A difficult future: Gaining its independence in 1962, Burundi’s recent history is replete with bloody battles between the Hutu and Tutsi, and those ethnic conflicts and disagreements continue today. The future of Burundi is somewhat bleak, with a high population density and very limited natural resources, most of the citizens resign themselves to subsistence agricultural farming. Furthermore, less than 50% of children attend school, HIV/AIDS is almost out of control and basic foods and medicines are in short supply. Pray for the work of churches and mission agencies in Burundi as they seek to minister to the acute physical and spiritual needs of the people.
Poor education: Togo is a small strip of land in West Africa wedged between Ghana and the Republic of Benin. Around 80% of the population earn a living through subsistence farming and many villages do not have schools, so young children often have to walk between five and ten kilometres to attend schools nearby. As well as being under-funded, the public school system is also badly run and many parents do not send their children to school. Pray for this work of organisations such as VINODI who are seeking to bring transformation to the hearts and lives of the people of this troubled nation.
A broken nation: Sierra Leone is a small state on the West coast of Africa. It is rich in natural resources, including diamonds, gold and titanium, and experienced some prosperity until 1991. The subsequent descent into anarchy and civil war caused the economic, educational and social infrastructure to collapse and Sierra Leone is now one of the poorest countries in the world. The literacy rate of the total population is 31% and in many communities children have little or no access to education. Furthermore, Sierra Leone has about 75,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. There is widespread ignorance about this disease and how it can be avoided and medical facilities are scarce in most areas while even those available are not always affordable and hygienic.
The Kurds: Kurds make up around 17% of Iraq's population, forming the majority in at least three provinces in northern Iraq which are together known as Iraqi Kurdistan. There is a Kurdish saying that says “The Kurd has no friends” and this has summed up their experience in recent years. The Kurds have fought for survival and a national identity for over 70 years. Nation after nation has made promises to them and they are all broken. Since 1985 nearly 4,000 villages and towns have been destroyed, countless fields mined, 500,000 have been deported to distant camps and up to 250,000 killed. Following the fall of Saddam Hussein the situation has improved and Kurdish people were formally recognised in Iraq’s new constitution, ratified in 2005. Pray for the future of the Kurdish people in Iraq and the work of Christian organisations seeking to witness to them.