Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums

May 27, 2014

Meet Madhuri

Madhuri | 4th Grade | Christel House Lavasa
Madhuri | 4th Grade | Christel House Lavasa

Leaving her mud hut with its dirt floor and tin roof for the bright lights and solid walls of Christel House Lavasa was traumatic for Madhuri. She lives in one of the most remote areas of Lavasa, in difficult terrain. Goats, cows and buffalo are her companions.

When she started school in 2012, Madhuri was the first of her three siblings to go to an English medium school. At age 8, she was placed in second grade, although she had to master first grade content as well as English before she could tackle second grade material.

Low self-esteem showed in her bowed head, slumped shoulders and inability to make eye contact. But, her parents – both uneducated and illiterate – encouraged her. They want a better life for their daughter. “I am a simple woman who knows how to tend to buffalo and land,” said her mother. “But if Madhuri gets this education, I am sure she will be able to make a good decision about her future.”

Today as a 4th grader, Madhuri is a different child. Confident and bright, she participates in sports, music and arts after school. Now fluent in English, she helps her parents and siblings learn basic phrases. She loves to study, and describes her teachers as kind and full of new ideas. Mandhuri loves dolls, reading and her dog, Bandi, and a black and white cat names Mani. When she thinks about the future, Madhuri imagines that she will grow up to work – maybe even in an office – where she will use the English she has learned at Christel House.

Your support of “Educate an India Girl-Child from the Slums” is helping girls at Christel House India, like Madhuri, dream big and imagine a brighter future. Thank you for your continued support.

I want our students to grow into good human beings – kind and gentle, yet strong and self-sufficient, who dare to dream and work hard to achieve those dreams.” – Jaya George, Head of Schools, Christel House India

Up to 60 Million Children in India are Child Laborers; Over Half of them Work 7 Days a Week.


Feb 27, 2014

What drives you to succeed?

Geetha on her way to Christel House India
Geetha on her way to Christel House India

Christel House students often live in extremely unsafe environments. For example, Geetha is a bright 3rd grader at Christel House India - Bangalore. She lives with her family in an area that has been declared a slum by the government. Walking is dangerous. Bicycles are frequently stolen. Taxis rarely travel the areas where our students live—and even if they do, our families cannot afford cab fare.

According to the India National Crime Records Bureau, Bangalore has the second highest rate of crime against girls and women in India, including rape. These are the conditions our students must journey through on their way to and from school. But, the Christel House bus arrives every day to pick up Geetha and her classmates.

Transportation is a lifeline for our children and families trapped in poverty and crime that extends for miles. Every year, Christel House spends over $800,000 providing transportation to and from our schools in India, Mexico, South Africa and the United States. Without these buses, many students would never reach school because of the distance and danger.

Our children are motivated to do whatever it takes to break the cycle of poverty. Will you help drive them along this journey? Join us in an effort we are calling “DRIVEN TO SUCCEED,” and help us provide transportation to the students of Christel House.

$32 – Could provide roundtrip transportation for a bus full of students at Christel House India for a day

$79 – Could provide roundtrip transportation for a student at Christel House India for a year

$354 – Could provide roundtrip transportation for all 900 Christel House India students for a day


Dec 6, 2013

Because of you...

Christel House India Student
Christel House India Student


Last school year, 98% of students attending Christel House India graduated from 12th grade.  Many are continuing on to study at university, with dreams like becoming a doctor, joining the Indian Air Force, or getting a degree in engineering. 

In India, an estimated 46% of Indian girls are married by age 18 – many of them child brides.

Your support is making a difference. Thank you for helping in this transformative work. Christel House Founder, Christel DeHaan and Christel House students wanted to share their appreciation. Click here to watch the video:

We hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. Thank you for considering Christel House in your year-end giving.


Sep 12, 2013

To Care, To Share, To Make a Difference

CHI graduates present a check to Christel DeHaan
CHI graduates present a check to Christel DeHaan

“To Care, To Share, To Make a Difference.”

Soundharya and all Christel House India (CHI) students have recited this mantra for many years, and in February Soundharya was part of a group of CHI graduates who put these words into action.

Soundharya began attending Christel House India in 2003. Her father was a construction worker and her mother worked as a sales clerk – both barely making ends meet. Fighting the odds, Soundharya went on to graduate from Christel House India and after high school was hired on for a 2 year apprenticeship training program at The Taj Hotel, a prestigious hotel in Bangalore. Despite finding the apprenticeship program extremely difficult, she persisted and was even offered a full time job at The Taj Hotel on MG Road, one of their most prestigious properties. Soundharya‘s salary is a great support to her family and, because of it, her younger sister can now go to college.

Supporting her family was not enough for Soundharya, however, she wanted to do more. In February, Soundharya and a group of her former classmates pooled their resources and presented a check to Founder, Christel DeHaan as a donation to Christel House. The students presented their donation during the school’s 2013 graduation ceremony to set an example for their younger classmates. The check was worth 24,700 Rupees – about $450 USD – a huge sum for these students.

When Founder, Christel DeHaan received the check, she was brought to tears by the student’s generosity and spirit of giving. She had seen the model of Christel House come full circle – students who had broken the cycle of poverty and were now giving back to help the next generation. 

Thank you for your support in making this possible - you are chaning lives.


Jun 12, 2013

Overcoming Barriers

Ancy Joy - 2012 Christel House Graduate
Ancy Joy - 2012 Christel House Graduate

Years ago, Ancy sat crying in the principal’s office. She, her siblings and her mother had not eaten anything all weekend. Ancy’s father had deserted the family, leaving them with nothing. Christel House provided nutritional support for Ancy, but she did not want to eat at school while her mother starved at home. Christel House social workers quickly intervened.

Though her family struggled, Ancy was motivated to achieve, become independent and improve her family situation. In 2012, she graduated from the 12th grade at Christel House India and is now studying computer science at Kristu Jayanti College where she is at the top of her class. Her goal is to join the Indian Air Force and become a pilot. Ancy gives credit to Christel House for where she is today.

 For a young girl growing up in India, the future is bleak. Nationally, 45% of females cannot even read or write. Only 15% of students in India ever reach high school and only 7% graduate – those born to impoverished families are usually not among them. Christel House works to break the cycle of poverty for these young girls. Our goal is to help more girls like Ancy overcome barriers and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. We are so proud of Ancy for her hard work, dedication and determination.


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Project Leader

Bobbi Bosch

Indianapolis, Indiana United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums