Earlier this year, during the first Covid-19 lockdown schools across the UK shut. While that was probably great for a week or two, after a while, many of you would have probably felt a bit bored, stuck at home, unable to see friends and adapting to a new routine.
The same is true for other young people and children around the world. In India, lockdown restrictions especially impact the poorest. Families that make a living working as day labourers saw work and income drastically drop. With little money and schools shut, poorer families don’t have the resources for their children to continue with online lessons – smartphones and tablets are just too expensive. Many Christian families in India are poor and vulnerable, especially when they can be denied access to essential government aid.
But thanks to your prayers and gifts, now restrictions have been eased, Open Doors local partners have set up a bridge school so that young people won’t fall behind in their studies. It was set up with aim of helping children who are struggling to catch up after the pandemic lockdowns, and slow learners who need help to strengthen their basic skills. This extra support is helping them catch up with their peers.
Not only are the children equipped academically in line with the school syllabus, but there is also a focus on other life skills. Along with the classroom, there is play equipment and time for games. They are able to express their creativity and views through drawing and colouring, and they hear stories from the Bible too. They are also taught about safety and hygiene, to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
The school is attended mainly by children of daily wage labourers and farmers who have low levels of education and low incomes, and could not provide these opportunities for their children without help. The school is open to children from all cultures and backgrounds, helping to build communal harmony as the children play with each other without any discrimination. There is laughter, and the atmosphere is joyful.
“During this lockdown I was very upset and annoyed as there was no school, I could not go out to play and my parents had their own worries. But because of this organization today we have a bridge school in our village. Now I am able to spend time in study and play along with friends. Now my parents are less worried also. You have given us books, toys and stationary according to our needs. We are greatly blessed because of the classes. We feel very good and we are very happy – thank you.”
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