Can you imagine working in a coffee shop or restaurant and relying purely on your memory for every order?
What if you were unable to decipher the menu board, or even recognize the buttons on the Point of Sale cash register?
Can you picture not being capable of decoding the labels on the different bags of coffee, or the name for each type of milk? Or not being able to read this blog post? I can’t.
Having literacy skills is something that we often take for granted. We don’t usually remember the exact moment we learned to read, it seemed to just happen.
My only connection to try to understand what it might be like to not be able to read, is from the experience of moving to a foreign country. The first time I recognized a word on the menu, understood a sign that read, “no parking” and wrote my name in Thai – I remember! I was so proud… so excited!
For many of our rescued children, reading is not something they take for granted. It’s a real-life skill that is the difference between having a dream fulfilled and continuing to feel ashamed, useless, or unworthy.
Recently our barista trainer, found herself reflecting more deeply on the words, “We offer vocational training since many of the children we rescue are behind in or struggle in school, so this gives them practical education to open doors for the future.” Words she had said many times before, but this day she had a greater understanding. And the reality of her words hit her like a ton of bricks.
Here she was working with precious teenagers that actually couldn’t read. But through vocational training and education, ZOE was helping by opening up new possibilities, instilling new dreams, and equipping them to accomplish the goals they carried in their hearts.
It is the reason why we’re not just about “rescue.” What chance would these teenagers have if we only rescued and didn’t equip?
Did you know that last year we were unable to provide aftercare services for 30 girls whose rescues we had assisted in? Due to lack of resources, we simply couldn’t take them into our rescue center.
We need your help. Not just to rescue, but to give these children a chance to read, learn, and grow.