Here's a video taken during a simple late afternoon at a village in Andhra Pradesh. A different world from the one most of us are used to...
An Indian village mindset would look at these girls and possibly have them all married within a few years.
A team recently did some planting and gardening at a CCH boys home, Thimuraligiri (not a typo).
Education, as seen in this billboard honoring students with high test scores, is valued in some parts of the culture.
These CCH kids have nothing to do with what we're talking about, but aren't you glad we included them?!
A few weeks back, we shared our biggest challenge in doing this work in India.
“Event-oriented” culture (as opposed to “time-oriented”)?
Jaya far away from her Grandmas?
These are all difficult, but not the biggest challenge we face.
To fulfill our vision, hope and goals in the long-term, we must help change the mentality, change the culture of the rural villages of India.
· “Young women should not be married off at age 14.”
· “A life of labor after schooling of just five years is not acceptable.”
· “Life is valuable beyond just what someone can do for you.”
· “Marriage and family can be valued in combination with education.”
· “Education is not synonymous with the declining morals of modernization…”
These are statements we have had to make over and over to any number of family members and others directly and indirectly involved with the children in our program.
To quote our recent blog, “Our biggest challenge is to speak life and hope into village mindsets that have never imagined one of their own attending a university, working outside of day labor or marrying in their mid-20s rather than mid-teens.”
Changing culture. Changing mindsets. One child, one orphan at a time.
But this also leads to a bigger discussion. India is not that different from many nations facing battles within their borders between rural and urban, uneducated and educated, “traditional” values and “modern” values. The three countries that we spend the most time in – India, Thailand and the United States – are facing similar challenges on how a country should move forward when these disparities are so present among the citizens of a country.
India’s inequality is out of control, Thailand’s military recently stepped in to halt the spiraling division, and we’re all very familiar with the polarized politics currently facing the U.S.
So the problems we are facing are not unique to India. Globalization is providing more and more opportunity, but revealing more and more disparity within nations. Our focus is to help take every last orphan or abandoned child that comes our way and prepare them to help with these problems that will remain long into the future.