Apr 24, 2021

The Story Continues

Clifford (2nd row on right) with a few classmates.
Clifford (2nd row on right) with a few classmates.

The uniqueness of the times continues to make this a period all of us will never forget. This is certainly true for the members of the Mission: University program. After most of a semester at home, 13 students returned to school in February, some for the first time.

New uniforms, new classes, new friends, new hope. It hasn’t been perfect; there is still too much online learning and social distancing…but there have also been plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Kurena, in her first semester of Hotel Management finished at the very top of her class. And Clifford, now halfway finished with his Bio-Technology degree, earned extremely high marks, technically second in the program, but in the high 90 percentile! He also won a trophy for a speech he gave on water sanitation, earing the “Best Scientific Presentation” award at his college.

All students passed all subjects, moving on to either their 4th semester or their 2nd. Their effort and ability are making us all proud.

Sadly, due to a renewed outbreak of Covid-19 across India, all colleges have closed once again, and students are returning to the mission as this note is being written. They’ll have to endure a strict quarantine before entering the wider mission family, but this is a routine most of us are familiar with by now.

As a side note, I’m happy to announce: The Mission: University program has inspired a larger effort called Teach Her, providing college education to orphaned girls around the world. You can learn all about Teach Her at www.teachher.org where you will find many of the Mission: University young women posing as pioneers and spokesmodels for the program.

You can also follow Teach Her on social media like Facebook and Instagram for inspirational stories and successes from the field. With our recent expansion into Nepal and partnerships forming in Zimbabwe and Uganda, the movement that began here is spreading out, changing the world one amazing young woman at a time.

Thank you all so much for your generosity and support. We’ll be welcoming 6 new students to our program in the coming months and here’s hoping the air clears in the days ahead, allowing schools to reopen and in-person learning to resume.

Stay safe and be well,

John

Kurena (on right) with her M: U roommate Chandani.
Kurena (on right) with her M: U roommate Chandani.
The Teach Her homepage featuring M:U student Maya!
The Teach Her homepage featuring M:U student Maya!
New Mission: University students ready to enroll.
New Mission: University students ready to enroll.

Links:

Apr 12, 2021

Summer Approaches

Socially distancing at school.
Socially distancing at school.

Summer is fast approaching here on the Mission. Over the next week or two temperatures will begin to increase dramatically, eventually getting to as high as 52°C (or 127°F if you are from the USA). That's an unbearable temperature!

We just wanted to check in with all of you who have supported our work recently and say thank you so much. It is always humbling to us when we get notifications of new donations coming in. In the current global climate it means even more than ever to have your support!

We are both delighted and grateful to let you know that all of our children are doing well. While COVID-19 spreads like wildfire across the country we are thus far unaffected. While India itself is second only to the USA in overall cases, our state has a relatively low infection rate. We are doing our best to remind ourselves regularly of how important it is to stay vigilant and not become complacent. Many of our staff have already received the first of their vaccination shots.

School, at this stage, is still open for our kids. Those in grades 6-10 attend daily classes. Over the last week several districts have closed their schools, we expect this might happen in our district too. Our children who are attending university, at this stage, are remaining there.

At home life is pretty normal, our campus has always been somewhat cut off from the world. The biggest change that we have noticed is that our regular volunteers have not been coming: most years we have 100+ people come from around the world to help out. Our little world feels even smaller without them.

As we continue down this road of uncertainty we value the connections we have with each one of you. Your donations, support, prayers and messages empower us to keep changing the lives of our kids. Thank you for standing with us.

No masks required when you are studying at home.
No masks required when you are studying at home.
Celebrating the festival of Holi.
Celebrating the festival of Holi.
Off to the jungle to celebrate Kevin's birthday.
Off to the jungle to celebrate Kevin's birthday.
Some of our youngest ones while baking cupcakes!
Some of our youngest ones while baking cupcakes!
Dec 25, 2020

An Unusual Semester

Chandani looking up from an online class
Chandani looking up from an online class

After a year like 2020, we are not sad to see it coming to an end. 

For our Mission: University students, 2020 has meant remote learning as all participants saw their schools shut down, like so many students around the world. So classes were conducted on laptops or on phones, often overcoming internet connection issues, missing out on the experience of college, but moving forward none the less. 

For new students like Coreena and Chandani, missing the first semester of Hotel Management school was a disappointment as so much of their course work involves labs and hands-on activities. For Maya and Rosey, new Engilsh (Hons) students, their fisrt semester involved lots of onine presentations while remaining at the mission. The same was true for Jackie, our International FInance student who missed semester 1 at his top private institution. But all schools will be opening up again after the first of the year, as the country of India starts allowing students to return to campus.

Basanti is already back in her hostel for her 2nd year in nursing college, and Sunny is back to school as well, for year 2 of his 5 year architectural degree program. The remainder of our students will be returning to class in the first week of January, so lots of excitement lies ahead. 

One exciting development has been the purchase of new laptops for our students thanks to the generosity of so many of our sponsors. Nearly every student in the program will be returning to their classrooms with a powerful new computer to help them complete their course work. It costs about $600 US for a quality machine, a protective case and a wireless mouse, should anyone be interested in sponsoring a student's laptop. Just let us know. A fund has been set up specifically for this purpose.

And so, as we close the books on what has been one of the most challenging years on record, we look forward to the healing and opening of the world in the days ahead. And we thank everyone of you for your generosity and support. We could not do this work and they would not get this opportunity without all of you.

May we all stay healthy and safe in the new year. 

It's not the same, but classes are continuing.
It's not the same, but classes are continuing.
Jackie starting his International Finance program.
Jackie starting his International Finance program.
Coreena trying to pay attention in class.
Coreena trying to pay attention in class.
Maya and Rosey working on their English.
Maya and Rosey working on their English.
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.