Photo: Girls rescued from child labor and homelessness are happy to have clean beds, fresh cooked meals, and a quality education in a supportive family environment.
Today we bring you the good news that 32 children who were recently rescued from hazardous child labor situations and the trauma of child slavery are now living at our 2 orphan homes in India. This puts our enrollment at the Girls Home and Boys Home at full capacity with 121 children total. 89 of the children are currently enrolled in our on-campus primary school, which began a new semester in June, with the other 32 enrolled in a nearby high school. The students at our school are enjoying the blessing of an accredited education, studying their native Telugu and Hindi languages, English, math, science, and social studies, taught by our 10 faithful teachers. The children are happy to be back in school, making new friends, studying and playing together, and enjoying fresh-cooked meals with one another.
We want to share the stories of 2 orphans who came to live at our orphan homes this summer, and how this has blessed them immensely and changed their lives forever. The first story is from one of the orphans living in our Boys Home at Peace City, Neerav, told in his own Telugu words, which are translated here:
I am the only son of my parents, and I was born in a very poor family in a small native village. When I was 2 years old, my father was coming from the town to my village, and on the way, he was killed by a truck accident. My mother felt so bad about the accident, and so much depression took place in our family that my relatives comforted us at that time. After that, all of them left us, and my mother came to my grandmother’s house. They are also very poor, so they were not able to feed us. My mother was so young at that time, and she wanted to see me in a healthy situation, so she went house to house to find housemaid work. She found 3 houses to work in, so she was working there and bringing some food from their houses and feeding me as well as feeding herself. While she was working there she found out that she was suffering from tuberculosis, and she died when I was 6 years old.
After I lost my mother and father, I use to wander from house to house. I lost everyone, even my grandmother, and I did not know my relatives. I had no home and did not know where to go. I was begging house to house for food, and I went to a hotel to clean cups and plates, and they gave me breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There was so much hard work to do there. At that time an old woman found me and asked me to come to her house. I went there and she loved me and she introduced me to her pastor. He sent me to a school, and I studied there until 6th grade. But the pastor’s financial situation was also not good, so he said that he was unable to send me to the school anymore. The old woman understood his situation, so she brought me to the Peace Gospel orphan home and now I am happy here and doing well, having food 3 times in a day freely. I am eating sufficiently and going to the school freely. I have my own bed here, I am enjoying living here, and I am so thankful to Peace Gospel.
Photo inset: (Top-left): “Neerav,” one of our newly rescued orphans, is thankful to be at our Boys Home and attending school. (Top-center): The children at our India Girls and Boys Homes are grateful for 3 fresh-cooked meals a day. (Far-right): Thankful to be rescued from a life of poverty with no one to care for her, “Anika” now has healthy meals, her own bed, and a quality education. (Bottom): These girls, rescued from child labor situations and poverty, are excited for the opportunity to attend our on-campus primary school.
The second story is from one of the orphans living in our Girls Home at Peace City, Anika, told in her own Telugu words, translated here:
When I was born, after some months, my father died from a stroke. I was a small baby girl, and my mother was breastfeeding me, so at that time she was unable to do any work. My grandmother took me and my mother to her home. My grandfather had also died, so my mother and grandmother both are widows, and people treat widows badly. It is so hard to find some work for widows in some areas, so my grandmother used to go from house to house to beg for food for us, and later my mother was able to do some work. My mother’s hand was broken in her workplace, so she was unable to do any more work there. After this, my mother used to go and pick rags out of the trash and sell them, and with that little money, she was feeding us. After two years my mother also died, and I was a small girl and did not know what to do. In those days my grandmother had a friend who saw our situation — I was eating food which I begged for (while I was begging they used to give the last night’s food to those who were begging in the mornings).
In my grandmother’s friend’s house, I was wearing used clothes, but those became torn. Then my grandmother began to suffer from some kind illness, and she was unable to walk because of knee pain, so she was not able to go and beg for food for us. We used to go 2-3 days without food if she was not able to walk, and we did not have even water. Another friend heard about our situation and told us about Peace City. My grandmother was so happy and both women brought me here to Peace City, I joined here, and now I am so happy here. I eat daily 3 times, sleeping on a bed — I did not know about beds because we used to sleep on the floor that was made of mud and clay. Here I have my own bed, I’m going to school, and I had never used toothpaste before in my life, but here I am using toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean my teeth. I am happy with so many facilities here, and I love playing with my friends here on the playground. I am so happy and thankful for this place.
In other news, we have been experiencing a drought in the area due to the delay of the annual monsoons that provide a natural irrigation source for the land, and also provide drinking water in the water table for our well. The monsoons were supposed to begin in early June, so now in August, our region is experiencing a severe water crisis and some people in the area are fighting for drinking water. In addition to these problems, our clean water well has run to a trickle, and we are receiving only a very small amount of water through our pipeline because it was recently damaged during some governmental road work. The damage occurred in the middle of our pipeline and the pipe cracked in many places. We are trying to conserve our water, the children have been instructed to use the water carefully, and it is very difficult to find water to purchase. Thus, we are seeking to drill our well deeper to reach a steady water source. With your generous contributions, we hope to raise $1,302 as soon as possible since we are in the middle of a water crisis.
We are deeply grateful for your prayers and your faithful support, and so is our field director — in his own words: “I am so glad to serve these children and bring smiles to their faces. Every child has their own story, and we are writing their stories. I am personally thankful to all of our supporters and donors, may God bless you all.”
Take a Closer Look: view more photos from this project and others