The Salvation Army has a long history of engagement with education and currently works with more than half a million children in more than 2,500 schools, supported by 20,000 teachers in 45 countries.

Vision Statement

Salvation Army education seeks to develop compassionate people of integrity and character with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve their full God-given potential in the community.

International Education Goals

Salvation Army schools and education programmes equip children and youth intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually; and actively nurture the development of their foundational academic and life skills that enable them to adapt successfully in the globalised 21st century and to be resilient contributors to the life of their communities.

Goal 1

Educational environments are safe and protect the physical, emotional, psycho-social and spiritual well-being of all children and youth.

Goal 2

Marginalised and vulnerable children and youth are provided access to quality education. Educational environments are inclusive and equitable.

Goal 3

Educational environments are relevant to student needs and support student-centred active learning.

Goal 4

School management and supervision support high quality educational practices.

Goal 5

Communities participate in the education of children and youth.

Goal 6

Non-formal educational activities support the learning of children and youth.

Breaking Down Barriers

The Salvation Army is about removing barriers to education for the most vulnerable, and then providing education that is high quality and enables children to either move confidently to the next stage of education or feel empowered enough to look for employment with the necessary skills, social understanding and mental strength required in an increasingly globalised world.

Adding value to communities

A key objective is lessening the learning gap between Salvation Army schools and better resourced schools within a country, city or community.

The Salvation Army faces a unique challenge in that it is called to serve people in complex communities who are often economically marginalised and geographically remote. The Salvation Army worldwide goes where others do not go, and this is also true of our education programmes.

Joy in Learning

Josfridah’s story

Joytown School in Thika, Kenya, has some 700 students who are living with a range of disabilities, but offers a full curriculum for pupils as well as specialised support and resources that the young people need for independent living.

Seventeen-year-old pupil Josfridah says she felt settled after only a few months. ‘I’ve learnt a lot. It’s fun, with many activities, and students are really taken care of,’ she says.

Studying at Joytown
Josfridah studying at Joytown School in Thika, Kenya

Josfridah lives with spina bifida and has experienced the significant stigma that can be associated with disability in Kenyan society, but staff at Joytown are experienced in helping students understand more about their disabilities. ‘Life is still difficult,’ Josfridah explains. ‘Since I was young, I had difficulty accepting myself. I was bullied. People used to treat me as an odd one out because I was different from them.’

‘Joytown has helped me open a new chapter where  I can at last write my story in a new and positive way’

Enrolling at the school has improved her life. ‘Before I came to Joytown, I thought of myself as a burden,’ Josfridah says. ‘But when I came here, I saw kids in wheelchairs who are happy because they are being helped when they can’t walk or need support to go to the washroom.’

The school has a dedicated team to maintain the pupils’ wheelchairs, and specialist physiotherapy, medical support and a hydrotherapy pool are available.

Emotional and spiritual well-being are also at the heart of everything that goes on, and Salvation Army chaplains are on hand to help each student thrive and flourish.

Josfridah decided she wanted to benefit from such support. ‘I engaged myself in different activities,’ she says. ‘I tried to associate with people and be “me”. I want to be a person who can show the world that being disabled doesn’t mean that you can’t do things or that you’re a nobody.’

One part of school life has been particularly beneficial for Josfridah. ‘When I was young, I loved music, but I couldn’t sing in front of people because I was afraid to be judged,’ she recalls. ‘But when I came here, I gave it a try because it’s where I become free. The way the notes flow, the mix of highness and lowness of pitches is beautiful. I love music so much.’

Now that Josfridah has discovered a new confidence and has the opportunity to study, she has great hopes and dreams for the future. ‘I want to become a doctor – a neurosurgeon,’ she says. ‘For me to achieve that, I have to work hard and read a lot. Joytown has helped me open a new chapter where I can at last write my story in a new and positive way.’

In Tanzania and Kenya


Contact the Schools desk at International Headquarters by emailing