Fjarli SDA Academy
Breaking the Bonds of Poverty
If there was ever a thirsty, needy people, it would be the people we have been reaching out to this week. They are seeking help, relief and hope. Around our table at supper tonight, we were discussing that as long as these people stay well, are not impacted by crime and greed, and have food and water, they are surviving. Take away their health thru disease, illness or injury, their medical options are few. If there is major crime, such as a theft, murder, rape, or kidnapping, the law often fails to defend them. Take away their cup of rice a day and they starve. Their survival runs on a razor-thin edge.
Poverty is like a yoke that is hard to break free from. One of the most effective ways of breaking the cycle of poverty is to encourage parents to enroll their children in a boarding school at a young age, before they are indoctrinated with the self-defeating philosophies of poverty. Many parents are willing, wanting more for their children.
As of this year, 207 children attend the Fjarli Academy of Seventh-day Adventists. They are mostly between grades kindergarten to 5th grade, as it is the desire of the principal to bring children in while they are still moldable. It is amazingly inexpensive to support a child in this school. As little as $30 per month will keep the child in school, provide a uniform and clothing, medical care and plenty of food. Willing sponsors, enabled by groups like Asian Aid USA, http://www.asianaidusa.org , and Adventist Child India, http://www.acichild.com, are working directly with Fjarli Academy, beginning the process of breaking the cycle of poverty, one child at a time.
While the Fjarli Academy needs donations to enable them to continue the development of a school that will someday house around 800 students up to 10th grade, the children who attend the school today need sponsors to enable them to grow up in this environment where they have all the food they can eat, medical care, protection, and an education that will ultimately provide skills that will enable them to move out of the villages, find higher paid employment or establish successful businesses and farms.
Sponsoring a child communicates to these children that someone cares for them and is interested in their success. Most members of the mission team from Grass Valley have chosen to sponsor 1 or more children, often wishing they could do more for the children they are sponsoring. They took advantage of the unique opportunity to meet the children they are sponsoring, with pictures taken together that will be cherished.
Sponsoring Results in Multiplication, Not Addition
The two boys in the above picture just arrived at the school the day before our group arrived from Grass Valley. They have 2 brothers and 1 sister ages 18-21. These two children were born to their parents late in life. Two years ago their mother died of lung cancer. So the 3 1/2 year old boy only knew his mother for 1 1/2 years before she died, most of which she was probably sick.
Keith and I chose to sponsor these two brothers, along with two sisters who are doing well in school, with the hope that they can stay together, as much as possible, as they go through school.
On Friday afternoon, it warmed my heart to watch the older girls combing and braiding the hair of the younger, and watch young boys come to the aid of the smaller, more fragile children. Sabbath morning, I peeked my head in on their Sabbath School to find it completely led by the older children with adults there for support. About 8 children sat across the front, with one girl reading the lesson at the moment I looked in. It was inspiring to see that they are developing the children to be responsible leaders in their churches and communities someday.
Please consider sponsoring a child and enlarge the band of people who are proactively seeking to break the long-held bonds of poverty in India.
The Fjarli Academy of Seventh-day Adventists