Meet Manikanta. After his father passed away, his mother had to take on the full responsibility of caring for the family. She is now working as an unskilled labourer and often works long hours just to make ends meet. Life is a constant struggle for their family, but Manikanta's mother still has hope for a better future.
The reason? Her son is a student at one of our Good Shepherd Schools. Manikanta's mother believes that the education he is receiving through sponsorship is a life-changing opportunity, and she continues to express her gratitude towards our Good Shepherd School and sponsors.
Thank you for making it possible for children like Manikanta to receive a quality education, and for giving hope to entire families! Thanks to you, Dalit children just like Manikanta are receiving quality, English-medium education, books, stationery, uniforms, and in our neediest schools, lunch supplements.
Many Dalits struggle with health concerns due to their extreme poverty, low social standing and the fact that many rural villages do not have available health care. That's why we've implemented health care initiatives at our schools, with health care workers who serve both the students and the rest of the community.
Joti is one of our community health care workers. In addition to providing check-ups, de-worming and vaccination advice for the schoolchildren, she also helps the families of the students by making house calls when needed.
A little while ago, one of the teachers approached Joti and told her about a student who had always been very engaged and studious, but had lately been distracted in class and even missing days entirely.
Joti visited the student's home that evening to talk to his family. She discovered that the father had been suffering severe stomach pain for over a week and the family was too impoverished to visit the doctor. This stressful situation was worrying the entire family.
Joti accompanied the father to the hospital to make sure he would receive quality treatment. After his diagnosis, she explained the doctor’s instructions and regularly visited the home until he recovered. Thanks to her care, the family could relax and our student was able to focus again at school.
We are thrilled to announce that our Freedom Campaign 2015 has begun!
As you continue to provide education for Dalit children, we’re seeing our Good Shepherd schools grow in rural villages throughout India. More and more families are hearing about our schools and wanting to send their children to a school that values them and provides them with the knowledge and tools to build a brighter future.
Just $300 will sponsor a child’s education for a full year. Each gift provides education and therefore protects children from human trafficking or a labour-intensive, and often dangerous job.
Please help us spread hope among the Dalit people – beautiful men, women and children who are deemed “untouchable” by their societies – and donate today!
Heather Davies has been suffering from a brain injury for the past two years. But instead of letting her suffering get the best of her, she’s used it as inspiration. This February, Heather hosted “The Beauty from Ashes Gala” to celebrate her 30th birthday and to raise funds for organizations that support women and children, including Dalit Freedom Network.
“I wanted to use my suffering and what everyone has done for me to help alleviate the suffering of others,” she explains. She is passionate about helping women as their suffering affects so many others. “These aren’t “women’s issues” they are “human issues”,” she says.
“I chose Dalit Freedom Network because I have such a profound respect for the organization. I had the good fortune to hear Dr. Beryl speak at Dalit Freedom Network's Hope for Dalit Women Dinner in October 2014 and it stirred my heart. I am deeply touched by the story of the Dalits.”
Heather’s gala featured a fantastic dinner, a silent auction, speakers from the benefiting organizations, live music and henna. In total, the evening raised over $5,000 to help Dalit women and children, with money still coming in!
She is passionate about making a difference and says she feels compelled to continue.
“These [sufferings] are not a picture of a thriving world, and what I have a heart for is to stop suffering and bring hope and thriving to all of humanity and the world. I picked this issue because I believe if we see women start to thrive globally and locally we will see the world thrive together.”
Thank you for using your birthday to support Dalit women and children, Heather!
Nineteen-year-old Sruti is a college student in Telangana. A few months ago she came to our Good Shepherd Clinic, confused as to why she was often tired and unable to actively participate in class. Our physician determined she was HIV positive. Sruti was devastated.
“I’m ruined,” she said. “There is nothing left to look forward to.”
Sruti then told the doctor that her father had died of AIDS so she knew it was a killer disease. She had recognized the signs of HIV in herself, but assumed she would either be refused treatment at a clinic because she was a Dalit or it would be too expensive.
Thanks to our Hope for Dalit Women dinner last October, Sruti received medical care at our local clinic, ensuring she does not have to add the worry of expensive treatments to her health concerns.
Our Good Shepherd Clinic started her on Antiretroviral therapy and provided her with counselling regarding living with HIV. She is now back at school, and working part time in order to maintain her economic independence. She dreams of becoming a nurse.
Because of our Hope for Dalit Women dinner, over 26,000 patients like Sruti will receive medical care.