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 Education  India Project #39535

Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!

by The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission
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Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!
Help 10 Indian Orphans Go To College!

As T.S. Elliot once wrote: “April is the cruelest month.”

This year, as the world has sheltered at home and worked to make sense of the evolving Covid-19 outbreak, our Mission: University program has had to adapt just like everyone else.

Since the middle of March, most schools in India closed and our students were sent home. Then, on March 24th, the entire country of India was put on strict lockdown…all 1.3 billion people…with harsh punishments for driving and virtually all unnecessary movement. This order is in place until May 3rd.

Students have been doing classwork on the computer and completing assessments online as they await the news concerning the future of their respective programs. At this time, it’s unclear what college students in any country will be doing before the end of the term, but we’ll keep you posted.

Most importantly, all students are safe and healthy. In fact, there have been no cases of the coronavirus within the mission gate’s, which is a blessing...with very few cases in the whole state.

This fall, we’ll have three more students joining our Mission: University roster (Rosey, Coreena and Jackie), bringing our total to 11. We couldn’t be more proud of the work our kids are doing and look forward to more successes as our program unfolds.

For now, like the rest of the world, we’ll just wait and see. From all of us at the Mission: University program, we hope you are also safe and well, with the cruelest month behind you. Here’s to better days ahead. We’ll get there.

Thanks for all your support,

John

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Home for the holidays with one semester complete!
Home for the holidays with one semester complete!

One down...five to go.

Most college in India is six semesters, so our little Mission: University team is on it's way. For most of our kids, the semester break coincided with the Christmas holiday, so nearly everyone was home at the same time. Sunny (3rd from left) is in the architecture program and didn't wrap things up until just before New Years; he's also in a five year program so he has a bit longer to go. But still, all eight students did overlap for long enough to pose for the attached picture. The first complete and official Misison: University pilot program participant's portrait!

The first semester marks are not in for everyone, but we do have a few highlights to report. In his BioTech program at Uttranchal University, Clifford (4th from left) received the 2nd highest marks in the class! And in her Social Work program at Himgiri Zee University, Sonia (5th from left) topped them all, finishing first! And while grade certainly are not everything, we are extremely proud of the hard work these kids are putting in.

In the coming weeks, we'll be preparing college applications for at least three more students. For those who know the farm kids, Rosie, Jackie and Coreena have all expressed interest in pursueing higher education. Coreena and Rosie already have sponsors...but if you or someone you know might be interested in sponsoring Jackie, let me know. He's a great kid, interested in potentially pursueing business. No hard numbers exist for Jackie's program just yet, but in general we've found college costs around $2000 - $2500 per year.

And so Semester 2 starts up and our Mission: University students are back at it. For everyone who helped make this possible, please know what a profound impact you are having in the lives of these children. None of them ever dreamed of going to college but thanks to your support, it's happening!

With deep appreciation,

John

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Clifford performing "Perfect" as the girls swooned
Clifford performing "Perfect" as the girls swooned

College for our kids is in full swing and midtterm exams are complete. Many of our Mission: University students even took their first holiday home, traveling by bus for ten hours or more, leaving campus and enjoying a little break with old friends and family. Here' are a fewupdates on the program and the amazing work your donations are accomplishing.

After a delayed launch, Basanti is finally enrolled at Swastik Nursing School, preparing for a three year degree program in a highly-competitive field. According to a recent article in Business Today, India has only 0.7 doctors and 1.7 nurses available per thousand people…which all but guarantees Basanti a bright future.

But the work will be challenging. Without much science background, she knows what she’s up against. “I sometimes worry: will I be able to study science after studying art?” Basanti wonders. “But now I believe that I can do it and I would like you all to pray for me to be able to do it please.”

Clifford is now two months into his BioTechnology degree at Uttranchal University and things are going well. In his most difficult subject, Biochemistry, he earned 25 out of 30 marks on his first exam, which was the 2nd highest in the class.

But by his own account, college life didn’t start off so great.

“I cannot describe the feeling when I first stepped into college,” Clifford says. “Everything was new to me and for some time I felt alone. At the start, the days seemed longer than usual and boring too. The amount of stress and pressure that bumped into me each and every day got me thinking of how easy it would be to just quit. Somehow hours passed, days passed, weeks passed and here we are two months later. I feel so much more comfortable and relaxed than before.”

At a recent school-wide talent show, Clifford sang an Ed Sheeran song and played the guitar, eliciting screams of approval from the young ladies in attendance. The fact that he won the “Best in Show” was one of those college experiences he will never forget. 

One common theme we hear from our recent Mission: University students is a sense of excitement at just being in the wider world. Kamal is pursuing his Physical Education degree while making his own posse of friends. But he’s also exploring, taking in new experiences, making memories as well as striving for good marks in his courses.

“The most amazing things that happens in college,” Kamal says, “is that we get the chance to go out and see the other side of the world and that helps us to know what else is in it. I am really thankful for the sponsors who are working so hard to make our careers shine. THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

Sonia and Reeva are roommates at Himgiri Zee University, recently voted the best private college in Dehradun. Studying Social Work and Travel & Tourism Management respectively, these girls are getting their first taste of life in the world, making friends and learning new things.

“Before life was so different,” Reeva says. “I lived with people I knew and it was a simple and easy life. But staying here has helped me learn lots about what life really is…how to adjust and how to be independent.”

Sonia is adjusting to the new freedom as well, while enjoying her new course work. “I'm learning so many great things,” she says, “like how to understand the inner feelings and emotions of people.” After just two months she can already sense the profound impact this experience is having on her. “College will change my life,” she believes, “by teaching me to be a great social worker and to help others with the problems they are facing. College will make me a better person.”

