AFRICA: Pope Prays for Young People in Africa to Access Education, Work in their own Countries

VATICAN, SEPTEMBER 7, 2018 (CISA-“Let us pray that young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries,” Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of September 2018.

Vatican on Tuesday August 4, released a video message accompanying his prayer intention where he asked all Faithful to join in praying, “For young people in Africa”.

“Africa is a wealthy continent, and its greatest, most valuable resource is its young people. They should be able to choose between letting themselves be overcome by difficulty or transforming the difficulty into an opportunity. The most effective way to help them in this choice is to invest in their education. If young people do not have the possibility of education, what future can they have?” Pope Francis said in the video.

According to Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, of all regions in Africa, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion. Over one-fifth of children between the ages of about 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by one-third of youth between the ages of about 12 and 14. Almost 60 percent of youth between the ages of about 15 and 17 are not in school.

Despite strenuous efforts to get every child into primary school, there has been little or no progress at the global level over the past decade, with 9 percent of children of primary age denied their right to education in 2008, and 9 percent still out of school today.

Without urgent action, the situation will likely get worse as the region faces a rising demand for education due to a still-growing school-age population.

“The most effective way to overcome the temptation to give in to harmful lifestyles is by investing in education. Education will also help to overcome a widespread mentality of injustice and violence, as well as ethnic divisions,” said the Pope in his intention.

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.