Least of These --India is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.
Our focus is on the orphanage and the before/after school program
Here are the stories:
“SH”: Lovingly Serving Orphans
“SH” is an orphanage in Southeast India. It was started with two young boys, “V” and “A”. “V” was found working in a rice paddy field and “A” was begging in a railway station. They were 5 and 6 years old at the time.
“V”’s mother died when he was 2 years old and his father abandoned him when he was four years old. “A”’s mother died when he was 6 months old and his father died in 2018.
Now “V” is 11 and “A” 12. They are in grade 6 and 7.
Currently there are 11 children from ages 6 to 18 living at “SH”. It is home to them. “SH” provides shelter, food and quality education. The orphanage has earned a great reputation in the community, because of the life changing stories of the children. There is a visible change. And the children do exceptionally well in their studies. They live under a secure and healthy environment.
The stories of how the children have come to “SH” are heart-breaking. One young girl “M” came to us from a mother who was a refugee from Bangladesh. She was living in a railway station with a homeless man. When “M” was two, the man died. Two years later the mother died. She is in school now and growing well.
A young boy “R” joined “SH” when his father killed himself by hanging from a wall fan. He chose suicide because he could not provide food to his five young children. The community brought the matter to our attention. We moved “R” into “SH” and put him in school. He is 9 years old. We add more children every year and “SH” keeps growing.
Due to damage to the roof of “SH” from rains, and a need to expand the building to accommodate more children, a second story addition is currently being built with completion planned for April 2020. This is truly a God-believing venture for the funds. Initial construction monies were raised when the “State”, aka government, paid a portion of the land value for the land that “SH” used as a rice paddy field to grow food for the children. The State took the land to develop as a coal mine. So we are fundraising not only for the construction project, but also to fund for the cost of food that will now need to be purchased instead of growing their own rice.
In 2017, we decided to start our own after school tutoring sponsorship program, And we named it Ashananda Care, which means joy and hope. We started with less than 10 and within a year and a half it quickly grew to 40. They are being tutored 24 to 30 hours per week, before and after school. Saturday mornings are taught for bible lessons.
These children are from the caste which refers to them as “talking animals”, (Dalit – Untouchables), but are far exceeding our expectations. They are scoring very highly in the public school.
There is so much demand to accept more kids, but we are out of space. The local school principal has acknowledged the success of the children in our program and wants us to take more.
Presently, classes are held in a front porch area, a bedroom, and the rooftop – weather permitting.
We need to add an addition to the upper story of the existing building that we use. We have three teachers, and one director. The children range in age from grade 1 through grade 10. Educating these precious children is the only chance they have of been lifted out of poverty