We recognize that service and generosity are key elements of individuals that are respected, looked for by employers, and make our communities a better place for all. We also recognize that as citizens of the country of Canada, no matter the amount sitting in our bank accounts, we are wealthy in comparison to millions in countries around the world.
In order to help our students understand both what life can be like in other countries, and what one aspect of service can look like, we as a school community sponsor a child in India. This means we provide funds to help provide access to basic necessities such as food, clean water, education and health care, in order to help break the cycle of poverty.
The student we currently sponsor is Kalpana. Every week, we collect funds from our students for Kalpana. Here is a little about her and where she lives.
“I live with my parents. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I am in Grade 2. I am currently enrolled in primary school and my favourite subject is my national language. I like to play with toys. I am in good health.”
The Dungarpur community is located in northwest India, and is named after the many mountains in the area. The terrain here is interspersed with stony hills covered with a jungle of cactus, jojoba, salar, and with other trees and shrubs. While some sections of land allow for normal agriculture, many crops have to be grown on hilly slopes, resulting in low crop yields. Wheat, maize, and legumes are major crops.
The lack of jobs, access to health care, and educational facilities are some of the community’s biggest challenges. Many farmers require improved training and tools to diversify their crops and increase their income. Alternate income-generating activities are needed to prevent the migration of parents and families in search of work.
The malnutrition rate for children under the age of five is high, and mothers lack access to maternal health care. Few children are fully immunized, which is key in preventing the spread of illnesses. Many children are dropping out of school because they have to travel so far to attend, which puts them at risk of child labour.