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India Is Home to More Poor People Than Anywhere Else on Earth | TIME

July 18th, 2014

“One third of the world’s 1.2 billion poorest people live in India, according to the latest Millennium Development Goals report by the U.N. … India also accounted for the highest number of under-five deaths in the world in 2012, with 1.4 million children not reaching their fifth birthday.”

via India Is Home to More Poor People Than Anywhere Else on Earth | TIME.

Destiny India – Meet Sriyya

July 17th, 2014

Destiny India 

It is estimated that one out of three malnourished children* and one third of the world’s poor live in India*. India’s largest city, Mumbai, is home to the largest slum population in the country. Some of the city’s poorest and most desperate families end up here. These slums are also places of hope, where a small investment of resources can take a child out of crushing poverty and into a life he or she only could have hoped and dreamed for.

It only takes a small investment at the right time in a child’s life, to change their entire destiny.

The Destiny India program strives to unlock the doors of opportunity for slum children so that they have a chance of escaping the trap of poverty by providing the keys to overcoming some of their greatest challenges, namely pre-school education, nutrition, medical care, and mentoring. The program offers practically free schooling for children between the ages of 3 and 6 in some of Mumbai’s poorest slums. In these small pre-schools, children are instructed in the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. They receive uniforms, are fed a hot meal daily, undergo regular medical check-ups, are given the opportunity to learn, giving them hope and access to a bright future.


 Sriyya 

In a society plagued by poverty, the responsibility of caring for children often falls on siblings and other children. Older siblings, especially girls, are often burdened with the responsibility to stay and care for the home and younger children while mom and dad  work. A girl’s education is often sacrificed when a family struggles daily to meet their basic needs.

Sriyya is 5-yeras-old. She has been in a Destiny India School for two years. She grew up in poverty, but she is enthusiastic and thriving.

Sriyya- 1

When Sriyya first joined school, she was severely malnourished. Daily encouragement and proper nutrition has helped transform her. Thanks to loving teachers, who encouraged her to learn about herself and her world, Sriyya has grown into a playful young girl. Her favorite color is orange.

Sriyya-  2

Sriyya’s favorite subject in school is math. She counts 4 dogs, 8 apples and 10 fish with ease.

Sriyya- 3

When Sriyya grows up she wants to be a driver. Though her dreams for the future may change as she grows, Sriyya has been set up to succeed. She has been taught and shown that she has value and her opinions matter.

Sriyya- 4

Destiny India Schools play a crucial role in changing the fate of little girl’s lives. For $20 a month you can have an impact on their future.

 Interview date 7/09. To find out more please visit sowerofseeds.org/destiny

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Photo of the Week: The Best They Could Give

July 14th, 2014

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” – Margaret Mead

“Pradnya, a 3-year-old girl, used to be like the rest of the kids in her slum – wandering the streets with no shoes on her feet, playing in the filth, always hungry, malnourished and weak. After just one year of being in a Destiny India School, she is unrecognizable from her old self. Who would have thought this little 3-year-old’s life could be transformed one day? And all it took was the will of a bunch of caring people who decided to serve a slum community with the best they could give.” – SOS outreach partner.

School girls

 

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Destiny India – Meet Abishek

July 10th, 2014

Destiny India 

It is estimated that one out of three malnourished children* and one third of the world’s poor live in India*. India’s largest city, Mumbai, is home to the largest slum population in the country. Some of the city’s poorest and most desperate families end up here. These slums are also places of hope, where a small investment of resources can take a child out of crushing poverty and into a life he or she only could have hoped and dreamed for.

Financial means is not the only limited resource in a slum.

In developing economies, hard work is often not enough to guarantee success. To earn and scrape together the resources necessary for survival, parents have to work long and hard hours in low-paying menial jobs (the only jobs available for the illiterate and the poor), making it impossible for parents to invest the time and attention little growing minds require. When pairing this reality with poor nutrition, most children do not develop the mental capacity to function at the minimum level required to advance in elementary school. This virtually disqualifies them from competing for a seat in a public school, even if it is free.

It only takes a small investment at the right time in a child’s life, to change their entire destiny.

The Destiny India program strives to unlock the doors of opportunity for slum children so that they have a chance of escaping the trap of poverty by providing the keys to overcoming some of their greatest challenges, namely pre-school education, nutrition, medical care, and mentoring. The program offers practically free schooling for children between the ages of 3 and 6 in some of Mumbai’s worst slums. In these small pre-schools, children are instructed in the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. They receive uniforms, are fed a hot meal daily, undergo regular medical check-ups, are given the opportunity to learn, giving them hope and access to a bright future.


