Suraya was seven years old when she started studying at our Good Shepherd School , but she was already working to help support her family. After her father deserted them, Suraya and her mother struggled to make ends meet. Her mother worked in a match factory and every night she would bring matchboxes home for her daughter to assemble.
Thankfully, one of our Good Shepherd School managers came to know Suraya and her mother and invited her to attend the school. Suraya studied English, Math, Science and the local language and loved her classes so much that she decided to become a teacher herself.
Last year, she completed her training through the Good Shepherd Teacher’s Training College and is now a teacher in the same school she herself attended.
India has the highest population of children in the world, with 40% of its 1.2 billion people under the age of 18. Many of these children are extremely impoverished, putting them at risk of being trafficked into child labour, forced labour, or bonded labour- a form of indentured servitude relatively unknown in the modern western world.
Poverty, coupled with low social standing, makes Dalits especially vulnerable. In fact, almost 30% of the students at our Good Shepherd Schools have parents who are already bonded labourers; this greatly increases the chance that they too will become bonded labourers.
Previously, parents felt that their children were destined to a life of economic hardship and limitations – just like theirs. But our Good Shepherd Schools are bringing hope into these communities. You are bringing hope into these communities.
Through sponsorship, you make it possible for a Dalit child to receive an English language education and in doing so, protect them from being trafficked into a life of hard labour. Your sponsorship is an investment into the freedom and future of India’s most vulnerable children.
Here in Canada, education is something we sometimes take for granted. But in India, where schools aren’t always accessible or affordable, children and their families see education as a gift.
Akash is one of our students. He lives in a Dalit village that did not have access to education before our Good Shepherd School was invited into the community. Because of this, Akash is the first in his family to ever attend school. His parents are so proud that their son has almost completed his primary education, and know that this education will lead to opportunities that did not exist for them when they were his age. Their wish is that many more families will be able to send their children to school as well.
With only one more month in our Freedom Campaign 2015, we'd like to thank everyone who has already sponsored the education of a Dalit child or given a gift towards their education. You are changing the lives of these children!
As a sponsor, you receive an annual letter from your sponsored child, their school report card and a school photo update. But did you know you can write to them too?
The children love receiving your letters. As a sponsor, you are giving opportunities to Dalit children through an education that they would have never dreamed possible. You play a very special role in their lives.
Simply mail us your letters – you can include photos, stickers, postcards, or bookmarks (no gifts please) – and we will mail them to India for you. Be sure to include your child’s student code on each of your letters and envelope. If you prefer, you can log in to your account on our sponsorship website to send a letter or birthday card digitally.
Need some writing inspiration? Here are some ideas:
-Tell your sponsor child about your family (include a photo too).
-Tell them about Canada.
-Ask your children about their schoolwork and interests outside of school.
-Encourage them. Tell them you value them and think of them.
Our mailing address:
P.O. Box 45645Surrey, BCV4A 9N3
Last week we received a phone call from one of our sponsors. His parents’ birthdays were coming up and he wanted to get them something really special.
His idea was to give the gift of sponsorship by sponsoring a child's education on behalf of his parents. After speaking to him, we made a special birthday card, complete with all of the sponsor child’s information and popped it in the mail.
His parents were so excited when they received their gift that they asked if they too could give sponsorship as a gift. Our response? Yes, you can!
Sponsorship makes a meaningful gift for any occasion: for a birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or even as a graduation gift. It’s two gifts in one – one for your loved one and one for a Dalit child and their family, a gift of hope and freedom through education.
For more information about giving sponsorship on behalf of someone else, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.