The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Is forgiving debts a good idea?

Schools built in 1998 by the Lutheran World Federation in Kibungo, Rwanda, are already too small for a community that has doubled in size in two years.

Outside one LWF school, parents form mud bricks, hoping to add classrooms before the fall rainy season. Otherwise some children will have to meet under shelters of sticks and plastic sheeting.

Both young and old wonder how their lives might change if the Jubilee 2000 movement to cancel poor countries' international debts succeeds. They question why money that could finance affordable, quality education is sunk into annual interest payments of $35 million (one fourth of the country's budget) on $1 billion in loans. But they also ask: "Would the money saved benefit us or enrich a few?"

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February issue


Embracing diversity