Vandanamala comes from a joint family. She is the eldest among the four children to her parents. She has two younger sisters Samarpana and Blessy, and a younger brother, Jacob. Her father, Davidu, is a mason laborer, but also works in a granite factory to earn more for the family. His job entails him lifting very heavy granite slabs to be polished in the factory. All this hard work fetches him very little money. To support her husband, Vandana’s mother goes to tend cattle. Both her grandparents live at home with the family. Providing for this large family became very tedious, although both the parents are working, the family’s income wasn’t enough for this family of eight. The children were stopped from school as they couldn’t afford paying the high school fee.
As days went by, Davidu was losing hope of being able to provide for a good future for his children. At about the same time, a Covenant Child Development Center was established in the village of Thimmanapalem. Davidu heard about CCDC and approached the social worker. He requested us to support his children’s education. Without any hesitation, Vandana and her younger sister, Samarpana were taken into CCDC. Through CCDC’s help, they have now been able to resume school. Both the sisters were thrilled to get back to school to study and play along with their friends.
After school, they come to CCDC for evening tuition, learn various life skills, songs and have a good meal before going home. Vandana is a brilliant kid and wants to become a doctor when she grows up. We hope that CCDC will be a catalyst to make these little dreams come true.
Cheerful little Annangi Praisey loves to sing on her way to school. She has a lot to be thankful for now that she is a CCDC student. Praisey’s days are filled with lessons, laughter, friends, songs and dance. It is very different from what she knew before CCDC.
Praisey lives in a little house in Thimmanapalem with her parents and grandparents. Her father works for a farmer and helps tend the cattle, for which he is paid Rs. 200 (less than $3) a day. With this income, he barely provides food for his family. Living on less than $3 a day means that there are no extras, no frills, and no money to invest in education. Praisey was stuck in the cycle of poverty with no end in sight.
When Covenant Child Development Center opened in Thimmanapalem, they heard about this family’s struggles. They offered to include Praisey in the program to the surprise and delight of her father.
Praisy was admitted in a reputed English medium school, that will prepare her for college. She loves going to school and studying. Right now Praisey wants to become an engineer, and because of the intervention of CCDC, she will be able to. After school, Praisey comes to the center, where she is taught Bible stories and memory verses. After she is finished receiving tutoring, Praisey gets to sing songs and play with her friends. Before heading home for the day, she is served a nutritious meal that will ensure that bright and cheery Praisey doesn’t go a day without eating anymore.
Praisey’s interaction with CCDC has brought her ever closer to the Lord and she is very active in Sunday school. She uses her love of dance to express the love of her Saviour at church dance performances. Praisey’s life and the lives of those around her will never be the same. The cycle of poverty in her family will end with her.
Anita is a sweet first grader who loves riding the bus to school and eating chicken curry. Her bright smile hides the tremendous hardship she has known in her short life. Her father and sister passed away, leaving her mother and fourteen year old brother to work the fields to support her family. When having enough food to eat is uncertain, financing an education is unimaginable. In the midst of this despair, Anita was brought into a Covenant Child Development Center and has new enthusiasm for life. She is counting on us to return to school this year!
Please consider making a donation to send Anita and the other CCDC students back to school this year.
This one time donation will go to cover the school fees for a child in a rural village in Andra Pradesh. This education is the difference between a life of hope and freedom and a life of hardship and poverty.
For $30 a month a child in a rural village in Andra Pradesh will get to go to a high quality English medium school, receive a meal each day, and have a safe place to go before and after school, where he will have access to a tutor, and enrichment activities, as well as counseling and help for the whole family. This opportunity protects children from becoming victims of abuse, child labor, or trafficking, and gives them a future of hope!
Harshini and Hasini live in a village called Singarayakonda, with their parents, grandparents, and younger brother in small thatched roofed hut. Their father, Brahmaiah, whenhe can find work, is a brick layer and their mother tends the home. Every morning, he stands at the Singarayakonda junction, waiting for contractors to come and choose labourers for the day’s work at construction sites. As the only money earning member of the family, if he is not chosen for work that day, he will go home empty handed to his hungry family. This means that his family knows what it feels like go to bed with empty stomachs and wake up to empty bowls. When basic necessities like food are out of reach, going to school is some distant dream. Harshini and Hasini never expected the chance to go to school. They spent their days at home or on the streets.
