“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.
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.
Meet the Christel House India 2013 graduating class. We could not be more proud of our students. Each one of these students has overcome immense obstacles to reach this great achievement. Along with facing academic challenges, they have also fought through hunger, family loss, fear, abuse, abandonment, and homelessness. They have triumphed.
With your support, we can continue to help even more students break the barriers of poverty and defeat the odds.
And on Wednesday, your contribution can go even further.
Global Giving is holding a Bonus Day this Wednesday, March 13th. They will provide a 30% match on every gift made to Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums -- up to $1,000. This means that you can have an even greater impact.
We greatly appreciate your continued support of Christel House India.
There is $50,000 available. Matching begins at 9am EST and lasts until funds run out or 11:59 p.m.
Every year, Christel House India enrolls a new kindergarten class. It is so exciting to see the children reacting to many new sights and experiences. Like other children entering kindergarten, Christel House students begin to learn their colors, numbers and ABC’s. Unlike other children, however, they also must learn how to use a real toilet, how to shower and how to hold a fork, as these are experiences they have never had the luxury of learning. During their first few weeks of school, students often stuff their pockets full of food when provided lunch in the cafeteria; they have never seen so much food in their lives and want to bring it home for their families to eat as well.
While many of us this holiday season, will worry about what we are going to make for Christmas dinner, buy for our spouse’s second cousin, or wear to our company party, many Christel House children will continue to worry about whether there will be anything to eat for dinner, if they will sleep on the lumpy mattress or the dirt floor, or whether anyone in the family will have too much to drink and come home to beat them.
No child should be in constant concern over his or her safety or basic needs. They should be concerned with learning how to read, write, give and share.
Our mission at Christel House is to help these kids, families, and future generations escape their lives of poverty… forever.
We can’t do this without your help. This month, Global Giving has introduced a matching program for all Recurring Gifts. This means that if you make a pledge in December to give a small monthly donation to Christel House every month, Global Giving will match this amount in December, doubling your contribution and impact at this important time of the year.
Would you consider making a year-end gift or a year-long pledge this giving season? Any amount, big or small, can make a tremendous difference.
Give. Transform a life.
WHAT DOES CHRISTEL HOUSE INDIA (CHI) MEAN TO YOU?
Christel House India plays an important role in my life. It is like a life giving opportunity where children of weaker sections in society with no dreams are given an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. CHI is the first step to fulfill my dreams. CHI is a wonderful organization to be a part of.
WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN IN YOUR LIFE AND IN YOUR FAMILY SINCE YOU STARTED ATTENDING CHI?
I have been a student of CHI from 2001. It has brought many changes in my life and my family too. It has taken care of me and my family. It has not only laid a foundation for me, but also for my two sisters who are studying here at CHI.
WHAT WOULD YOUR FUTURE BE LIKE IF YOU DIDN’T ATTEND CHI?
I can’t imagine my life without CHI. In today’s world, education plays an important role. An illiterate person will find it very difficult to survive. If I did not attend CHI, I would be uneducated and struggle to meet my everyday needs.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR YOUR FUTURE NOW?
I want to become a software engineer. I want to serve my school and help it in the same way it has helped me. I want to give back to my community. I want to bring my family out of poverty. This is the main goal of my life.
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