They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and never has that been more true than in the slums of India where millions of men, women and children survive by rummaging through piles of trash every day.

This is a foreign concept for those of us in the West. We throw hundreds and thousands of pounds of food away every month, and the thought of living off of someone else’s trash is repulsive. Picking through trash is not the only thing we might find foreign in India. The average family in India survives off of just $1,600 per year, with these ‘rag picker” families falling far below that line. The kind of poverty that exists in India is unlike anything one might find anywhere else in the world.

Children are among those impacted most severely by family poverty, often forgoing their dreams of an education to stay home and help their families pick through trash, in hopes of making ends meet. The inability to gain an education and better their circumstances all but guarantees that children living in the slums of India will repeat the cycle of poverty that plagued their parents.

Orphan’s Promise believes there is another option for these children. Their futures do not have to consist of trash dumps and desperate poverty. Through our Child Development Centers (CDCs), which offer non-formal educational opportunities to children in the slums, we are witnessing lives transformed by the power of hope.

CDCs meet after traditional school hours so that children can help their parents pick through trash during the school day, while attending classes in the evening. Students attending the development centers are taught that there is a God who loves them and has plans for their lives beyond the slums they are surrounded by. In addition to understanding God’s love, children receive training in English, math, science and Bible classes, all of which prepare them for life as young adults in India’s complex society.

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“Whenever I ask our local India staff about the greatest needs of vulnerable children in their country, education, nutrition, and knowing a loving God, are three areas they always emphasize. Orphan’s Promise is focusing on these areas and investing more into India than any other country in Asia. Through passionate churches and committed Christian partners, we support 18 CDCs across India. Many of the children who attend these centers had previously never gone to school because they had grown up working on trash dumps as child laborers, while others are from extremely poor families with illiterate parents. Through Orphan’s Promise support, around 1,500 precious Indian children now have the opportunity, many for the first time, to improve their education, health, and nutrition, and hear about a loving Saviour. Through these child development centers and schools, God is moving in the hearts, bodies, and minds of India’s children, to see generational cycles of poverty broken and replaced with new hope, opportunity, and life.”

Students who graduate from CDCs are able to dream big dreams because they understand that God has designed them for a specific plan and purpose that has nothing to do with what level of society they were born into.

When you give to Orphan’s Promise, you give hope to children around the world. Thank you for your partnership.

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