Lockdown has left countless children across the world missing the everyday routine of school, play and friendships. This includes children such as Hari, Ajay and Anya from India. You’ve come alongside them by providing a school for them to catch up on their studies and have fun with each other.
To your family, it may sound familiar. Lockdown was instigated, and for children there was no school to go to, and no opportunity to play with friends. They were confined to the four walls of home and only a garden, drive or front porch, if at all, to play on.
It was the same for young Hari in India. Like countless children across the world, he was confused and wondered when life would return to normal.
Hari is grateful for
But unlike many children, Hari – whose name we have changed for security reasons, along with the other children mentioned in this article – couldn’t tune into online classes or have his parents teach him. The required technology is unaffordable and his parents don’t have the expertise to fill the gap.
For Hari’s family, it’s not the only challenge caused by Covid-19. His parents are daily labourers, with a low income in ordinary times. And during lockdown they had no work, leaving them with precious little income. Christian families have also faced discrimination when government aid has been distributed, the last in line to receive essential Covid-19 relief.
But your faithful support has enabled a bridge school to be set up. The aim is to help children, like Hari, who need to catch up following lockdown, and come alongside children with learning difficulties.
Hari is thrilled to be in school and not at home. “When this school started, I was so excited to get out of the house,” he beams. “I was even happier to see many kids around.”
One of the girls at
the bridge school
The school also educates children in other life skills. Games and play equipment are used to develop team building, communication and even motor skills – all whilst having fun! Creativity, thought and opinions are expressed through drawing and colouring. They also hear stories from the Bible, and are taught about safety and hygiene to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
“Not only are we able to spend time in study, but also play and spend time with friends,” says Hari. “It’s exciting!”
The school is attended mainly by children of daily wage labourers and farmers who have low levels of education and income. Without your help, these children would be unable to benefit from this education. The school is open to children from all backgrounds, helping to build communal harmony as the children play with each other without discrimination. There is laughter, and the atmosphere is joyful.
Like Hari, Ajay was upset at not being able to go to school or play with friends during lockdown. His parents were worried, too. But the school has changed things.
You have provided education for children like Anya and Ajay
He says, “Now I am able to spend time in study and play along with friends. And my parents are less worried. You have given us books, toys and stationery. We are greatly blessed because of the classes. We feel very good and are very happy. Thank you.”
Anya, too, is excited to be at the school. “We thank you for this study centre,” she says. “We are very happy, you have really helped us. We have good toys and notebooks, and we can focus and study well.”
Gratitude bursts from the lips of the children. The support given to them today is providing them with a future full of hope and possibility. “Thank you for thinking of children like us,” Hari says.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.