Compounding the issues that Harshini and Hasini were facing, their father, Brahmaiah, was an alcoholic, spending any little he earned on alcohol and dragging his family, who had nothing to begin with, into debt. The pastor of Covenant Church in Bitragunta, saw the need this family was facing. He has worked with Brahmaiah and helped him understand his role as a husband and father. After establishing this relationship, the pastor recommended sending Harshini and Hasini to CCDC. Harshini and Hasini now attend a well reputed English medium school, so they will be prepared for any future they want. Although school is a completely new way of life, they are now accustomed to it and love going! After school, they go by school bus to the center, where they get free evening tutoring, learn Bible stories, sing songs, recite memory verses, play with their friends, and they get a good meal in their stomachs EVERY day before heading home.
The girls still can’t believe that this is their new life. The family is happy that their girls can now experience the luxury of school; something they couldn’t have enjoyed if not for CCDC. Brahmaiah has an easier time getting work without the burden of alcoholism on his back, which has benefited the entire family. There is the hope of God in this home now!
Like Harshini and Hasini, many other kids have had their environments transformed around them; from abusive, lacking, and demoralizing, to uplifting, encouraging, and transformative. With the help of our donors, Harshini and Hasini will never go back to spending their days aimless on the streets. Let’s nurture the next generation out of poverty together.
In contrast to the life in the villages, city life is fast, flashy, and expensive. In the villages, one generally takes up agriculture, fishing, animal farming, labour work, constructions and many other menial jobs that do not fetch them a lot of money. The lifestyle in the villages is not too expensive, because of which, the families that do not have a lot of income too are able to survive. Most of them in the villages only hear stories of the big flashy life in the cities, where people are known to earn huge amounts of money and jobs that are able to pay big money. Most people are lured by the offer, not knowing what awaits them.
Anjaiah and Anjamma were also one among them. They were construction workers, who used to earn money from small contracts they were a part off. Not satisfied by their life, they gave in to the stories they heard about the city. When they heard that a group of masons are going to nearby city called Hyderabad, on a contract from a construction company, they shifted to the city with their three children. But after moving, they found the realities of city life, with the meagre daily wages, maintaining the expenses of a rented house, which is much higher when compared to what they paid in the village. Their daily commute was expensive. Children’s schooling fees was unimaginable. They found a huge contrast to their simple life in their village. It became very cumbersome for Anjaiah and Anjamma to live in the city. They realized the reality that although they earned more than what they did at home, they had to shell out equal amounts of money. This reality had taken a toll on this little family.
Anjaiah and Anjamma were only able to work hard day after day, only to get enough food for their family of five. They even could not afford their children’s school. After struggling financially for a little while, Anjaiah’s mother convinced him to let one of the daughters, Roopa, stay with her in the village. Though Roopa hated the idea of moving away from her parents, she had to budge, as this was for their best. Roopa was now staying with her grandmother to ease the burden on the family. Roopa’s grandmother came to know of Covenant Child Development Centers and the good work that is happening at the center. She requested for help and CCDC did not hesitate. Roopa was joined into CCDC and given admission into reputed English medium school in the village. Roopa had completed her 3rd grade in an English medium school in the city. As her performance was great, she was directly given admission into the 4th grade. She took time to get adjusted to this new environment, teachers and students, but being the brave soul that she is, she quickly started loving her new place. After school she comes to CCDC, where she gets free evening tuition. The tutors at the centre help the kids complete their homework, study and also cope with their studies. Roopa, along with her CCDC buddies also enjoys some games after studying, they learn several songs stories and also get a delicious nutritious meal at the center.
Roopa was very reluctant to come to CCDC in the beginning, but that soon changed as she slowly started making friends. She now can’t wait to come to CCDC, learn, study and play. More than anything, her parents and grandparents are overjoyed to send Roopa to CCDC. At their time of need, CCDC was more than a saving grace and eased the burden on their family. Now they can be carefree about Roopa’s life, as she is in secure hands and is building a strong foundation for her future.
