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!!
The past week God has highlighted the schools that our lovely CCDC children attend. All of the children are getting a spectacular education, with the hope that they will end the cycle of poverty in their family. The education level and language importance in India is very different from North American Schooling. First off, India’s national languages are Hindi and English, however, most the time those languages are never peoples mother languages especially if they are from the southern proveniences such as Andhre Pardesh. Typically each state has their own language that is spoken there, for our province the mother language is Telugu. This is where bondage starts for poor uneducated families and why a good education is so vital to the vision of freedom.
There are three different types of schools in India; government schools, private schools, and corporate schools. Government run schools are free but have a very low education level. They usually never teach in any other language than their mother language. Private schools are becoming more popular throughout India and provide a more substantial education but with a price of about 300 dollars a year. These schools however, are teaching their students English and Hindi along with other needed subjects at a quicker rate then government schools. The best schools are Corporate schools. These schools are funded by business that hope to educate children and provide them with jobs in there corporation. These schools make English and Hindi languages a mandatory for all classes. They are also using the latest curriculum for their students raising their test scores significantly. However, these schools are very expensive costing around 600 dollars a year and more as the student gets older. All CCDC children are going to English medium private schools, but our vision is to send all of these children to corporate schools then to collage and university, giving them a chance to break the bondage of poverty over their life for good.
Many times the most impoverished placed in India are the remote villages where there are very limited opportunities to a suitable education. Most of these families are only making about five dollars a day for there families so, that leaves little to no room for education. Many of these children know it is not even a dream they can have, because there is no way to afford even public schooling. If a child does not have any education and can not speak any English or Hindi they have a slim chance of ever being able to leave their small village in hopes to liberate themselves and their families from the chain of poverty. This is where ICM’s vision is focused on. Covenant Child Development Centers was designed to give poor children in villages a chance to break free from poverty and the risk of child labor and sex trade. Not only that we want to equip these children with the most powerful tool of all-the Word of God. With the grace of God, these children will one day be the next leaders of India.
We hope to encourage these children daily to push forward and continue to get amazing test scores and show the world that there is hope. Their lives are an encouragement for there parents, other peers and younger children that there is a change for freedom. They are teaching the world to dream, dream for the impossible and to lean of the Lord for their strength and wisdom to get there. I have no doubt these children will one day be world changers and will give all the glory to their heavenly Father.
Like every month, CCDC pastors and CCDC teachers come to Ongole to have the Monthly Meeting. Pastors traveled from every corner of the Ongole district to take part in this meeting. For this Monthly Meeting every one brought their updates, testimonies, and shared the needs of their centers.
We have 28 CCDC homes in Prakasham District, Andrapradesh. In each CCDC Center we have 25 children; which gives us 700 children who are getting an English Medium Education through CCDC. There is a lot of hard work and care from the roll of pastoring and teaching in the community. In CCDC we do our best to maintain good fellows with the parents and village community leader.
Moreover, all this vision of CCDC is to improve the These churches form a base from which ICM engages in various service activities aimed at improving the living conditions of the poor in India, irrespective of caste, creed or religionby giving a quality English Medium Education to their children. By HIS will from this year we have succeeded in sending all of the 700 children to English Medium Schools!
This program is not only helping the standards of these children and there community, but is also showing Christ our God in hopes of leading people to Him!
Needs and blessing!
We are also very thankful to all of our prayer partners and sponsors who are helping and standing with us in this ministry. Indian villages always struggle with power outages during the day and because of this all of our CCDC centers have to run in the evening. But by your prayers and help, our children now have the Re-Chargeable Battery lights! Giving them the ability to get their studies done in the powerless hours of the day!
CCDC July monthly meeting, Distribution of Rechargeable lights …..
We are also very thankful to all the prayer partners and sponsors by blessing the Centers with your valuable prayer and contribution of white boards! As we know it is a very essential thing to have a main place to teach the class from. Keeping the Children on pace with one another and learning as a unit. We prayed for Blackboards but God had a better blessing in store and we received Whiteboards!
God will give Best to HIS children.’
But with His grace this month all of our CCDC centers have gotten the dust free
good quality Whiteboards.
Presenting a Whiteboard to one of our CCDC centers.
Provision distribution :
After this meeting every one moved to the market to get their groceries for food distribution. Now all of the CCDC centers have got groceries for the Children!
CCDC pastors and teachers taking their provisions in Auto-Rikshaw…
We thank you ALWAYS for you prayer and support!
