Stories of Dignity
Learning During the Pandemic
Our Good Shepherd Schools were shut down, along with the rest of India, in March. This left upper level students in their 9th and 10th year without any preparation for their grade 10 exam. This test is crucial—it determines their eligibility to receive further education and continue to change the course of their future.
But schools adapted quickly. Several schools started using WhatsApp and Zoom to continue teaching. Upper level students were able to continue their studies and we are confident they will be ready for the exit exam or their last year of high school. They will have a better shot at changing the trajectory of their lives!
Today, though schools have yet to reopen, we are proud to share that 80% of students enrolled at Good Shepherd Schools are receiving an education, either through online learning or distance learning.
In rural India, the closest school for young boys like Shiv can be many kilometres away. So many families just like his can barely feed their families, let alone cover the cost of transportation for their child to attend the nearest school.
Luckily, Shiv’s loving grandfather recognized the importance of education and volunteered to take him to school. Each morning, Shiv hops on the back of the family bicycle, and his grandfather peddles 8 kilometres to make sure he arrives on time for class. They have made this trek every day for the last 7 years, travelling countless kilometres, whether it’s pouring rain or swelteringly hot. While Shiv is studying, his grandfather patiently waits outside for school to finish. His supportive presence reminds Shiv that every school day is an investment in his future and motivates him to work hard in school and finish all of his homework each week.
Thanks to his grandfather's tireless support and your generous gifts, Shiv can attend a school that encourages him to envision a brighter future and turn his dreams into reality, no matter how far the journey.
Photo Credit: Matthew T Rader
Subhash was a migrant worker 231 kilometers from home when transportation was suspended five days after lockdown took effect in his region.
He knew he needed to get home to his family, so he did what he had to do—he walked. Every single kilometer. But when he got home, he discovered that his family had less than a month’s supply of food left. Because Subhash is a migrant worker, he didn’t have identity papers and didn’t qualify for government assistance during the lockdown.
Without an income or government assistance, and a dwindling food supply, Subhash needed help quickly.
Luckily, two of his children were enrolled at a nearby Good Shepherd School, which had just started a food distribution program for families in need. Subhash received a food packet because his children attended the school. In the midst of an extremely trying time, Subhash can feed his family and he knows where to get additional assistance if he needs it.
His children aren’t just getting an education at the school, the whole family is being cared for because they are part of the community.
Freedom Through Education
Samar was kicked out of his local school at age eight because he was unable to pay the expensive fees. For many families in rural India, sending a child to school is out of reach. That’s why it’s not uncommon for relatives to discourage children from pursuing an education because of limited finances. Samar, unfortunately, was one of those children.
Losing access to education ended Samar’s childhood early and abruptly.
After leaving school, Samar was expected to help his family earn a living, help with chores, and take care of his younger siblings. Fortunately, when Samar and his family heard about our school, they were shocked to learn that he could attend for little or no cost at all. Now, Samar and his two siblings all attend our school, where they can learn, and play.
Now that Samar is receiving a high-quality education in English, the entire trajectory of his family’s life has changed.
Samar was destined for the same cycle of poverty that claimed his father’s life—but not anymore! Now, Samar has been given the opportunity to have hopes, dreams, and plans for his future.
Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, Samar is charting a new future.
Get updates about our work,
delivered right to your inbox!