IMPACT ON EDUCATION:

How Divine Word Missionaries are Using Education to Fight Poverty.

The power of education cannot be underestimated, and it is our hope to see every man, woman and child granted access to the basic tools of learning and literacy.

In this resource, we highlight the ways Divine Word Missionaries have made education a central part of our ministry in every corner of the globe.

Our call to educate, teach and share the Word is made manifest in schools, universities and seminaries—in basic literacy programs and vocational schools. We also strive to educate through communication: books, radio, print media, social media and more.

THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION

With virtually unlimited access to education in the United States, we often take its true value for granted. When was the last time you stopped to ask why education is valuable and why it is a uniquely human good that ought to be available to all people?

In simplest terms, education matters because it cultivates the gift of human reason, our capacity for intelligence, creativity, language and consciousness that sets us apart from the rest of the created world.

In a very practical sense, education allows individuals, families and communities to achieve more for themselves—a gift that has the power to affect generations of people.

Here are five key reasons why education matters:

  • Education cultivates reason, and reason allows us to act as good stewards of the earth and of each other.

  • Human beings are created in God’s image, capable of thought, wonder and communion with nature and other people. Furthering our understanding through education is a reflection of that image.

  • Opening up access to education offers people the chance to ignite their God-given capacity to learn about the world around them.

  • Education opens doors to opportunity—an illiterate person has little chance of opening a business, understanding their cultural history or exploring.

  • Most crucially, higher literacy rates are linked to increased life expectancy.

HUNGER FOR EDUCATION IS NO LESS DEBASING THAN HUNGER FOR FOOD: AN ILLITERATE IS A PERSON WITH AN UNDERNOURISHED MIND.”

— POPE PAUL VI, ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLES

FACTS ABOUT THE STATE OF GLOBAL EDUCATION

In the context of our Catholic missionary service around the world, Divine Word Missionaries are committed to the primary importance of education in the life of each human person and to offering access to education wherever they are called to minister and serve. 

But complicating factors such as poverty often limit a person’s access to education. By understanding the correlation between poverty and education, and striving to bring education to developing countries, Divine Word Missionaries are addressing some of the root causes of poverty and inequality around the world.

Here’s a look at some recent statistics about the state of global education, including facts about the link between education and poverty.

stat-1-education

One out of five children and adolescents does not attend school. This works out to be over 263 million children worldwide. (UNESCO.org)

stat-2-education

If all students in low-income countries gained basic reading skills, 171 million people could escape poverty. (Children.org)

stat-3-education

The average youth literacy rate is at 92% as of 2019. Young women at 90% are still less likely to be literate than young men at 92%. (Statista.com)

stat-4-education

When it comes to girls’ education, “53% of the world’s out-of-school children are girls, and 2/3 of the illiterate people in the world are women.” (DoSomething.org)

stat-5-education

A woman’s earning potential will be up to 20% higher for every year of schooling she completes. (Children.org)

stat-6-education

About 48.5 million children do not attend school because they live in high conflict or war zones. (Borgenproject.org)

stat-7-educaiton

11% of children around the world are child-laborers, which means nearly 168 million young people are working instead of in school. (Borgenproject.org)

The past century has seen great strides in the global effort to improve access to education. However, far too many people remain uneducated or illiterate. In response, many Catholic religious orders have explored the correlation between poverty and education and tasked themselves with eradicating poverty by impacting education in developing countries.

The Link Between Poverty and Education

Extreme poverty remains one of the most obstinate barriers to education. Children from the poorest households are almost five times more likely to be out of school than those from households with a higher income. Globally, two-thirds of the poorest children have never attended any school, have dropped out or are repeating primary grades multiple times. 

The correlation between poverty and education can manifest itself through a lack of trained teachers, inadequate learning materials, makeshift classrooms and poor school sanitation. Some students come to school too hungry, too sick or too exhausted from work or household chores to benefit from their lessons. Additionally, children from rural areas are more than twice as likely to be out of school than their urban peers. Often this is because they must travel great distances to attend class. All of these things make learning difficult for children living in poverty.

Without access to education, children fail to develop skills for lifelong learning. This in turn creates lasting barriers to earning potential and employment later in life and thereby perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Additionally, these children are more likely to suffer illness, which threatens their ability to build a better future for themselves and their communities.

