India team wraps up exciting school year in education programs; many improvements enjoyed

Photo: Our girls are very happy to have the chance at an education, a luxury they did not have access to before arriving at their new home.

We are happy to report that all of our students from our orphan homes and slum outreach education center passed their exams, which means they will move up to the next grade level when school resumes in late June. We hope to expand our education programs to be a full K-12 equivalent school on our main campus — our goal this year is to add 10th grade course work to our students’ curriculum. In order to do this, we need to construct 9 new rooms, add some extra playground space, and acquire a school bus per government requirements.

Please keep these needs of our children in your prayers.

Many of our orphans have gone home to visit their relatives during the current summer break, but some have remained on campus where we are providing computer training classes for them as well as children from the local village. Our computers are in good condition and the children are excited to learn how to use these important tools for their continued education. We are also taking the children who have remained on campus for the summer to Hyderabad and Chennai to show them some interesting sights for their continued education, and for some fun outside of their usual routine. They are thankful for the opportunity to travel and see more of their country.

In other good news, our ground level garden and box gardens are both doing very well. Our ground level garden yielded a harvest of tomatoes, eggplant, radishes, beans, cucumbers, gourds, and green chilies — 90-92 pounds of each crop. We will replant the ground level garden in June and begin to prepare for the next harvest. Our box garden has not yielded a harvest yet, but those plants are growing and flourishing.

Our garden projects, solar power, and the newest addition of solar water heaters have brought a great change and given the children a new energy. Whenever they spend time in the gardens, it refreshes their minds and hearts and gives them strength. They are most excited about the hot water because during past winters they struggled with the hardship of bathing in cold water. Now they are very happy — our native team can hear them singing with great joy from their bathrooms. The hot water really puts smiles on their faces since there is no electricity in the local village where they are from. The children are so excited about all of these improvements to their home on our main campus.

This school year we were able to rescue 56 orphan children, mostly from child labor situations, and bring them in to our orphan homes; 32 girls and 24 boys. However, 48 of these children remain unsponsored. At the Children’s Hope Center in the slums of Hyderabad, we were able to provide an education for 48 children, along with after-school care and nutritious meals at our center. Our hopes and dreams for our main campus are to see more of the children sponsored, for our grounds to be abundant with flourishing garden projects, to continue to expand the school building, to buy more land for future projects, and to buy a school bus for the upcoming school year. Thank you for your prayers and contributions — we look forward to reporting back with our progress in improving the lives of these children.

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