you helped me so much, and I am grateful. Thank you, Dan Anderson and Maricela (Kids Alive Peru staff). God used you to bless me. I wish many blessings upon the whole Kids Alive Family.”   

*Name changed to protect child privacy 

God's Plan for a Guatemalan Intern

Kids Alive believes personal Bible study is essential to holistic education, leading to an abundant life. One young adult recently learned this lesson.  

Meet Paula*. She’s a high school graduate from Guatemala’s Casa Ester programme interning at Oasis. One day, Paula confessed to a staffer her sadness because she had no family to be proud of her accomplishments. Dispirited, she began questioning God’s love and her abilities. 

The staffer comforted her by reminding Paula that great Biblical characters experienced similar feelings. They went through the Scriptures at a lunch table, reading about God’s love and plan for Paula’s life. Her despair transformed into joy as she heard God’s Word explained.   Paula is now a diligent Bible student, rejoicing in her position in Christ (just as the life identification cards declare) and working harder than ever. 

(Children wear the Life Declaration cards on a lanyard around their neck as a daily reminder of their identity in Christ.)

Soy Elegida meaning “I am Chosen” means that God chose me and He has given me purpose. He has plans for me (plans for my good) and wants me to bear fruit.

*Name changed to protect child privacy.

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last.." 

John 15:16a

“I see education as a platform that opens doors in terms of making a difference holistically.” - Lisel Greenfield

Meet Lisel Greenfield (pictured in the middle) a Kids Alive Board Member and fellow partner in our collective effort to deliver futures of hope to children worldwide.  

Lisel says there are so many layers of what we do for children in our education programme beyond academics: nourishment, medical, dental, and eye care. Children can’t reach their full potential without these essential services.  

According to Vic Trautwein, Country Director, Kids Alive Dominican Republic, most of the country’s children drop out in middle school. “Education is a particularly terrible crisis in the Dominican Republic; however, approximately 80% of our students will finish high school despite coming from situations of extreme need,” says Vic.  

Lisel adds that the government has no student loan programme for those seeking college education. Kids Alive is filling this gap, too. It’s called the Independence Fund. It helps students fulfill their college dreams if they sign an agreement willing to meet specific requirements and remain accountable for their progress. “These graduates stand out like heroes in their communities, smashing poverty’s cruel chains.” Many of them volunteer as mentors. The children look up to them, for they inspire hope through living examples.  

Lisel sums up our work. “We are planting seeds in each child: God entrusted us to water those seeds with love, tangible help, healing, and hope so they have a chance to bloom and write their own stories.” 

Posted by Lynne Edmunds on April 17th 2023

Loading... Updating page...