Thorra Gudipadu is a village in Chimakurthi mandal in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The total population of Torra Gudipadu is 1,205. In this village, people from the two communities of Madiga and Mala live adjacent to each other on the outskirts of the village. Endogamy (same caste marriages) is strictly practiced in this village, inter-caste marriages completely prohibited. The major source of income in the village is the tobacco fields. Most of the people are employed as agricultural laborers in these fields. While the parents strive hard, the children stay at home or are sent for work. In such an environment, there is a great risk for child labor, abuse, trafficking and many such social evils that overcome the families in the community.
The CCDC in this village is between the Madiga and Mala communities which brings children from both the communities to CCDC. The children in this community are not sent to schools. When parents go to their daily work, the children wander on the streets and play in unhygienic conditions. At this juncture, the local pastor, along with social worker reached the community with the gospel so that majority of the Madiga community has accepted Christ and attend the Covenant church regularly. ICM’s Covenant church opened a CCDC in the community. 25 of the poorest of the poor children are provided English medium education, evening tuition, disaster relief awareness, extra curricular activities, taught Bible stories, worship songs, memory verses and shown the love of Jesus to put them on a path towards a life with dignity.
Have you ever waited for someone for many years thinking they will return and they never did? Well, this was how Nagendram and her daughter, Premalatha waited for their husband and dad, Naagayya, after he didn’t return home one evening. Nagendram, 30 years old, was married to Naagayya, an agricultural seasonal coolie, in the year 2005. They lived a normal life for 6 months. But one day, Naagayya did not return from work at his usual time. The newly married Nagendram was worried and waited until late night. She then started enquiring the other men in the village, but no one knew where he went or even saw him. His disappearance was very mysterious. By then, she knew she was pregnant with their first child. Months passed by very gloomily, with a heavy heart and at snail’s pace.
After 9 depressing months, the day had come; she gave birth to Premalatha. Fear, doubt and worry had clouded her mind at the thought of bringing up the child all alone without the child’s father. She anticipated to hear about her husband through the years. By then the years had passed and her daughter had grown. Little Premalatha asked about who her father was many times, it pained her heart that she didn’t know what to answer her daughter. She didn’t know where he is, whether he was alive or not, when would he come home, absolutely no answer to give. There hope to see him was there only little light in their dark world.
Nagendram moved to live with her widowed mother. They live in a rented single room with a thatched roof. Nagendra started getting painful boils around her neck, which did not allow her to work properly. With the little she could earn, she supported her daughter. This wasn’t much and was only enough for a little food for the day. Nagendram couldn’t afford to send Premalatha to school. She stayed at home or played on the streets during the day, while her mother was at work.
All that had happened to them until now is heart wrenching for anyone to hear, but the situation was soon to take an about turn. Covenant Child Development Center found Premalatha one day. Learning their story, we knew that the next step was to join Premalatha into CCDC and this is what we did. It was the day that life had taken an about-turn for the both of them.
Now, Premalatha can go to school in a prestigious institution in town. This brilliant girl is now in the first standard. She is a very active kid and recites rhymes and her lessons with ease. She gets free tuition in the evenings at the CCDC center. She knows several stories, songs and memory verses. She does not skip school because it’s one of her favourite places to be. This little one aspires to become a teacher to teach and educate more children like her.
In her own words Nagendram testified, “CCDC and the church have become my home and I am grateful to the CCDC staff for taking care of my child’s holistic needs and giving me a hope for my child’s good future”. Premalatha is a favourite among many in the community. She is a cheerful little one. This smile was hidden deep under layers of misery, which took a little love to shine out.
The name Chinnari means ‘cute little girl’, and she certainly is that! Chinnari comes from a family of five; her father, Kotaiah, mother, Samparna and her siblings, Theresa and Akshay Kumar. Akshay, the youngest, is suffering from a heart problem and may need surgery. Her parents Kotaiah and Samarpana are very humble people and live in contentment with their little income. No one in Chinnari’s family has had the privilege of primary education until her.
