In one of the most poorly educated countries in the world, Chick-fil-A Operators and Lifeshape International participants are investing in the education of children- the future leaders of Niger.
With a literacy rate of 28 percent and less than half of the country’s children enrolled in school, Niger is in desperate need of leaders who will work for the good of future generations.
“If we educate the children, they have a chance to get their country out of this impoverished life,” said Jason Bilotti, who is Owner/Operator of two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia and has made multiple trips to Niger with LSI.
Bilotti works with an organization in Niger called Leading Innovatively Niger to the Kingdom (LINK). In the midst of this education crisis, LINK is investing in Niger’s young people by building two schools, one of which has 980 students who last year had a remarkable 100 percent passing rate on their government exams.
Since 2006, Bilotti has led a team every year from Lifeshape International to Niger to build relationships and serve in the schools, orphanages, and surrounding communities. This year, the team taught the SERVE Model to more than 70 people, including the leadership from the LINK schools.
The work has not only touched the lives of Nigerians; it has also transformed the lives of the LSI participants.
“It’s changed my perspective on the world, on people, on waste, and on how much we have,” said Jason Bilotti, whose family adopted a son from one of the orphanages in Niger.
One participant said, “My life has been forever changed by the people of Niger,” and another shared, “It has changed my whole perspective and my heart.”