Christmas is almost here! It’s tradition for many in the West at this time of year, to count our blessings and feel grateful for all we have. As we do so, let us remember those who are struggling in India to escape poverty and discrimination. By giving out of our blessings, we profoundly impacting India’s most marginalized citizens.
In this newsletter, you will find a Wish List of items needed for India’s low caste children to build better lives. Items include education, library books, teaching resources, desks, classrooms, science and sports equipment, and computers.
Please consider giving a meaningful gift this Christmas by giving towards an item or more on that list. If you know someone who is not in need of anything, but you’d still like to show them you care, you can give a special gift in honour of them!
Thank you for your generosity over the fall season. Thank you for caring deeply about the struggles of India’s low-caste members. Because of your partnership with us, we are able to help children hope for brighter futures and see their hopes become reality. Your care means life-changing opportunities for those in need.
With great appreciation,
Ajay comes from one of India’s indigenous tribes. He grew up in a remote, rural area where his father barely made ends meet by cultivating a small piece of land. Although Ajay’s community was impoverished and marginalized from the rest of society, he did not let this stop him from pursuing his education.
"Oppression couldn’t stop him, because he had a dream—he was going to become a doctor."
As children, he and his younger brother attended a Good Shepherd school in a nearby village and progressed from kindergarten all the way through tenth grade.
His grades had always been adequate but as Ajay got older, he realized the importance of achieving academic success so that his dream might come true. In high school, he studied harder and his interest in science grew, particularly in biology.
Ajay graduated high school with top marks and began intermediate college courses. By now, his ambition to become a doctor was very strong. Who would have thought this possible for a boy from his remote tribe?
But Ajay soon found himself at a financial crossroads. To continue his studies, he needed to pass an extremely challenging college entrance exam. He needed tutoring, but this would cost his family a fortune. Ajay’s mother sold her remaining pieces of gold jewelry that she had been given as a dowry when she was married. It was a sacrifice she was happy to make for her son’s future.
Because of Ajay’s devotion and all the support he’d received, this sacrifice was not wasted.
Ajay passed the entrance exam and was admitted to a reputable medical college in Telangana. Ajay is now on course to achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor! Although university fees continue to be a challenge, Ajay has learned perseverance and we have full confidence that he will achieve his dream. That’s why we are so thankful to friends like you who help us support young men like Ajay.
Growing up in Canada, Adam lacked nothing. Until he visited India eight years ago, he had no idea about the plight of India’s low-caste people. He was deeply disturbed by what he learned of people being bought and sold for profit, and temple prostitution being religiously institutionalized.
Because of God, Adam saw hope. He knew he had to help. Adam signed up to sponsor a child who attends a Good Shepherd School. With each letter Adam receives, he’s seen the boy’s English improve, his faith rise, and his joy increase. He was able to visit him six years ago, and see firsthand his love for learning.
This past February, Adam had another opportunity to visit India.
"The Good Shepherd School I visited was filled with children that have the joy of learning, of bettering themselves and their families", Adam says.
The children come from families that know only poverty. Without an education they too would be stuck in oppression. But at school, they are shown their worth and can begin to break the generational cycle of poverty. When you give a child education, you give them sustainability, freedom and a future.
Children like Ajay deserve to dream big—to dream of becoming doctors, teachers and engineers. They deserve the chance to make those dreams come true. As you read our Christmas Wish List, you’ll discover items that are the most-needed to provide an education and a brighter future. These items make perfect gifts for those hard-to-shop-for friends who seem to have everything. Imagine their joy at receiving a card or e-card from you and realizing that a child was given a life-changing education in their honour! Please consider giving meaningful gifts to your loved ones this Christmas.