YWAM runs a student hostel in order to provide opportunity for those from distant parts of the province to continue their education.
YWAM has been doing student ministry, since 1995. In 1998, having seen the need to provide safe housing for young people who wanted to study at the high school level, we were able to purchase a house and welcome the first students. Since we first opened the hostel, we have had 20 boys finish high school, with more than half of them going on to further education. Several are involved in ministry in Stung Treng or in other parts of the country. Due to the good fruit seen in this ministry, we have expanded the number of students from the original 5 or 6 boys at a time, to the current 16, who are now all believers and serving the church in practical ways.
All of the current residents except one are from farming families, who live in a mostly “hand-to-mouth” economy, working hard to make it from one rice harvest to the next.
One 17-year-old says,
“Thanks to YWAM for this hostel. It has helped me continue my high school as at my village there is no high school. While I have lived here I have been able to learn a lot of things for my life such as how to get along with one another, how to work together, how to love one another, especially I can learn about God. Moreover, I also have time to learn other things such as English, computer, music, and Thai language. So thanks again.”
“Thanks to the Student Hostel for providing a good place for me to stay to continue my studies at the high school. My parents haven’t enough money to help my study. I used to live at the pagoda, but I found being here has helped me a lot in my studies. … I have learned many good things for my life, especially about Jesus and His word. Here I can know God more and feel more love from him. Thank you!”
Families who send their sons to live in the hostel are asked to supply 15 kilos of rice a month, money for food, and also pay for extra studies (a standard requirement to get through high school). This adds up to about $30 a month which is beyond the means of most of them to do on a regular basis. Other gifts are needed to fill the gaps.
Educated children are less likely to become victims of violence and abuse. They are more likely to invest in improving their community when they are grown. And the follow-on effects of even basic education quickly multiply, as children who have benefited from schooling themselves strive to secure even better opportunities for their own families. (UNICEF)