In 2014, the HSICF launched Operation B.O.O.K. a multi-year imitative calling on the building and operation of schools in rural villages where there are no schools currently operating. In March 2014, the HSICF completed first school in Balang Village. The school is in full operation with over 30 students attending daily receiving a free education and a nutritious meal. With the success of the Balang School, the HSICF plans to expand this program by building and operating more schools in the next few years.
Our programs are designed to help the most destitute and vulnerable children in the world. We do not shy away from difficult situations, but instead embrace the challenge to give a voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless.
Our programs all start with one major cornerstone: food. We know that lack of nutritious food, or malnutrition, has negative effects beyond weight loss and stunting. It also effects early brain development – resulting in lower IQs, less cognitive functioning, lower school performance, and behavioral issues. Combined with the physical implications, the results are devastating for not only the child, and his or her future children, but their country as a whole. The ramifications of childhood malnutrition are potentially severe to national economies, as underdeveloped children grow into adults who cannot reach their full potential. Elevated healthcare costs, low productivity in the workplace, and a small pool of skilled labor are some of the national projected outcomes in aging populations challenged by childhood malnutrition.
Another focus is education through our Operation B.O.O.K. initiative. Through this initiative we have built a preschool in Balang Village, Cambodia and a vocational school in Meserani, Tanzania. We also operate two classrooms in Meserani, Tanzania. These services are provided free of charge and automatically enroll the student in our food programs. Each classroom is taught by local teachers who enrich their students’ lives with standard subjects such as math, science and their native language but also teach English and Bible study. Not only is the school a place of learning but it also a safe space where the children can be children – free from fear of those who prey upon the disadvantaged – where they can laugh, sign and play.
Our programs have other advantages to the children we serve such as access to clean water and medical care. But above all else, it shows them that they are loved and cared for. It gives them the hope of a better future, a future free from the shackles of poverty. Our goal in every program and everything we do is to break the cycle of poverty and create a new cycle of prosperity.