Abishek

Abishek lives with his family in one of Asia’s largest slums. He is one of 1 million people crammed into 1 square mile of corridors, shanties and makeshift dwellings. Like most of the children growing up in Abishek’s slum, he was completely at the mercy of the circumstances he grew up in. There were no guarantees that he would even have access to the public education system. Life in Mumbai is hard and expensive. With thousands of migrants flooding into the city daily, competition for jobs and education is fierce. The only hope for families in Abishek’s slum, is if they can somehow break the generational cycle of poverty in which they live and function. Abishek was 4-years-old when he came into contact with our Destiny India schools.

Abishek- 1

In school, Abishek learns about the world around him. He is taught math, science, and how to read and write in two languages – English and Hindi. In contrast with most kids in Abishek’s slum, he eats a hot, nutritious meal every day. As his knowledge about the world grows, his knowledge of himself also grows. His favorite color is red.

Abishek-  2

Abishek excels in many areas in school. His favorite, however, is reading. He proudly stands before the class reading each sentence loud and clear.

Abishek- 3

Thanks to Destiny India schools, Abishek now has big dreams for his future. He is no longer locked to the low paying, daily labors that so many in his community cannot escape. When Abishek grows up he wants to be an engineer.

Abishek-  4

Without Destiny India schools Abishek’s future would be limited.

$20 a month provides a child – just like Abishek – with the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and have a hope for their future. We can’t do it alone. Would you join us?

Interview date 7/09. To find out more please visit sowerofseeds.org/destiny 

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

India has over one million out-of-school children, UN report says – The Times of India

July 8th, 2014

CHENNAI: India has more than one million out-of-school children, according to a UN report. The report says global progress towards universal primary education has halted.

The policy paper, jointly released by the Unesco Institute for Statistics and the Education For All Global Monitoring Report, says, “New data show that the world will not fulfil one of the most basic commitments: to get every child in school by 2015.”

According to the report, India is among countries like Indonesia, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sudan which face the greatest challenge.

It shows that, as of 2011, India has 1.4 million out-of-school children. The country brought in the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 to make it mandatory for all children between six and 14 years to attend school.

The report also says the problem of children dropping out of school is significant. Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia have the highest rates of early school leaving. “Across these regions, more than one in every three students who started primary school in 2012 will not make it to the last grade,” the report said.

via India has over one million out-of-school children, UN report says – The Times of India.

Photo of the Week: A Much Greater Hunger

July 7th, 2014

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” ― Mother Teresa

Children are the most vulnerable inhabitants of a slum. With both parents working long days away from the home, children are often left to fend for themselves. For families who live in poverty, counting rupees to spend on food and water, education and the promise of a better future is out of reach.  For young girls living in these conditions, the devastation can be much worse. Children who grow up in slums run the risk of living a life defined and determined by the their circumstances. Destiny India Schools are educating, caring for and speaking value into the next generation of female leaders in India. As these children are being taught the skills, value and worth they need to enter and succeed in the public education system and to be contributing, valuable members of society.

Girl Child

 

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Destiny India – A Glimpse Into Our Schools

July 3rd, 2014

Destiny India 

It is estimated that one out of three malnourished children* and one third of the world’s poor live in India*. India’s largest city, Mumbai, is home to the largest slum population in the country. Some of the city’s poorest and most desperate families end up here. These slums are also places of hope, where a small investment of resources can take a child out of crushing poverty and into a life he or she only could have hoped and dreamed for.

It only takes a small investment at the right time in a child’s life, to change their entire destiny.

The Destiny India program strives to unlock the doors of opportunity for slum children so that they have a chance of escaping the trap of poverty by providing the keys to overcoming some of their greatest challenges, namely pre-school education, nutrition, medical care, and mentoring. The program offers practically free schooling for children between the ages of 3 and 6 in some of Mumbai’s poorest slums. In these small pre-schools, children are instructed in the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. They receive uniforms, are fed a hot meal daily, undergo regular medical check-ups, are given the opportunity to learn, giving them hope and access to a bright future.


