Sumaiya’s parents wanted to withdraw her from Christel House when she was in the 8th grade. As conservative Muslims, they felt further study was unnecessary, and that she should marry and follow the expectations of her family. But Sumaiya had her own hopes and dreams. With help from the Christel House social worker, Sumaiya convinced her parents to allow her to remain in school. She was determined to study and work, in spite of opposition from relatives. “My grit, determination, interest and commitment towards my studies made my parents realize how important it was to me,” she says.
Respect and admiration for her Christel House teachers led Sumaiya to choose teaching as a career path. She wanted to pass along the gift of knowledge to others. The teaching profession is respected within her community, and enabled Sumaiya to balance religious and family expectations with a career she knows will truly make her happy. She writes, “I am following a traditional pathway, but never letting tradition become a barrier to fulfilling my dream.”
Today, Sumaiya works at St. Paul’s School in Bangalore, and continues to pursue her teaching credentials. “In my community, everyone was against me and my family relating to my decision to study further,” she writes. “My relatives advised my family to stop my studies. They thought a girl should get married and serve her in-laws by being at home. But now that I have persevered, they are proud, and all my cousins have joined colleges and are pursuing their studies.” Your support of ‘Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums’ is helping young girls and women, like Sumaiya, reach their full potential. Thank you for helping these students get the education they need for a brighter future.
Archana lives in a small house with her family in the slums of Bangalore. Yet, at Christel House India, she’s at the top of her class in every subject. A budding artist, Archana takes part in musical and theatrical performances. She dreams of a career in architecture. Watch and share Archana’s story. “When I look at my neighbors, I can see in myself there are many differences. They don’t have good education, proper food—they don’t have goals for the future. Some of them do not even go to school because of the poverty between their families. I think that I am the only one in my premises getting the wonderful opportunity to study at Christel House,” says Archana. “Without Christel House, I would not be getting an education. I would never imagine my future.” Christel House gives Archana an education—and so much more. That’s because Christel House doesn’t just educate children, or feed them, or provide health care. Christel House provides all these things—from early childhood through adulthood. Your support of “Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums” is helping to change the lives of children, like Archana, and support future generations.
We are growing. We are excited to announce that Christel House has signed an agreement with the government of Chhattisgarh to open a new Christel House learning center in Naya Raipur, India. The school is set to open in 2016 and will be the third Christel House school located in India.
As part of the partnership, the Naya Raipur Development Authority has agreed to provide the land and infrastructure for the school, and Christel House will be responsible for running the day-to-day operations. Amit Kataria, the CEO of the Naya Raipur Development Authority stated, “We have personally seen their work and the quality of their operations model in both their schools in Bangalore and Lavasa… We are confident that Christel House will deliver on our goals and make the Government proud of its efforts.” Your support is helping us grow and impact more children’s lives. Together, we are breaking the cycle of poverty, one child at a time.
Meet Maldren - a Christel House 2013 Graduate
Maldred grew up in poverty, a child of the Bangalore slums. In her neighborhood, education is not always a high priority for women. Less than 10% of all Indian youth are pursuing a college degree. Despite the odds, Maldren chased her dreams.
Maldren attended Christel House India and excelled, graduating from high school in 2013. She is now studying Aeronautical Engineering at Srinivas Institute of Technology and was the top ranked student in the engineering program during her first semester. Christel House is continuing to provide support to Maldren as she pursues her career.
"When I came to Christel House many years ago, I had many dreams, and now those dreams are coming true. My aim is to join the Indian Air Force, and I am working hard." Maldren said.
Her future reimagined: “I see myself as a proud and respected woman working in the India Air Force, giving part of my salary to Christel House. I will build a house for my parents and make them and everyone at Christel House proud of me.”
Christel House WORKS: 85% of Christel House India - Bangalore graduates are pursuing higher education.
Thank you for believing in our students and for helping them to dream. Your support is making a tremendous difference.
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 IndiaUp to 60 Million Children in India are Child Laborers; Over Half of them Work 7 Days a Week.
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