Last time I shared the three ministry areas of Every Village as we look to the Next Chapter. They are:
In a land with so many needs, many ask us why these three areas of focus. It's a good question, and the answer for us lies in a few telling statistics and years of sitting with the South Sudanese listening to the them describe their needs. Few places on earth have a people with so much hunger for growth and yet so little access to the most basic spiritual and physical investment. With so many opportunities for impact, Every Village has chosen three areas that we believe have a significant bang for their buck.
The first is radio.
The CIA estimates South Sudan's literacy rate to be 27%. Although that number is already much higher than the rural communities in which we work (due to inclusion of the capital, Juba), it is also misleading of the entire population. That 27% represents people over 15 years who can read and write. However, 42% of the population is made up of children 14 and under. So the actual percentage of communities who can read and write is much lower and is more accurately represented by the below chart.
So how do you reach a largely illiterate population with gospel training and community development? Radio is the natural choice for such an environment. And time has proven this model to be incredibly effective. Through our three radio stations, we cover about 25% of the population already and we are looking for that reach to continue to expand. On our stations, we broadcast the gospel every day and provide community development programs that reach the most remote of villages. Truly, God is on the move through radio in South Sudan!
Next time I will answer the question of why we add water programs to our radio ministry.