May HIS grace and peace be with you!
April, 2013. In most of India, the months of April, May, and June are synonymous with hot weather. Temperatures have been steadily rising for the last few weeks and will soon reach their peak in May at about 110 degrees Fahrenheit! Many parts of the country experience severe water shortages throughout the summer season and the threat of heat stroke, dehydration and malnourishment is at it’s highest.
At CCDC, the administrative teams are faced with an extra challenge this time of year to secure enough food, water and provision for the children at each Development Center. At the monthly gathering this past Monday, the leaders and pastors from each center met at ICM headquarters to discuss plans for summer vacation, food provisions and the upcoming school year.
A morning of fellowship and group worship was followed by a time of prayer and the sharing of testimonies. It is always encouraging to see the ways that God is moving in each community through the various development centers.
Our hearts were filled with gratitude and praise as we distributed food allotments and budgets to each CCDC leader. This year, because of faithful donors and increased monthly support, we were able to make a few changes in the daily meal provisions for each center. In addition to rice, sambar and curries, the new plan provides each child with an egg at every meal and portions of chicken each week. The increased protein in their diets will greatly help to strengthen their bodies, keeping them healthy throughout the hot summer months.
In a season that is known for its shortages, challenges and difficulties, God has blessed us with an abundance of provision. He continues to pour out his faithfulness on our ministry and all of the children that it serves.
Please consider becoming involved with one of our 29 Child Development Centers. Your prayers and support allow us to bless children in India who desperately need to know their Savior’s love. For more information, click here: http://ccdc-india.com/how-you-can-help/
In India, the medium for higher education and most professional careers is English. Not all primary schools, however, are taught in English medium. Students in the state of Andhra Pradesh who attend Telugu medium schools therefore have little to no chance of ever leaving their villages or obtaining anything beyond a primary education.
Statistics say that “about six million students (40% of all enrolled students) from non-metropolitan India enter the system every year and fail to achieve their educational goals because they are unable to cope with English.” (Economic and Political weekly)
Given these facts, the educational goals of Covenant Child Development Centers have always been two fold.
1. Identify children in the community that are at risk of forced labor or trafficking and provide them with the means to go to school
2. Transition children that are currently studying in Telugu medium schools to English medium schools.
As we move into Spring Quarter and look ahead to the next school year, our team is working hard to ensure enrollment and adequate preparation for every CCDC child to study in the English medium schools that exist in their various villages and communities. Generous support and donations help to cover the cost of private school fees and to provide summer English tutoring for children that have never studied in English medium.
Please pray for our team as they work through the logistics of enrollment and fees for the 29 Development Centers and consider supporting a child or a CCDC this coming school year! Click here to find out more about how you can donate: http://ccdc-india.com/how-you-can-help/
“The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world!”
Early this morning India Christian Ministries hosted a rally and march in honor of International Women’s Day. More than 50 women gathered together to celebrate the victories of mothers, wives and daughters and to take a stand against battles yet to be won.
The devaluation of women and social domination of men still continues to prevail in India. Even though, in much of Indian society, women are the one’s working the fields, raising their children and providing for their families, they are rarely recognized, and often seen as a burden to society.
Having a son is socially and economically preferable in India, in part due to the belief that women are consumers rather than producers and are commonly associated with illiteracy and poverty. From birth, daughters are costly to their parents and reap little benefit for their families in marriage. Female feticide (abortion of female babies), infanticide and dowry murders have all contributed to the annihilation of more than 50 million women from India’s population in the last 3 generations.
Gang rapes, sexual harassment and sex-trafficking are other major problems in India that still have yet to be fully addressed. News headlines and anti-slavery organizations host an unbelievable number of stories and statistics on the injustice that is still occurring amongst women in the 21st century.
Although there have been achievements in the last few years to protect the rights of women, there is still a long road ahead. Today, the women at ICM made their voices known. As they marched down the street their shouts of unity and encouragement were mingled with cries to end the violence and murders of women occurring around the country.
“Women unite, we are the light!”, “Stop the killing of our daughters!” “Stop the attacks of men!”
“If you educate a women, you educate a family, a generation and a nation.”
Programs like CCDC seek to stop these problems before they have a chance to infect the next generation. Through education, equality treatment and biblical discipleship we can instill a sense of dignity in young boys and girls and give them the motivation they need to be a part of the change.
Join us today in appreciation and celebration of the women of the past, present and future that have taken, and will continue taking big steps towards justice in India! Happy Women’s Day from CCDC!