27 October 2013

Deciding to help - Three Simple Case Studies

Opportunities to provide scholarships for three people seeking to climb the ladder of education out of poverty presented themselves last week.  How about three authentic case studies to see what you would do in our situation?

Case 1 - Young man.  Christian.  Has been studying really diligently for a few years now and is, compared with others his age, a year or two ahead in school on his way towards a Bachelor's degree.  No family support, living on his own.  No income other than social assistance of $27 per month (that is NOT a typo - his total monthly income at the exchange rate as of 27 Oct is twenty-seven US dollars).  Could complete school by taking out a loan.  Has a couple of debts which are being collected via the courts from his less-than-Christian conduct from before his conversion.  The court-ordered payments of these debts are why his income is only $27 per month.  He does have an opportunity to find employment, but that would mean he could not continue in school at this time but could start up with his education at any time.  
His question:  Would you provide a scholarship for me to continue in school so that I can graduate and begin working?

Case 2 - Young woman.  Attends Bible Study.  Enrolled in a vocational school program.  There is a requirement in the program for every student to purchase a set of special supplies which cost about $207 (rate as of 27 Oct).  Without this, she cannot continue in school.  Her parents are unemployed and because she has other brothers and sisters who are younger and whose basic needs like food and shelter consume all the social assistance her parents receive, there is no resource to buy her required supplies.  The vocational program she is enrolled in will enable her, upon completion, to make minimum wage - about $465 per month - if she can find employment.  
Her question:  Would you provide me a scholarship so that I can buy the required supplies?

Case 3 - Young man.  Attends youth group.  Still in high school.  He has five brothers and sister.  Parents are unemployed.  He must take the bus to a neighboring city to attend school.  Because the parents are not able to provide this, a group of local believers began to pool their tithes, limited because of their own employment situations, and pay for his transportation to and from school - about $30 per month.  Even so, the financial burden on the group of local believers is such that they do not feel they can continue to support this young man's goal of finishing high school.  
Their question:  Will you provide the funds to replace what we, the local believers, have been giving in order to keep this young man in high school since we feel cannot continue to do this?

I'm curious about your response.  These should be easy case-studies to solve, right?

I'll write about our response in a few days.  You can leave your responses here in the comments or you can email them to me at shane(dot)mcnary(at)gmail(dot)com  

If you email me, I will reference them in the same way I have written this up - I won't use names or identifying information.