ABOUT US

ABOUT US2019-10-24T16:16:13+00:00
Love Activates Us. Compassion Motivates Us. Service Leads Us. Transformation Drives Us. Mission Unites Us. 

WHAT WE DO

Love Activates Us. Compassion Motivates Us. Service Leads Us. Transformation Drives Us. Mission Unites Us. 

India is the land of billions, of people tucked into every corner of every street, of lives as colorful and complicated as the the land itself. Dignity Freedom Network works to remember the forgotten faces. We think every life is worth restoring, and every person worth a fair start.

The heart of what we do is sponsoring children to attend our Good Shepherd Schools because we believe education changes everything.

Through the schools, we also offer healthcare and economic empowerment initiatives for families, especially women. We support women’s centers for those who have been exploited, and a girls’ shelter for those most vulnerable to human trafficking.

WHERE WE WORK

Our work is primarily in India, but we serve people all over South Asia. Due to their low position in society, marginalized people are often used without consequence. They are raped, held captive in brothels and temple ceremonies, and forced to work as bonded laborers. They are usually without education, without economic opportunities, without healthcare, without hope for their future.

We work in large cities and in rural villages, with young children and new moms. With broken women and fractured families.

But we work with great hope and fierce intentionality that every human is worth fighting for.

WHO WE ARE

Love Activates Us. Compassion Motivates Us. Service Leads Us. Transformation Drives Us. Mission Unites Us. 

We are a team of dedicated individuals and local churches that support our partner in India who actually carries out our holistic community development programs.

In the United States, we are led by both a national director and a volunteer board of directors. For specific information about our team members, contact us.

Globally, DFN is led by Bishop Joseph D’souza, a world renowned civil rights advocate. For more information on Bishop D’souza, visit his website.

DFN’s global network includes sister organizations located in:

FAQ

Does education really reduce a child’s risk of being trafficked?2019-06-20T19:44:26+00:00

Absolutely 100% yes! India has the highest population of children in the world, as well as the largest number of children in poverty. Extreme poverty puts them at risk for both child labor and human trafficking. Education not only provides a safe place to grow up, but also the tools to rise above economic poverty. You are providing a quality education as well as a safe and loving environment that changes the trajectory of a child’s life forever.

Do you have speakers from India that could come speak to my organization?2019-10-01T14:27:45+00:00

Yes we do! We’d love to share a list of potential speakers with you. Just email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.

What are the children in Good Shepherd Schools being taught?2019-06-20T19:45:24+00:00

Children study a preparatory, government-approved curriculum, with English as the primary language of instruction. Without the ability to speak and write English, underprivileged children have little chance to excel in Indian society. Students also receive a values-based education promoting the principles of freedom, equality, and human dignity for all. Our GSSs provide education to children regardless of their class, creed, or faith.

How is DFN different from other sponsorship organizations?2019-05-21T19:58:47+00:00

Most sponsorship organizations do not run their own schools. They simply support partner schools with their dollars. Our partner in India operates their own network of schools which ensures the high quality and holistic development needed to transform communities. Your sponsorship includes not only education, but also medical and community support.

What does my child sponsorship include?2019-05-21T19:45:07+00:00

Your sponsorship subsidizes tuition, uniforms, school supplies, nutrition supplements (where necessary), textbooks, teacher salaries, and administrative costs. You are enabling children to receive a top-quality, English-medium, values-based education, and launch India’s most at-risk children toward dignity, equality, safety, and security. Additionally, your sponsorship donation provides valuable health and economic resources to students’ families and the community.

What is my commitment?2019-05-21T19:45:57+00:00

Since the main goal of sponsorship is to free children by providing a complete education, our hope is that you will commit to sponsoring your child until he/she graduates. To make a change in your monthly sponsorship, email us.

How are child sponsorship funds distributed?2019-05-21T19:59:59+00:00

Your child does not receive cash but rather the assurance that they have full access to community development programming in their area. Our proven model allows a one-to-one relationship between a sponsor and a student, while pooling the gifts of all sponsors who support children in the same school. Additionally, to give their education value, most students pay a subsidized school fee each year. Your continued gift of child sponsorship ensures long-term sustainability of your child’s education.

Can I host a child sponsorship event?2019-05-21T21:14:31+00:00

Absolutely! Nothing will increase our work in India more than you getting your friends involved. You can host an event at your church, in your home, in your workplace, or even at your community fair. Your event can be 10 people or 100 people. We’ll give all the materials, promo pieces, and resources you’ll need to host a successful event. Email us for more information.

Does DFN share donors information with anyone?2019-05-21T21:20:19+00:00

We will not sell, rent, or trade our donors’ names, postal addresses, email addresses or phone numbers with any other entity. Read our privacy policy for more information.

Will my employer match my gift?2019-05-21T21:19:32+00:00

Many employers will match charitable gifts. Just contact your personnel department and follow their steps. This is an excellent way to double or even triple your impact.

How do I know my donation is being used responsibly?2019-06-07T22:01:31+00:00

At DFN, we are intentional with stewarding finances and other resources to best support the poor, marginalized, and outcasts of society across South Asia. We observe high standards of business and personal ethics when working alongside donors and partner organizations. We practice integrity in fulfilling our responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

We’re happy to report that we have certificates from the following

ECFA — For security reasons, we are not listed on their site, but you can ask them about us and they will confirm our participation.

