Empowering the Next Generation

As we start our fall routines, and kids head back to school (or onto college!) It’s an exciting season for many of us. But can you imagine if you never had the opportunity to go to school? How would your life look different? 

Lack of education is a painful reality for so many in India — especially for those who have a family member with leprosy. Their chances for a good education dramatically decrease because of financial stressors and stigmas. 

But here’s some encouraging news: Because of the generosity of our donors, many families that we serve can send their kids to school, to after-school tutoring to further scholastic excellence, and onto trade school or college. The lives of these children (and the lives of their families) are changed forever! 

We recently sat down with kids from our Little Lights Program to hear their dreams for the future. We hope to guide them as they choose courses, finish their formative years, and figure out what life will look like once they graduate. The teachers are encouraged to help the kids solve problems as they work to make their dreams a reality.

You may remember us sharing about one of our students Sathya, who arrived at Little Lights when she was just five years old. We’ve walked with her for the last fifteen years, and now she’s 20 years old and in her third year at Christian Medical College here in India. We do what we do for kids like Sathya who have so much potential inside them and just need a bit of guidance to uncover all that the Lord has in store for them. It’s a high calling, and one that our teachers and staff wouldn’t miss for the world!

As we move forward with our 2022 initiatives, we will start identifying children outside of Little Lights living in rural areas and offering the same assistance through this Guidance Program.  It’s quite an undertaking but so important, and we are committed to helping these kids break the cycle of poverty in their lifetime. 

Restoring Dignity by Providing Jobs

The EAV sustainable goat project recognizes communities must be self-sustaining. We work with people affected by leprosy and develop their capabilities to increase their economic well-being. We help them create a steady source of income so they can provide for themselves and create dignified standards of living for their families. 

It never gets old seeing the light return to their eyes when they realize that they can take ownership in providing for their families’ needs. Our hope is not just to improve income; however, we aim to increase their capacity to provide for themselves and help lift them out of poverty.  

To do this, we conduct livestock training at the leprosy villages. We had 20 participants interested and showed them how to raise goats, chickens, and fish in the limited space they have. It’s been successful so far, and we are excited as it continues to gain momentum and expands.

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey to serve the leprosy communities of southern India. We are grateful for you and hope you have a wonderful start to fall!