“My name is Steffi and I go to Christel House India. I am in the 9th grade.
I come from a poor background. Things were going good until my parents had to pay for school for my two brothers and myself. Our family got into a bad situation—we had financial difficulties. Sometimes we didn’t really have food to eat and we had no water supply. My father started to use alcohol. My parents were going to stop us from studying.
That is when my neighbors told us about Christel House and I started going to school there. It changed me so much. I learned many things, not just about studies, but about life. I am interested in everything and want to give my best. I started sharing all we learned at Christel House with my parents. It began to change everyone, not only me. My father stopped drinking.
If I wasn’t at Christel House, my parents could have chosen child marriage or child labor for me. I didn’t have values for living, but since coming to Christel House, I know I can do something in this world. I have to study as much as possible, become an engineer and help people in my community, like has been done for me.
This is all because of Christel House and all the donors who support it. You changed my life.”
Thank you for your ongoing support of ‘Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums.' Steffi is one of roughly 1,200 current Christel House India students who will have a better life because you care.
But there are many more students in need. Would you consider an end of year gift for our students? A gift to help break the cycle of poverty could be the best thing you do all year.
Revathi graduated with distinction and at the top of her class at Christel House India—Bangalore. But her life growing up was not an easy path, as she shares her story of challenges and achievements.
I lost my mother when I was in Grade 8, and my brother was in Grade 5. My father is uneducated, and he has not taken any responsibility in bringing up his children. To add to my misfortunes, my grandparents attempted to arrange my marriage to avoid the responsibility of raising a teenage girl. On many days, my brother and I slept without eating dinner. We found it extremely difficult to cope with our father’s absence for long periods, his substance abuse and his total indifference to our well-being. Although I had everything going against me, I never gave up hope and fought for my right to continue my education.
The encouragement and support I received at Christel House was what kept me going year after year. I excelled in my studies, participated in cultural programs and won prizes in Olympiad competitions, quiz programs and debates.
I was also fortunate to receive a scholarship from the Adobe Youth Voices program. The scholarship will help me to study at Azim Premji University, one of the best universities in Karnataka, India.
My dream is to become a teacher. I enjoyed teaching my fellow students whenever they needed help. I believe that a teacher can transform the lives of many children. I will uphold the core values of Christel House – Respect, Responsibility, Independence and Integrity in my life. I will strive to become an excellent teacher and hope to one day earn the President’s Award for the best teacher in my country.
I express my immense gratitude to Adobe Youth Voices for giving me an opportunity to work on their projects and giving me the scholarship to pursue my studies. I can never thank my school and my teachers and Ms. Christel DeHaan enough, and I hope I will be able to give back to the community in the future.
Your support helps young girls at Christel House India, like Revathi, overcome challenges, continue their education and pursue their dreams. Thank you for making an investment in our future.
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.
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