Photo: One of the girls who has benefited from our residential care girls home and on-campus primary school the past several years, seen here in one of her classrooms.
We are very thankful to share a retrospective of the success of our primary school in India. Our faithful field director and native team first opened the primary school in 2008, and it received accreditation in 2012. During the past 10 school years, we have enrolled 354 children, 78 of our children have graduated from high school, and 46 of our children have graduated from college. Our field director reports on the greatest accomplishments and successes of our primary school:
We were able to give an education to the very poor and lowest caste children in this area. Many of their parents did not understand the value of a good education — they did various things for work, like salvaging recyclable materials from the trash heaps and selling hair and small parts that they scavenged. Sometimes if they were not able to feed themselves they would beg for food. Many were impoverished migrant workers, thus they did not live in one place. Their children had to travel with them, so they were unable to go to school while they were away. But by joining our boarding school, we were able to give them a good education and daily nutrition support. By the grace of God, he has allowed us to sow these seeds of education in their families.
In other good news, 8 of our orphans recently graduated from high school and started their first semester of college this week. Today we want to share one of these orphan’s testimonies of how our on-campus primary school and their opportunity to attend high school off campus has transformed their life. Here is Chitrita’s* story in her own words:
I came from a very poor family — I am the oldest of 4 sisters and my father is an alcoholic who did not take care of us. So my mother had to take on the responsibility to care for us. She used to go to many homes to do their housework, like sweeping, washing dishes and doing laundry. Many times she had to go house-to-house to beg for food.
Even in this difficult situation she decided to send me to school. In those days she heard about our school and its facilities and how they were able to provide food for the children. So she enrolled me here, and initially, I came here for food only. But by the grace of God, the school changed my way of thinking: they taught me about the value of an education, and gradually I also came to love the academic classes and wanted to study.
Recently I graduated from high school with excellent scores in my school subjects. I give thanks to God for this wonderful experience at the girls home; it was a turning point in my life. The girls home, the boarding school, and its loving staff members delivered me from child marriage by educating my relatives. If I had not come to the girls home, my life would be full of darkness. I have so many things to share, but I am closing with a heartfelt thanks to Peace Gospel and to each staff member. I am also personally sending thanks to my sponsor. It’s so hard to leave the home, but I am thankful to be able to further my studies. Now I am going to college, and after I graduate I want to become a teacher to give an education to the poor children who are like me, especially to my tribe where so many children are in bondage. I am praying for them to be delivered, and I am so thankful to everyone who helped me and encouraged me. Thank you so much and thank you all!
In March our lentil harvest yielded 2.2 tons — we used some of the lentils in our children’s meals, but we also sold the bulk of of the yield at market last month, gaining a net profit of $603 which will enable us to buy other food items for the children. We are planning to plant our next lentil crop in July, looking forward to another bountiful harvest in January.
Take a Closer Look: view more photos from this project and others
* Story names are changed to protect our program participants.