In November of 2010, New Dawn School graduated its second class of 41 students. Prior to graduation the students spent several weeks taking comprehensive national exams. These exams are of greatest importance, because a student's exam scores is what qualifies one for university course-work. The results are not released until February, and New Dawn was very excited by the results of this class of students: four can join University, and two-thirds of the rest qualify for diploma coursework! Director Irene Tongoi celebrates, "The Lord heard our prayer for them and they have done better than their predecessors!"
Adding to this joy, New Dawn has been granted a "Center Number", which means that the students can now take the national exam at their own school instead of traveling to another registered school. This has been a six-year matter of prayer, and the Lord has prevailed for New Dawn! Praise Him!
Recently I read Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, the man who founded the Tuskegee Institute in the era following the emancipation of slaves in the United States. His calling in life was to bring justice to former slaves and their children through education and technical training, just as New Dawn is seeking to bring justice through education to the underserved youth in their corner of the world. Washington's definition of success is worth considering: "I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed."
Consider the success story of a recent graduate, Steven Owounda, age 41:
Steven is one of 16 children. Upon completing primary school in 1981, his family was unable to pay for secondary school fees. Over the next 26 years, he learned the carpentry trade, became a follower of Jesus Christ, and worked as a watchman. All along his journey, Steven never let the obstacle of passing time crush his hope for achieving secondary education. In 2007, Steven entered New Dawn as a Form One student (high school freshman) at the age of 37! God has endured with him, and he graduated in November of 2010! Steven desires to join a Bible college and become a pastor as his way of giving back to the community.
We at Saba, International stand prayerfully with Steven and all the other graduates of New Dawn as they thirst for more education, with the passion of building up communities!