Fresh Face, Fresh Start: Advik


Exactly one year ago, 7-year-old Advik* was nervous. It was the first day of school, and as he put on his new uniform and gathered his supplies, he worried. “Will people like me? Will my teacher be nice? Will I do well in my classes? Is this year going to be different?”

He had reason to be anxious. It was his very first day at his new Good Shepherd School located in Odisha state. His father had decided to transfer Advik from the local government-run school where he didn’t excel academically and didn’t feel like anyone cared about him. He even felt afraid.

That day, Advik joined 64 other students who were brand new to the school, each with their own fears and expectations. Over the next 10 months, all 184 students and 13 staff learned, laughed, grew, and formed a community. A community that fosters hope. Dignity. Independence. One that encourages dreams. One that treats all students as equals.

This year, Advik goes back to school confident and secure. He says, “My new school makes me very happy, and I am not afraid anymore. I like my teachers and my friends, and I like to learn English.” Advik has a dream of becoming a police officer so he can serve his nation.

This is what attending a Good Shepherd School can do for a child. Each school not only provides a quality, accredited English-medium education, it fosters an environment and atmosphere free of discrimination where children can flourish because they know they are cared for. They know they are equal. They know they are valuable.

But the need is great. Of the 184 students in this school, only 15% have the cost of their education funded through a scholarship or sponsorship. 15%!

As we near the end of our 10,000 Reasons to Give a Fresh Start initiative, would you consider helping increase that number? It’s not just Advik’s school that needs help. Across India, nearly half of the 27,000 students who attend a Good Shepherd School do not have their education funded yet. And in the 2015-16 academic year, we anticipate 3,000 new admissions! More students means more opportunity for us, and more need.

This is a perfect time to get involved, because every dollar you give during the Fresh Start emphasis
will be matched once the funds reach India. Please help Advik and the other 156 students at his school
who do not have their education funded. They need you to help them make their dreams come true.

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*name changed to protect privacy and security