SAT-7 ACADEMY: STEPS TOWARDS FREEDOM

This summer, SAT-7 is looking to break new ground when it launches a new educational channel. SAT-7 ACADEMY will build on My School broadcasts – watched by over 1.3 million children – and on the broader range of educational shows the network provides.  SAT-7 is currently exploring a range of funding opportunities to enable this exciting new venture.

Syrian refugees line up during a class break while at school in Zouq Bhanin Village, Lebanon on March 22, 2016. Photo: © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

“Education is the first step towards freedom. There is no freedom without education.” Fr Youssef Assaad, a member of the body that oversees Catholic schools in Egypt, underscored the vital place of education in promoting fair and free societies in a recent episode of SAT-7’s Bridges programme. The whole episode explored the important contribution Christian schools make in the country.

On a wider canvas, Dr Habib Badr, a senior Evangelical leader in Lebanon, has stressed the significant role church-run education has had across the region over the last 150 years. He is convinced SAT-7 has a key part to play. “For me, SAT-7 is as important as the entry of universities and schools into the Middle East in the 19th century,” he says: “I have always likened SAT-7 to a great educational enterprise.”

Young Middle Eastern boys at school. Photo: © Arne Hoel/World Bank

While refugee and displaced children and families will be a key audience, the channel will also seek to bring positive change to viewers of all backgrounds. Primary level education, parenting skills, health education, critical thinking, and conflict prevention and resolution will all have a place in the schedules. They will aim to challenge ways of thinking and acting that lie behind many of the region’s conflicts and inequalities and move them towards more inclusive, creative and democratic societies.

Dr Terence Ascott, Chief Executive Officer of SAT-7, spoke of the channel’s potential impact:

“We are talking about audience sizes in the millions. But even if we were only to impact the lives of a few thousand children, it would be worth it. One viewer can grow up to be a real instrument of change in their society. One of these children could even be the future president of his or her country.”

PLEASE PRAY

  • Give thanks for the vision of this new channel and pray for the 1.3 million children watching My School. Pray that new educational programmes will give viewers life-changing skills.
  • Pray for the appointment of a director for the new SAT-7 ACADEMY channel, and for educational and charitable organisations to provide funding to enable this new venture to take place.
  • Pray for all of SAT-7’s educational presenters, including school teachers, academics, medical doctors, psychologists and counsellors who give their time while leading already demanding lives.
  • Give thanks for the historic work of Christian schools across the Middle East and for Fr Youssef Assaad and Dr Habib Badr in their roles in enabling education in the region.
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