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India, Asia

IND15b - Student Scholarship Programme

Partnership Ref.:




Funding Status:

No Current Donor

Partnership Type:

Training / Education, Orphans & Vulnerable Children, Humanitarian

Funding Size:

$3,000 - $7,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 4,400


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Funding Contact:

Contact us about funding


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Population: 1.2 billion

Life Expectancy: 63.4 years

GDP: US$1017 per capita

Unemployed: 10%

37% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

8 families are being assisted

8 people are in vocational or agricultural training

Partnership Overview

working in hospitalityFor 14 years Pradeep and Merilo have been involved in developing new churches in the Darjeeling area of India. As at early 2023 they have developed 15 churches by looking for existing key people and bringing them into their network. 

At the commencement of their work in Darjeeling they had a hostel with around 20 girls in residence. However, the government introduced a very expensive compliance regime which they could not meet. Most of the girls were able to be relocated to extended family members but some had no-one to go to. They came into their home and while not formally adopting them, became family members. In 2022 Pradeep told us about one of the girls they had brought up and who lived with them. She wanted to do a course in hospitality, and we helped the Kumars send her for training. She did a 3-month course and then went as an intern to work in a hotel. After the internship she will be taken on as an employee and will start her career. 

There is a pressing need within the network of churches to assist many young people gain qualifications so they can obtain decent employment. This project is a scholarship programme for young people who are graduating from secondary school and moving on to next level education. It is not for everyone, just for those who have done well in education and have proved themselves. 

Most of the potential students are from families that could never consider their children being able to gain regular employment, let alone a career. They are mainly rural poor people who eke out a living by doing what they can. This makes it very difficult to participate fully in church life. Several families are involved in church leadership which limits their earning capacity and the possibilities for education for their children. 

There are several types of courses in the first cohort: nursing, engineering, theology and hospitality.  

History of Partnership

need assistancePradeep first contacted Bright Hope World in 2011. Merilo, his wife, is from Nagaland and knows Pastor Subong from the Bright Hope World partnership there (IND12). Pradeep has visited and spent time with Pastor Subong to understand how Bright Hope Nagaland works and has found his input invaluable. It was Pastor Subong who put him in contact with us. Bright Hope World's India Partnership Facilitators first met Pradeep and Merilo in 2011 and spent a few years developing a relationship with Pradeep, visiting again in 2013, before our initial partnership was commenced in late 2014 (IND15). 

Following a visit by BHW's New Partnership Facilitator in September 2019 when new income generating opportunities were discussed, a second project funding village weaving projects and a sewing centre (IND15a) was commenced in 2020. Many people have been assisted and with all this activity they have built up an increasingly large network of people.  

Following a break in international travel due to COVID restrictions, in February 2023 BHW team members caught up with Pradeep and Merilo again, and the possibility of funding a scholarship programme was discussed.  


empowering young peopleThe young people emerging from the Gospel Assembly churches whose parents cannot afford their education. Of course, the families of those selected also benefit in the short term and in the longer term as well. The church also benefits as they make an investment in the lives of their people.  

What We Like About The Partnership

Pradeep and Merilo are a young couple with a genuine passion to impact their community through their church family. Their heart is to share the love of Christ through preaching, teaching, and helping those in need.

This seems to be a good option to empower people who are emerging into leadership within the network. 

They have a strong network of churches which is growing, and this would be a great addition to the development of the network. 


Key People

genuine passionLeadership Profile

Pradeep is originally from Kerala in South India. He is married to Merilo (from Nagaland, East India) and they have a son Joel (born 2010). Pradeep studied theology at India Bible College and Seminary in South India and is currently the Pastor of Darjeeling Christian Assembly. He also oversees the Darjeeling Bible Training Centre where students study to complete both a certificate and diploma in Theology. Together they lead two homes that house and educate 27 children who have come from very poor or abusive family environments. 


Vision And Annual Strategy


empowerTo see many young people become self-sustaining and successful in education, able to get a career and to develop a sustainable life.


To establish a scholarship programme to assist young people to gain an education that equips them for a life of economic independence. 


Annual Budget

The initial plan is to contribute US$4,000 per year for 3 years which will be used to pay fees for students to be able to attend tertiary training institutions. The programme will only pay for the course fees, families will be responsible for their living and other costs. These young people will be from Gospel Assembly churches overseen by Pradeep. He and his team will be responsible for selecting and mentoring the successful applicants. Each year, and at the end of 3 years, the programme will be assessed and on the basis of their performance the next steps will be determined. 


Personal Testimony

Real "Life Change" Stories

keen to serveJaya and another Jay are two girls with very similar names. Jaya has completed Bachelor's Degree and Jay completed 12th grade and a Diploma in Engineering. Both these girls have a real desire to serve the Lord and are keen to undertake theological studies. They have been accepted into India Bible College and Seminary in Kerala but need financial support to pay their fees. 

Jaya’s mother died when she was very small, and her father married another wife. Jaya grew up in her uncle’s home, so she is like an orphan. Jay’s father is a driver.

The plan is to give them a scholarship for their school fees and their other expenses will be met by their church and family.

Jaya is planning to do a MDiv and Jay a B.Th. Once they complete their studies they will return and serve the church and work as teachers at the Bible School in Darjeeling for two to three years.