Guidestar Logo

 

What is the breakdown of operating expenses?2019-06-26T13:27:06+00:00

Here’s a link to our most recent impact report MOST RECENT IMPACT REPORT.

For a more detailed financial report, please e-mail us. We’ll be happy to send you one!.

May I travel to India with DFN?2019-06-21T17:48:19+00:00

Certainly. We have two kinds of trips, Visions Trips and Purpose Trips.

What’s a Purpose Trip?2019-06-21T17:49:43+00:00

Purpose trips provide opportunity for growth and renewal to your life. With a small team of friends, you’ll experience the schools, the children, and the extraordinary country of India.  You will be up close and personal with the children and leaders of Good Shepherd Schools and you will go home forever impacted by the people and place of India.

We can work with your group to arrange your very own trip. Typically, trips are 7-10 people fo 10 days including travel, for around $2800. A minimum of five participants is required.

Or, you can join a trip scheduled by another purpose group. Email us for more information.

What’s a Vision Trip?2019-05-21T21:23:19+00:00

The purpose of a vision trip is  to give leaders an overview of the scope of DFN’s work while experiencing India and her incredible people. You will see a great deal in a short period of time, including schools, human trafficking prevention work, healthcare, and economic development programs. This trip will inspire you to get involved! You will also discover opportunities to extend the impact of the work on the ground. Email us for more information.

Can I make a tribute donation?2019-05-21T21:14:05+00:00

Of course! A tribute gift is a beautiful way to honor a friend, family member, or colleague. You’ll have the option to choose TRIBUTE GIFT when you make your donation.

What does a general donation to DFN support?2019-05-21T21:13:22+00:00

All general donations go towards furthering the mission of bringing dignity and freedom to the most marginalized people in South Asia. We believe holistic community transformation is the best way to change lives forever.

I’m not quite ready to sponsor a child. Do you accept one-time donations?2019-06-21T17:46:14+00:00

Certainly! And you may choose how to use your one-time donation. You can choose one of our initiatives: education, economic empowerment, healthcare, human trafficking prevention, or you can select “use where needed most.”

Can I host a child sponsorship event?2019-05-21T20:00:53+00:00

Absolutely! Nothing will increase our work in India more than you getting your friends involved. You can host an event at your church, in your home, in your workplace, or even at your community fair. Your event can be 10 people or 100 people. We’ll give all the materials, promo pieces, and resources you’ll need to host a successful event. Email us for more information.

Does the opportunity exist through DFN to provide funding for students all the way through college/trade school?2019-04-29T18:35:53+00:00

We definitely do. If this is something that interests you, please contact us at [email protected]

Does DFN have “success stories” from graduates?2019-04-29T18:35:23+00:00

Absolutely! Pranitha is one of our recent graduates. She is now in a Doctor of Pharmacy program. Meet her here. If you want more stories visit our home page, blog, or drop us a line at [email protected]

What are the odds of bettering a Dalit child’s future with the education you provide?2019-04-29T18:34:49+00:00

Good Shepherd Schools’ main aim is to prepare students to enter “junior college” (grades 11-12) and then “university” (traditional Bachelor’s Degree higher education). Our research indicates that 90% of all Good Shepherd students take this path. Each school’s faculty and staff counsels students, guiding them in future careers according to their strengths, interests, and academic potential. Staff also researches opportunities in local colleges/universities and seeks both entrance and scholarships for the Dalit graduates.

For students who prefer a trade or technical profession (i.e., welding, automotive repair, sales, etc.), our schools help connect them with the appropriate information or experts to train them. Trade schools like ones in the US do not really exist in India. Most trades are “generational” and are learned through family connections and/or apprenticeships. According to our research, about 8% of graduates choose trade school/technical professions.

Why is an English-medium education so important?2019-04-29T18:34:30+00:00

Many village schools are taught in languages native to the area, but attaining university-level education requires students to know English. If a Dalit student does not learn English, he or she has little hope of rising above present circumstances. Attending a Good Shepherd School ensures students will know English, the language of commerce in India.

How are you different from other education or child sponsorship non-profits?2019-04-29T18:34:11+00:00

Besides our unique holistic community transformation model, Good Shepherd Schools provide a private English-medium education accredited and monitored by the Indian government. This allows our students to be able to take their education “to the bank” and apply to a training/intermediate school after finishing the 10th standard (the equivalent of a U.S. high school education).

What does DFN do?2019-04-29T18:33:53+00:00

We work to transform marginalized communities through education and opportunity. The heart of what we do is to build schools called Good Shepherd Schools (GSSs) and to sponsor kids. Through the schools, we also offer healthcare and economic empowerment initiatives for families, especially women. We also support women’s centers, especially for those who have been exploited, and a girls’ shelter for those most vulnerable to human trafficking. In addition, we help support a 40-bed hospital (currently under construction) and several AIDS clinics. For more about what we do, read this blog entry or download our Fact Sheet.

Why are we helping Dalits?2019-04-29T18:33:33+00:00

Modern slavery persists in almost every country, including the United States. It’s a global problem! In India, where human trafficking is mainly internal, most of those who are trafficked or in bonded labour are from Dalit, tribal or other poor and marginalized communities. Learn how and why Dalit people face hardship.

Who are the Dalits?2019-04-29T18:33:13+00:00

There 250 million Dalits in India, and they comprise the largest, most at-risk people group in the country. For more about Dalits, check out this blog entry.

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