Jayan loves going attending the local Good Shepherd School - he enjoys all his classes, but looks forward to lunchtime the most. Jayan parents are unskilled labourers who are currently unemployed. It is a tremendous struggle for them to feed Jayan and his six siblings. There are many days where Jayan comes to school hungry and without an adequate lunch.
Students like Jayan benefit the most from our feeding program. Through the program he receives a healthy lunch that includes egg, milk and fruit – luxury items for a child from such a poor background. When asked his opinion on the meal program, Jayan responded: “I like the food provided here because I don’t get to eat these things at home. I especially look forward to the eggs that are provided since I never get to eat eggs at home.”
It is overwhelming to think that something as simple as an egg can have such a huge impact on a child. We are so thankful to those of you who help make the meal program possible. Your generosity is helping children like Jayan to stay healthy and have energy for their classes.
Every day there are stories in the news about the plight of the Dalits. These articles keep us aware of the struggles that Dalits face on a daily basis. Please click on the titles below to learn about some of the recent injustices against Dalits:
One Woman's Fight for India's Sex Crime Victims: This short BBC video exposes how attacks on Dalit woman by higher caste men are increasing and how one young woman is fighting back for justice in her community.
Child Labour and Unequal Destinies: An opinion piece highlighting the huge problem of child labour in India today. The article points out that children from Dalit or tribal backgrounds are far more likely to be caught up in child labour instead of going to school.
Dalit Boy Beaten for Entering Temple: A eight year old Dalit boy was allegedly beaten by a priest for daring to enter a temple.
Although it is hard to believe, public health workers in India still refuse to conduct one third of visits to Dalit homes. This is just one example of the daily discrimination and exclusion that Dalits experience simply because they were born Dalit.
Dalit Freedom Network is committed to changing this terrible injustice through our Community Health Care Initiative. At the heart of this program are our Community Health Workers. These men and women work at our Good Shepherd Schools providing quality health care to both the students and the surrounding villages.
Currently, we have 60 community health care workers serving at our schools. The health workers come from a nursing background and have been given further training in how to meet the specific needs of Dalit communities. They interact with village leaders, hospitals and clinics, government health workers, and local politicians to ensure that Dalit children and their families receive the medical care they deserve. You can learn more about this program and how you can support our community health workers by clicking here.
What an incredible evening we had on October 26th in the Greater Toronto Area. We want to especially thank the 250 men and women who joined us and allowed their hearts to be touched by the plight of Dalit women and children.
Dr. Joseph D'Souza, International President of the Dalit Freedom Network, was the keynote speaker. He shared of how the common goal of justice for India's Dalits is drawing people to stand together for freedom, both in India and around the globe.
Your generosity helped us reach our fundraising goal! Over $24,000 was raised for Women’s Tailoring Centres in three of our schools. At these centers, Dalit women can attend a six month tailoring program. The marketable skills participants gain through the program will help them break free from the chains of poverty and create a better future for their families.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
A big thank you to all the women who joined us for our fifth annual Hope for Dalit Women Dinner!
It was a special evening with 350 Canadian women coming together to stand in solidarity with the Dalit women of India.
Dr. Beryl shared stories of the harsh realities that Dalit women face in modern day India, but also the hope that Dalit Freedom Network is bringing through our community projects and healthcare initiative.
Your generosity helped raise over $31,000 - exceeding our goal for the evening! Because of you, thousands of vulnerable and impoverished women and children will receive medical care through our health clinic. We cannot thank you enough for your generosity that will literally save lives.
Watch your inbox as a link to photos from the event will be coming soon!