Photo: Students rescued from child labor enjoying the newly improved computer lab and classroom space.
In one of the world’s most populous and fastest-growing cities—Hyderabad, India—there’s a slum colony situated on the edge of one of the city’s major landfills. In this colony made up of make-shift homes pieced together from discarded vinyl ad banners, tattered tarps and sticks, stands one permanent facility. This facility is The Children’s Hope Center, which exists to provide children a way out of child labor through education and nutrition.
Launched in 2010 with limited funds, the center began as a humble one-room brick school building. We quickly outgrew the space as the colony embraced the program. Funds were then raised for the permanent facility seen in the story photo. Now over 40 children have been rescued from child labor and enrolled in the program.
The program provides all the support needed to register the children in quality, local public or private schools, along with nutrition, hygiene and medical support. It’s their first chance at an education, first time to own a pair of shoes and first time to log onto a computer—many firsts which these children and their families never dreamed would be possible.
Recently several upgrades were made to the facility that have vastly improved the learning environment in our after-school care program. The main room is now styled much more like a classroom with proper school desks and benches. The computer lab has been refurbished with new desks and a more reliable power backup system. As electricity only flows to the colony for a few hours a day, the backup system is critical for the operation of the lab.
Our next goal for the center is a solar power solution. Our after-school care program often times goes past sunset as we serve dinner before sending the children home. During the prolonged power outages, the only source of light is flashlights and lanterns. For the safety of the children we hope to provide the center with its own power source. Solar has proven extremely effective in the sunny environment of South India as evidenced at our solar powered orphanage and school facilities on our main campus.
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