Explore How Poverty Affects Education

“THE TASK OF A TEACHER IS NOT SIMPLY TO IMPART INFORMATION. … IT IS ABOUT FORMING THE HUMAN PERSON, EQUIPPING HIM OR HER TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL — IN SHORT, IT IS ABOUT IMPARTING WISDOM.”

— POPE BENEDICT, ADDRESS TO TEACHERS AND RELIGIOUS

 

EDUCATION AND SUCCESS CORRELATION: HOW CATHOLIC ORGANIZATIONS IMPACT EDUCATION.

Catholic religious orders have a long history of promoting and offering education to the most vulnerable and marginalized. Long before governments and nations began to take responsibility for offering education to their citizens, the Catholic Church was the center of education and learning in Europe through monastic and cathedral-based schools.

Catholic missionaries have established parishes, hospitals and orphanages around the world, but primarily they have established schools. Arguably, giving young people access to education does more to improve the lives of communities and countries than any other act of service.

 

Support Our Missionaries

Learn about The Vineyard—our community of monthly supporters. Submit your email below and we will send you more information!

Over the last 20 years, Catholic organizations around the world have worked hard to reduce poverty as well as improve education in developing countries. Catholic outreach programs have helped these countries to build schools, train teachers, develop curricula and serve students at all educational levels. Catholic religious orders have made great strides to empower children and families to escape poverty through the power of education.  

In fact, in 2018 a total of 12 million children were reached with educational support, 6.9 million of them in humanitarian situations. This progress, made by charitable organizations around the world, represents the strides that organizations — such as Divine Word Missionaries — are making  to bring education to the most vulnerable. 

Today, education remains a key priority for Divine Word Missionaries. We recognize that the power of education cannot be underestimated, and we are dedicated to exploring new ways education can end poverty. For this reason, we have made education a central part of our mission. Our call to educate is manifest in the following areas:

  • Schools, universities and seminaries
  • Basic literacy programs
  • Vocational schools
  • Communication through books, printed materials, social media and radio.

FOUR WAYS WE IMPACT
EDUCATION AND Poverty

SCHOOLS,
UNIVERSITIES,
AND SEMINARIES

School With a Difference:
An Option for the Poor

Read More

LANGUAGE AND
LITERACY
PROGRAMS

Learning Polish in the Fu
Shenfu Migrant Center

Read More

VOCATIONAL
SCHOOLS

A Dream, a Plan, Now
Hope for the Future

Read More

WITH THE
WORLD

Promoting Communication
in Toks Pisin

Read More

WE operate HUNDREDS OF
SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES AND SEMINARIES

Divine Word Missionaries do more than talk about the importance and impact of education. We see the need for education, and we act. Divine Word Missionaries have established, headed or staffed hundreds of schools, predominantly in areas where education is uncommon or hard to access.

  • We work with local churches and local authorities to offer education to children who are impoverished or face serious social stigma due to tribal systems, caste systems or disease. We also operate regular parish schools in places where Divine Word Missionaries are responsible for parish life.

  • We establish, staff and teach at places of higher learning, like colleges and universities.

  • We offer theological training and formation in seminaries around the world, helping young men who have experienced a call to religious life fulfill that vocation. Our seminaries are also places where women religious and lay people can learn about counseling, pastoral ministry, the Bible and Catholic teaching.
seminaries-icon

41

Seminaries

colleges-icon

22

Colleges

universities-icon

4

Universities

school-icon

300+

Schools

SUBSCRIBE TO THE 
IMPACT UPDATE

Monthly email updates connecting you with people and places around the world where our missionaries make an impact.

SUPPORT OUR
EDUCATION EFFORTS

Build a child's future by supporting our missionary efforts to increase literacy and education around the world.

Give

READ STORIES
FROM AROUND 
THE WORLD

Cultures may differ, but a good human story is universal. Subscribe to our blog today to hear from missionaries in the field.

Go to Blog Subscribe

You Can MAKE AN
IMPACT ON EDUCATION

We hope you have enjoyed learning more about the impact of education on poverty, the work that Divine Word Missionaries are doing to educate the most vulnerable and the changes in people and communities that happen through the power of education and literacy.


Please join us in this important work. Support Mission Impact and help continue the educational work of Divine Word Missionaries for the impoverished, the illiterate, the suffering and the marginalized.

Support Our Mission Pray With Us Explore The Vineyard

Want to connect with us and stay up-to-date on stories from the mission field?

Subscribe to our Blog Get the Impact Update