India (MNN) — When the movie Slumdog Millionaire came out earlier this year, the film not only
gained instant popularity, but it also created an awareness of the harsh and
tragic lives of so many children in the slums of India.
These children are often orphans who have no idea where
their next meal will come from, or they have parents who beg and live on the
streets. Those who do have a shack to call their home are not guaranteed it
will still be standing when they come home at night, making their lives extremely insecure.
While Worldwide Christian Schools has ministered in the
country of India for over 20 years, this year they have begun a campaign to
specifically help the real life slumdogs of India.
Throughout the year, WWCS will be helping three different schools
Gypsy Meadows with WWCS said, "The schools are their life
lines. The schools provide lunches for them, which is often their only meal
that day. They are teaching them to read and to write, which their parents do
not know how to do. So these are first generation learners."
WWCS first wants to help the schools purchase land and build
permanent structures. Without a permanent building, the schools cannot be
certified. And though a child may attend every day, he would not receive high
school certification once upon graduation.
Meadows said WWCS also plans to start a sponsorship program
where donors can help support a specific child. Their support will pay for the
child's education costs, hopefully all the way until graduation, Meadows said.
Sponsors would help provide lunches, uniforms and any other related needs.
In addition to permanent structures and child sponsorship,
WWCS also wants to develop an enterprise for each school. An example of an
enterprise is a farm where the orphans could work and provide funds for the
school. The goal of the enterprise would be to make the schools more
self-sufficient and gain more certainty with paying bills.
Finally, related to the schools' enterprises, WWCS
ultimately wants each school to become self-sustaining and not dependent on any
outside funds. While Meadows admits they might always need to support children
in their education who might not have family or someone who can provide for
them, they want to see the schools self-sustained. Then, teachers will not have
to worry if they will get paid or whether they will be able to pay the electric
Meadows asked for people to be praying that any obstacles
preventing children from attending school will be overcome. Many of the children's
parents need them to stay home and work or watch their siblings, but they
cannot guarantee meals. For orphans, their safety and survival is in
question when they do not attend school.
"If they can get to that school, then they're safe, they're fed,
and then they are introduced to Jesus," Meadows said.
If you would like to help these children, you can go to the WWCS Web site to sponsor an individual child or to simply donate. Another way to
support WWCS and their endeavors in India is to attend their banquet in Hudsonville, Michigan, on
November 9 for these children. Visit their Web site to buy tickets or to sponsor
a table at the event.