Life Expectancy: 63.4 years
GDP: US$1017 per capita
37% earn less than US$2 per day
IND03a - Bright Hope English School
For many years Premila's vision had been particularly for women but one day while teaching at Bible college she was challenged by the responsibility teachers have. "If you pour yourself into children they can achieve anything but children are in need of good teachers who teach not just from the head but from the heart. Even poor children can become great." That day she felt God calling her to start a hostel and school for children. But not just any children - the poorest, most oppressed children in India.
Premila went from village to village meeting people and looking for the most needy children. She brought them to her home and now has 20 girls between the age of 4 and 10 living with her. 10 of the students are orphans, 5 only have one parent and another 5 have both parents but are very poor. The children are predominantly from the Adivasi community - one of the most oppressed people groups in the world. They originate from the jungles of India and most have never been educated. Now they are found all across India in rural and urban centres. Very few of them have jobs and as a people group they are still very very backward. In the local normal schools there is not one single Adivasi child.
Premila's children are not just taught English, maths and school subjects but are also taught life skills. Most of them had never slept on a mattress, were not used to using a toilet, having a bath or washing their hair. Premila is training these children in every area, she is showing them love and giving them a chance at a better life.
History Of Partnership
Bright Hope World personnel first met Premila while she was studying at SAIACS in Bangalore in 2002. The principal identified Premila as a person of high integrity and vision so on her return to the border area of India we stayed in touch with her. In 2004 we commenced partnering with her as she sought to help refugee women in her area (IND03).
This partnership directly benefits the 20 children living with Premila and the other 8 children who come from outside for schooling. However the benefit will flow on to affect many families as these children who had no hope of an education are now educated, able to get jobs and provide financial support for their families and communities. It is also hoped the children will go back home and teach their parents what they have learned thereby impacting another whole generation.
What We Like About The Partnership
Premila is a woman of high integrity and energy. She has a huge vision and compassion for the children she is working with and a clear strategy to implement. There are a lot of other wealthier people who want her to educate their children because the school is in English and of a high quality but Premila has remained true to her vision to help those with no hope.
In 2002 Premila went to Bangalore to study at SAIACS Bible Collge for two years. After graduating in 2003 she lectured at a Bible College in Nepal for a year before coming to Siliguri and working at a seminary. It was while she was working at this seminary that she was challenged about the important need to teach children.
Premila has legally adopted three of the girls living with her, Sumitra, Santa and Sanjana.
Other People Involved
There are two other female teachers, Miss Soso and Miss Paui, who live with Premila and the children and another lady who comes and helps with the cooking.
Vision And Annual Strategy
Premila would like to add another 15 students to the school each year. She would not increase the number of girls boarding but increase the number coming in from nearby villages each day. Her vision is to give these girls a good quality education but at the same time introduce them to the love of God and bring them to Christ.
Real "Life Change" Stories
Pinkey is an 11 year old girl who has been at the school since February 2010 (8 months). When she was 3 her father who was an alcoholic died and, before running away with another man, her mother sold Pinkey, her four sisters and one brother to a circus in Bombay. In the circus they had to walk the tight rope while holding a glass ball in their hand and do other acrobatic routines. They were often beaten if they couldn't do what they were asked to do. One day her brother fell off the tight rope and was eaten alive by a tiger and lion in front of Pinkey.
Shortly after that the circus sold her to a family where she worked in the kitchen washing plates. This family then onsold her to another family who were Christians. They treated her nicely and she didn't have to work there however her aunty found her and bought her back to work in her hotel. A friend of Premila's told her about Pinkey and she contacted the aunty to see if Pinkey could come live with her.
Another of Pinkey's sisters is also at the hostel and one lives in Nepal but she has lost her other two sisters and has no idea where they are now.
Despite being 11 years old Pinkey had never been to school before coming here. However she loves reading and after just four months in the junior class she was able to be put up a class. She is an extrovert and has lots of friends at the hostel. She loves God and wants to become a preacher when she leaves school.