Introducing Choose Life
Choose Life is a curriculum for African schools, helping 11-14s to make good choices for themselves and their communities, applying biblical values of love, peace, justice, freedom, and concern to their everyday lives. After two years of piloting, this highly interactive programme has been put to use in schools across Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Choose Life curriculum teaches five values:
- Love - and its application in relationship choices
- Right - justice and integrity
- Peace - conflict resolution, peace-making, and reconciliation
- Freedom - from harmful spiritual powers and practices
- Concern for others - living as a community
These values are key to responding to situations such as HIV/AIDS. The apocalypse of HIV/AIDS is not an individual problem of sexual behaviour - and its effects are not confined to individuals either. Cruelly, it is robbing Africa's teenagers and children of some of the most important things that could turn the statistics around: community; family; a society that can care for its most needy; economic progress, and peace.
In the course of developing Choose Life materials Christian Kenyan teachers told us that, much to their despair, diligent teaching of Bible stories and principles seems to make little difference to the behaviour they see in their students. Young people may know all the right answers, but just learning the facts of the Bible doesn‘t produce the kind of change they so desperately need in their lives. Throughout the Choose Life lessons therefore we want to help young people to understand Biblical values, to observe them at work in the world around them, and to intentionally choose to live by the values they learn.
Even in quite ordinary, everyday ways, Choose Life results so far speak for themselves.
The Choose Others module raised eyebrows and interest in the whole school. Girls from my class were even ready to sacrifice by contributing money to members of their class who could not pay their exam fee. This showed that they actually put into practice what they had learnt.
Ruth Ainda, James Gichuru Primary School, Nairobi
Please pray for young people in Africa and for the development of Choose Life project. May more and more of them encounter God in his Word and learn to make good life choices for the benefit of themselves and their communities.