Rural poverty exacts toll among India’s women and children

By June 9, 2010

International (MNN) — Nearly 12
percent of all children born in India will not live to their first
birthday. 

A new study reveals
that roughly two million mothers die every year for lack of health education
and medical help. International leaders
in this field are wrapping up the "Women Deliver 2010" summit today and will be
launching a global campaign aimed at reducing deaths of mothers and young
children. 

Executive Director of India Gospel League, David Rice, says
their Women's Transformation Groups (WTG) are taking on the challenge. Since their ministry
focus is reaching the unreached people of rural India, they start this project with a Barefoot
Pastor.

He works to build relationships and
identify opportunities to share the Gospel. Once he establishes a church, they can begin setting up the WTG, made up
of eight to 10 women.

Rice says, "We instruct, and we talk about hygiene, and
we talk about nutrition and about how to have healthy children. We talk
about things to do with the home, but we also help them look for economic  opportunities, develop a business, develop a
business plan. Then we also will grant those women a micro enterprise loan to
get that business up and running." 

Adult literacy centers provide
free literacy training. Schools and daycare centers assist parents as well as
providing a beneficial program for their children. Micro-credit programs allow
villagers to purchase animals or begin small enterprises with a loan from the
IGL.

Working with the women of a village creates a ripple effect
through all those within their sphere of influence. "One of my Indian counterparts says,
'When the Gospel shows up, everything gets better.' There's a hope that begins to come into that
community that there are better things ahead, particularly in the rural
villages."

By 2020, the IGL aims to have
initiated the rural development program in 500 villages. A child sponsorship costs $30/month. A single share of a skills training center costs
$25/month. You can also sponsor a church
or a Barefoot Pastor. Click here for
more on how you can help.

 

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