Promise

Building Community | Restoring Hope

Promise

Even better than a birthday or wedding celebration, these boys have reason to share their joy!

I’ve known these kids for five years. One of our main objectives is to mainstream slum-dwelling children into the educational school system. Otherwise, they would have no future to speak of. You see, these kids grew up scavenging their neighborhoods for recyclables to resell for profit. They are called “Rag-Pickers.” Most of the children who attend our tutoring center come from the slum next door, or the “nearly” slum areas that surround the center. During the past ten years, over 500 boys and girls have graduated from our tutoring facility and have successfully passed their entrance exams and entered school. For many, this is a major accomplishment for both themselves and for their families. You see, for many, they are first-generation students.

One of our students entered into the government school system seven years ago, went on to graduate from college, and is now back teaching at our Center. What a testament of success! The students in the above featured photograph just passed their exams last week and will be studying in a real school. In order to enter school, students must pass exams in English, Math, Science and India’s national language, Hindi. English is most important, and this is where our teachers excel.

Three girls and six boys graduated last week from our tutoring center in northern India. They passed their exams and entered the government school system. This is celebratory!

In India, it is the responsibility of one’s children to take care of the parents as they grow old. This is the culture. There are no retirement centers, nursing homes, nor social programs for the elderly. Children must do what they can. So you can imagine how happy are these kids’ parents, knowing that they now have hope that their children will one day be able to provide for their own families as well as for their parents.

Tutoring centers like this one break the cycle of generational poverty that keeps families from enjoying the possibilities that upward mobility brings to the poor; both economically and socially. They may always have to struggle against the social pressures that caste-identity places upon them; but they can do better for their families by obtaining better jobs, even careers, if they succeed in school.

This center cares for over 200 children during two sessions each day; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The majority of the families are unable to provide tuition payments, nor book and uniform fees. There are no government grants. It is all done on a prayer. The couple who run the program have really big hearts for slum children and want to see their lives changed for good. They also run a church in the area and (to the best of their ability) use church offerings to pay for tuition fees, books, back packs, uniforms and shoes. Three years ago, we (Hope Ascending) partnered with them and joined their cause to also help offset the cost to educate these kids.

We’ve learned a lot in three years; that poverty is more than lack of money and education. It’s identifying with a label that society places upon whole communities of people. The socially marginal have no voice because they’ve been told they are out-castes. People who hold places of power do not help them, believe in them, pay any attention to them, nor give them the benefit of a doubt. They are left to their own resources to eek out the equivalent of one or two dollars a day in order to purchase food for their families. Add the fact that they have no access to healthcare, are prone to parasitical and bacterial infections, water and mosquito borne illnesses, and – well, I think you’ve got the picture.

These six children live in these exact circumstances. But now they are going onto school! Five dollars a month will educate a child at this tutoring center. Ten dollars a month will also provide breakfast. Add medical health care and vitamins and we are up to fifteen dollars a month. Ad a school uniform, shoes, winter jacket, rain coat, books and back pack: $25 a month. That’s all it takes to change a live of poverty into a life of promise.:

Most of the children who attend this tutoring center come from the slum next door, or the “nearly” slum areas that surround the center. During the past ten years, over 500 boys and girls have graduated from our tutoring facility and have successfully passed their entrance exams and entered school. For many, this is a major accomplishment for both themselves and for their families. You see, for many, they are first-generation students. Paragraph

These nine children live in these exact circumstances. But now they are going onto school! Five dollars a month will educate a child at this tutoring center. Ten dollars a month will also provide breakfast. Add medical health care and vitamins and we are up to fifteen dollars a month. Add a school uniform, shoes, winter jacket, rain coat, books and back pack: $25 a month. That’s all it takes to change a life of poverty into a life of promise.


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