~ Maneesh Massey
Office Manager, Varanasi Region
A hundred and forty-six needy children are finding new hope for the future since the Compassion project started in their village of Sihorwa near Varanasi. Children who were growing up illiterate now are learning to read, write and do basic mathematics. On December 21st we held a Christmas celebration with dances, a Nativity play and Santa who distributed candies to the little ones. The birth of Jesus and Christmas carols are unheard-of in the lives of these simple Hindu villagers.
The children’s parents and a few distinguished guests also attended. Afterward, through the sponsorship of Compassion we provided blankets which the village chief distributed to each child’s family. The children were also given pants, shirts, skirts, sweaters, socks and shoes.
The Sihorwah Education Center would become a full-fledged school if we could add more classrooms. It will cost $20,000 to build four more classrooms, and to complete the kitchen and play area.
~ Alok Srivastava
Founder of St. John’s School, and
TellASIA’s Director of Lucknow Region
In 2009 thanks to the sponsorship of a generous donor we constructed and launched a school in a remote area of Sultanpur District. St. John’s School is the only English-medium Christian school serving a population of 350,000. We now have 350 students, including 40 from very needy families to whom we are giving free education, and 50 others whose fees are subsidized.
Illiteracy is one of the biggest problems in north India, with only 57% of the population being able to read and write. For their children to also learn English is an impossible dream for most villagers. But now that dream is coming true for these children and parents.
On January 27th we had just finished Republic Day celebrations at the school when the five-year-old daughter of a field laborer ran up to me and threw her arms around me. She begged to be admitted in the school. It was very touching to see this shoeless little girl in rags wanting so badly to study. She will be our 41st full scholarship student.