Helping Those in the Least Reached and Least Resourced Nations
During this time of crisis, charities around the world are stepping up like never before. One of IntelliTect’s long-time charity partnerships, Partners International, is also rising to the call.
Partners is a Spokane-based organization that emphasizes working closely with local people to solve the problems most important to them. Like so many charities, Partners is striving to stay safe during the pandemic. In a video about their response to the Pandemic, President and CEO Larry D. Andrews said, “Many of our ministry partners are serving in extremely vulnerable locations. But, the work of the ministry is fully continuing, despite the risk. Regardless of the situation or disaster, our Ministry Partners proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus as our hope, our healer, and our comforter will continue.”
IntelliTect’s Involvement with Partners International
IntelliTect’s founders, Mark and Elisabeth Michaelis, connected with Partners in 2012 because of their focus on listening carefully to local leaders around the world before acting. In 2014 IntelliTect helped with the design of their interactive holiday gift catalog website.
Much of IntelliTect’s history of funding school construction and poverty alleviation in East Africa has been in conjunction with Partners. Together, these organizations joined with a local East African church organization called Mchungaji Kundi Moja to help people who need protection and support. East Africa, including Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia, is one of the most politically unstable places on earth. Civil wars, terrorist attacks, weather-induced famine, very few medical clinics, and many other problems make life difficult.
A Focus on Education
At the root of many of these problems is a lack of education and infrastructure. At the request of Mchungaji Kundi Moja, IntelliTect and Partners International have funded construction and improvements to multiple schools. These schools, located along the border of Kenya and Somalia, serve all local children and do not segregate based on gender or religion, which is rare in this region. The work supervised by Mchungaji Kundi Moja includes multiple new classrooms that allow more students to attend. There is now a new separate restroom building for the girls and women to use as well as updated science lab equipment. The building also has a space for adults to use at night to improve their reading, math, and writing skills.
These improvements and the desegregation of the schools made the schools a target for local extremists’ attacks. The schools were closed for a time until safety measures could be put in place. The solution, largely funded by IntellItect, was to build a strong security fence, so the children will be safe during school hours, and the property will remain protected at night.
More children and adults began to use the schools. So, IntelliTect worked with Partners and Mchungaji Kundi Moja to build new wells, renovate collapsed boreholes, and install more powerful pumps. The entire village and local farmers are all benefiting from the clean water these wells provide.
In total, these schools serve more than one thousand students in some of the poorest, most needy, most vulnerable areas in East Africa. Terrorist attacks remain a constant threat. One of the schools is physically inside a refugee camp. Often, classes have been unable to meet because of civil war in the area. Nevertheless, the work continues and progress is being made.
The IntelliTect team is humbled to be part of the long-term solution to improve the education system and sanitation infrastructure of this war-torn area. They remain hopeful for this project’s future.
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