I was born in the US. I had my education paid for. I had clothes given to me and toys and a piano to learn and play on and the finest of foods and luxuries. Hot water. A soft bed and pillow.
Ashish was born in India. He wears a tattered shirt – maybe the same one – everyday. The roof of his home is a tarp. There are bugs on the floor and loud planes flying overhead. Once a week, his family takes buckets to the edge of the road to collect water delivered in a truck. His neighbors walk around with no clothes on at all. It’s hot with nowhere to escape to. He’s school age, but most kids here don’t go to school. They pick through trash to survive. Their parents too have never been to school. I didn’t see any toys or even any shoes. Certainly not the life I’ve known.
But down the road is a Hope Venture non-formal school. It takes kids like Ashish, no matter how old, and gives them an education for the first time in their lives. They learn, receive clothes for school and some nutrition. When they’ve learned enough to pass entrance exams for their grade level, they graduate on and enter a government school.
Aamir and Vishal are two boys who have done just that. They entered our school with no learning and now are in 9th and 7th grades respectively in the government school. They have new opportunities. New hope. A future.
Oh God, may we take what You’ve blessed us with and bless more kids like these.
by Cynci Petersen, July 2018