India (MNN) — What if the only reason you could not go to school was because you couldn't get there? What if your parents were uneducated and all your life you've lived in a small one-room shack with plastic walls from the nearby junkyard? What if an education was your only hope?
Unfortunately, this is exactly the situation the Indian children living in Tent City of Beggars' Valley face. Beggars' Valley is the poorest slum in Hyderabad, the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India. Within this slum housing, the poorest of the poor is Tent City.
An education will equip the children in the slums with hope for a future. India's Children understands this and has been working with St. Mark's Grammar School to provide free education to the many children in poor living situations. It is also here that the children can experience the love of Christ and feel that someone does care about them.
The conditions of the school are poor, and many of the teachers don't receive a regular salary. But they can't bring themselves to stop teaching. Also, the school is in a lower elevated area and experiences a lot of flooding during the rainy season. According to the Principal of St. Mark's Grammar School, "The water comes in very rapidly, and so we grab the children and run to higher ground. We can't return until the water drains away." Even so, the education is free and of good quality, and the kids from Tent City would love to attend.
One tent city is home to 200 families with over 70 kids. In the poorest section of this impoverished slum, the houses are made up of plastic collected from junkyards. According to India's Children, three years ago wealthy families living above Tent City's portion of Beggars' Valley complained that the poor people made too much noise. Bulldozers came in and leveled Tent City, driving the people to live out on bare ground.
Slowly, they have rebuilt their little "city" with more plastic and junk findings. Parents in Tent City are, for the most part, uneducated, and they do not want their children sentenced to this way of life. They are depending on St. Mark's to provide that education.
However, the children in Tent City face a major problem: they have no way to get to the school. Parents would love to send their children where they can get a free education. But with no means of transportation, they must leave their children home–often alone–all day. This is dangerous as it is not uncommon for the slums to be a main striking point for child sex traffickers.
This crisis must be addressed. And there is a solution. India's Children has located a used van that could be rented for $10,000. They even have found a pastor who would love to drive the van and bring the children in the slums to and from school every day. Also, two generous donors have agreed that if India's Children can find enough donors to raise $8,000, they will each contribute $1,000 to complete the cost.
Please pray that funding would come for the final $8,000 so that the kids in Tent City can go to school. Please also pray for the staff of St. Mark's Grammar School who put so much of themselves into these children, that they would receive their salaries and can support their families. Pray that the Lord would do a work in the lives of the kids at the school as they hear about a God who loves them. If you would like to donate toward a van for the kids, click here.