From her childhood Chinnari’s father has tended cattle and water buffalo that belong to people of the upper caste. Her grandparents have their own water buffalo; selling milk and seasonal agricultural labor helps the family get by financially. After Chinnari’s parents married, both went to work in agricultural fields to support their growing family. Chinnari’s father always wanted to go to school, but his parents could not afford to send him. His wish is that his children should be educated and have a bright future, but due to their financial problems, he wasn’t able to send any of his children to school. This is the cycle of poverty that many families are entangled in. Although they work hard doing small jobs and desire to provide a better life for their children, they cannot do so. CCDC steps into such situations and helps the family break this vicious cycle through one of the most powerful means, that is, education. Chinnari’s father found hope when one of our coordinators informed him about the Covenant Child Development Center. Chinnari’s father was excited and exclaimed that ‘God has heard my desire and provided my children with English medium school. Schooling that is expensive, which I cannot even dream of with my daily wages. I thank God and India Christian Ministries for giving my daughter this great opportunity which is beyond my capacity”.
Chinnari loves her English medium school and is thriving. She is very active and good at rhymes and stories. Chinnari says her English teacher is her favorite. When asked about her future goals, she answered ‘I want to become a teacher’. Chinnari doesn’t miss school even for a day, is active in group games and also very interested in the stories of moral value that she learns at the CCDC. She helps her parents take care of their two roomed house for her family. Her mother, with happiness, said, ‘Ever since she started attending Child Development Center she is maintaining discipline in her morning chores, reading and cleanliness. We are glad that she is also growing healthy with the egg and milk she receives at the center every day.
Chinnari’s family lives in a colony of two roomed cement houses built by the government for the poor. The whole family is grateful to God for the way that He fulfills every little desire of their hearts and in the way He leads them to a good life. We are thankful to God and our donors for helping us give Chinnari’s family new hope by sending the children to school.
Venga Babu comes from a poorest of the poor, his parents Nancharaiah and Anjamma are rag-pickers by profession. They make their living by rummaging through garbage in the streets to collect material such as scraps of cloth, broken glass pieces, papers, etc. Though rag-picking is considered a more honest job than begging on the streets, society consider them as the lowest working class people. Every morning, Anjamma carries a big sack and goes on her daily job of picking waste materials and things that people have thrown away. She takes Babu along with her everyday. His elder brother, Sivaya and father take a small broken rickshaw and sell onions for broken plastic goods and iron waste. The plastic and iron waste collected is exchanged for a small amount of money, which they will use to buy onions to sell the next day. Through this they earn a hand to mouth supply of money or sometimes don’t even get a profit for what they have sold. Babu lives in a big family of seven members, along with his parents, brother, grandfather, who stays at home and grandmother who sells plastic beads on the street. Their total income for the day may not be even one dollar.
Although the family has dire financial needs, Venga Babu’s parents want their children to be educated. They know the value of education and have a deep desire to see their children educated and working in good jobs; not the kind of jobs that the family has grown up doing. So they joined the boys in a government school, but the boys didn’t stay in school. They would run away from school and go with their mother for rag-picking. The boys had never experienced school life and didn’t want to either. Knowing this, the Covenant church Pastor thought he could help them out and visited Venga Babu’s house and prayed with them. He frequently visited the family and built a good bond with them. As the two little boys got to know him better and trusted him, he was able to convince them to go to school. Finally, the two boys were given admission in an English medium school, where they started to love the lessons, the game times and playing with their friends. Venga Babu is now studying in the third grade. He likes to study the languages Telugu and English. While in conversation with the mother, she said ‘I feel this is a dream come true. Without CCDC my children would have not been able to study in this prestigious school. Our dream would have died with us as dream itself. This is a miracle. I praise Jesus’.
Venga Babu is regular to school and is a bright kid in his class. He behavior is very disciplined and has earned a soft corner in his teachers’ hearts. At CCDC he receives extra coaching, egg and milk, fun games, worship songs, bible stories, memory verses, medical check up etc.
Venga Babu’s family had started attending church and listen to the scriptures with great reverence. They have built a good relationship with the Pastor and invite him home for special prayers. There is a great transformation seen because of the church and its children programs. The parents are very grateful and express their heartfelt gratitude to CCDC for their love and compassion. Venga Babu’s mother hopes that one day Venga Babu will become a big Police officer, earn a good income and take the family and live in a big bungalow.
As CCDC’s strives to make dreams come true, this ministry is also pivotal in build the family spiritually and in the love of God, break the cycle of poverty that has bound many families in the rural areas and give them a life of dignity.
Take a look at how Venga Babu is now living a transformed life!!