Sunny’s architecture school is going well, with lots of field trips as a class to the Taj Mahal and next to Jaipur. Architecture is considered by many to be the most difficult major available. One report concluding: “On average those studying [architecture] work the most hours during the week, pull the most all-nighters, have the highest GPA, nap the least and are stressed out more than any other degree.” Luckily our Sunny is up for the challenge.

“What I love about college is when I sit in class and do projects and sketches,” Sunny says. “My classmates are so talented, they bring such beautiful artwork. Hanging out with them is fun. My dream is to be a well-known architect and design beautiful buildings. I want to be part of an organization to help people and create a beautiful environment.”

What we're discovering is: Like all kids, our kids need support. They need to know that they belong and that someone believes in them. As I remind them all often, they CAN do this, they DO belong and LOTS of people believe. Thank you all for not only supporting our kids financially, but in being a part of the wider support team that helps them all know they are worth it.

With love,

John

Basanti getting dropped off at her nursing hostel
Basanti getting dropped off at her nursing hostel
Kamal (in red) plays on his school's cricket team
Kamal (in red) plays on his school's cricket team
Sunny (front left) on a trip to the Taj Mahal
Sunny (front left) on a trip to the Taj Mahal
Reeva (blue) and Sonia (black) with new friends
Reeva (blue) and Sonia (black) with new friends
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Jessica rolling into town in Dehradun
Jessica rolling into town in Dehradun

Hello to all our Mission: Univeristy supporters.

Well, it's college time in India, and we have 7 of our 8 eligible students safely tucked into their dorms. As a quick update, I'm including a few pictures of the kids at school as well as some thoughts from them about leaving the orphanage and beginning life as a college student. For many of them, it was hard to go. For others, it's a dream come true. All of them are sorting through mixed emotions and finding their place far from the only home they've ever known. 

Here's what they have to say:

"I reached the college on the third and was really scared of the new place. But as I settled down and talked to a few boys, I made some friends. Now it feels much better. I'm really excited to start my classes in the next few weeks and I'm so thankful to all of you who have supported me to come here. I promise I will do my best in my studies."

Sunny - Dev Bhoomi School of Architecture

"Sitting in class today and being lectured by the teacher...looking out the wondow and seeing the view, and knowing that only 10% of [Indian] students go to college after their 11th and 12th...I felt so lucky. Being independent and learning to live your own life, just flying out there. Trying new things. It's just awesome! And you know it just feels free. And that gives me a sense of peace. And I just want to use these next three years in the best possible way I can. Thank you so much!"

Jessica - Graphic Era School of Journalism

"For me getting to go to college was one of the biggest things because going to a college like the one I am in at the moment is expensive and most families cannot afford it. It's been 6 days since I started my first year in biotechnology. The campus here is huge with almost every field of study and also heaps of sports and cultural activities. I still feel a little insecure but I am sure time will heal that. Apart form that I am just so thankful to the people who have wished to give me this chance and I promise to work hard."

Clifford - Uttranchal University School of BioTechnology

"On my first day I really felt so nervous because everyone was new to me. It is a big change. On the second day I was so sad and I cried and cried. I really missed my friends at the farm. But now I'm slowly starting to get through all this and making new friends.The college is really good and the teachers are so nice and understanding. Classes are also interesting. It's getting much better than before."

Sonia - Himgiri Zee School of Social Work

Day by day, they are learning and growing, not just as students but as people. And it hasn't all be easy. Job recently developed kidney stones and missed a week of school. There have been plenty of tears and self-doubt and home sickness. But I just want to thank everyone who has cared enough about these young people to step up and help sponsor their education. From the smallest to the largest donation, any contribution is an affirmation that these kids matter and are worth fighting for. I really appreciate it and I know they do as well. 

Love,

John

Leaving the farm was very emotional for Kamal.
Leaving the farm was very emotional for Kamal.
Reeva and Sonia are roommates in their new hostel!
Reeva and Sonia are roommates in their new hostel!
Sunny looking off his new private balcony.
Sunny looking off his new private balcony.
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Kamal at Jaspal Rana Institute of Education
Kamal at Jaspal Rana Institute of Education

Just a quick update to share a recent success. As many of you may have heard, this past Thursday was termed July Bonus Day here on Global Giving, with lots of matching money available for new large donations. The money didn’t last long, it was all claimed in less than three hours, but our Mission: University campaign ended up doing quite well.

Overall, our fundraiser received $11,603 in new donations. As well as $3801 in free matching money! For a total of $15, 052 in just one day! Crazy. That covers 75% of all second year fees for all of our Mission: U kids. Which is so awesome.

The campaign total now stands at $37,697 (as soon as the match is added) so we’re looking good. Thanks so much to everyone who got involved.

We’ve also had many college visits for our students. Clifford met with his BioTech Department Head at Uttranchal University; Kamal toured his PE sports facilities at Jaspal Rana Institute; Sunny took the first step towards becoming an architect at Dev Bhoomi University; Basanti inspected her hostel at Swastik School of Nursing; and Job launched into his first full week of classes at Ewing Christian College!

School begins in the coming few weeks and last minute preparations are all being made. It’s a huge step for these kids and an exciting time for all of us as this dream becomes a reality..

Thanks once again for stepping forward and supporting these kids. Education is the key to life here in India and together we're giving our Mission: University students the chance to aim higher and dream bigger than they ever imagined.

John

Job will be a towering giant at his University!
Job will be a towering giant at his University!
Clifford preparing to take on the Science World!
Clifford preparing to take on the Science World!
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Organization Information

The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission

Location: Dist Champawat, Uttarakhand - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @indianorphanage
Project Leader:
John Marshall
Dist Champawat, Uttarakhand India
$42,688 raised of $60,000 goal
 
144 donations
$17,312 to go
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