This month we are going to to introduce you to 4 of our Destiny India students, Athi Raja, Haleena, Sriyya and Abishek. It is hard to say all the ways that this school has impacted these children’s lives, and in many ways we cannot measure its impact, but one thing is for certain – without Destiny India Schools these children had a slim chance of changing their situations. All of them come from impossible backgrounds and all of them are now excelling in areas their families never dreamed possible. Stay tuned to hear their stories of hope…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Group

[left to right] Athi Raja, Haleena, Sriyya and Abishek

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Photo of the Week: According To His Riches

June 30th, 2014

“There were 700 people living in this village and there was no drinking water. It was such a blessing to them when the work of digging the well was completed. When the hand pump fitting was finished, there was such joy on their faces. The entire village came when we dedicated the bore well. The children in this village are now very happy. They rushed the well, wanting to drink directly from the hand pump.” – SOS outreach partner.

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”- Philippians 4:19-20

Young girl

 

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Building Our Future

June 26th, 2014

Sari Lady

 By Season Fulton 

This morning on my way to work as I listened to happy, peppy music, I drove passed a large crane lifting a piece of cement. A new bridge was being built. A moment later I passed a team constructing a parking garage and another working on a hospital. In the ten minutes that followed, I spotted workers installing pipes, signs and sidewalks. The song mentioned something about the future and I thought about my own. This is what my community is building for our future, for our children’s future. These roads and hospitals will be here long after we’re gone.

I arrived at my office and sat down to review new pictures from our projects. The images appear to be from a time long past. Barefoot, dusty children and dry, colorless landscapes contrasted only by bright and glittery fabric masking an old woman’s wrinkled skin, falling over her shoulder and draping down to frayed and darkened ends that hung just above a sooty floor. These were people who don’t dwell in the future but simply try to make it through today alive.

As I noticed the bright, woven fabric of the woman’s sari again, it reminded me of us. Like a tapestry, common threads connect us all. Some of us are the brightly colored portions that stay safely wrapped around her face. Some are the frayed edges, torn and muddied, barely hanging on. But as a shawl salesman in Bombay once showed me, it only takes one thread to unravel the whole fabric.

It is a painful and heartbreaking thing to see people like these in extreme, urgent need. We’re often so far removed from them and it is unlikely that we’ll ever come face to face with somebody like this in our everyday lives.

The Internet has opened portals through which these images of suffering appear normal. Being half a world away can make pictures seem as unreal as the pictures we see of surface cracks on Mars, but the woman in the picture I look at this morning is feeling and living and breathing the same breath that God grants us all.

We are connected in time. What we are neglecting today could unravel tomorrow.

If we don’t give attention to those living on the edges of society, we risk building a world that, when failing at its margins, may just as easily fail at its core.

Because our organization helps to drill water wells throughout India, I hear the quote often, “water is essential to life.” This true statement means so much more when I hear it from those who do not have it.

For those without water, this statement is referring to more than a shower and clean hands. Having water means that getting an education becomes a possibility for a girl. Having water means health for another day of hard work. Having water makes life possible. SOS helps provides water to communities all over India and because it meets a need today as well as a need in the years to come. I have been blessed to see many communities changed by a water well, to shake hands with teary-eyed grandmas who put their hand over their hearts in gratitude. This means life to their babies, and an end to generations of death and disease. Yet it is so simple to us.

That is a future I want to be building for my children; one built with strong bridges and paved with acts of kindness… one with water for a thirsty world.

“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4 

Originally posted:3/20/14

 All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

FBI: 168 children rescued, 281 pimps arrested in sex-trafficking crackdown | WJLA.com

June 25th, 2014

WASHINGTON AP – Nearly 170 victims of child sex trafficking, many of whom had never been reported missing, were rescued in the last week as part of an annual nationwide crackdown, the FBI said Monday. FBI Director James Coney announcing the arrests and rescues. Besides the 168 children rescued from the sex trade, 281 pimps were arrested during the same period on state and federal charges.”These are not faraway kids in faraway lands,” FBI Director James Comey said in announcing the annual enforcement push known as Operation Cross Country. Instead, he added, “These are America’s children.”This is the eighth such week-long operation, which this year unfolded in 106 cities. The FBI says nearly 3,600 children have so far been recovered from the street.”I hate that we have to do this work – hate it,” Comey said. “I love the people who’ve devoted their lives to doing this work. There is no more meaningful work that the FBI participates in than rescuing children.”

via FBI: 168 children rescued, 281 pimps arrested in sex-trafficking crackdown | WJLA.com.

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