Dalit Graduates | Hope for a new generation.

When the DFN team traveled to India earlier this year, we had the privilege of meeting several groups of graduates at the schools we visited. What a joy to hear about their hopes and dreams, their plans and aspirations for the future! What a contrast to what their lives could have been as Dalits, subject to bonded labor, trafficking, and a life of poverty.

Graduating from an accredited, high-quality English medium school has given these students a whole new world to explore. Doors are open for them and unlimited opportunities are now a reality. Most students who graduate from a Good Shepherd School continue their education in a junior college for two years before choosing a university and complete the path to a profession of their choice. Imagine! Young men and women who could have been trapped in a cycle of oppression and poverty can now actually choose a career, something most of us in the U.S. take for granted.

We met boys who want to be engineers, software programmers, or teachers, and we met boys who want to join the military. We met girls who want to be doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, and computer programmers. The list of aspirations could go on and on.

Seeing these grads’ eyes light up and sparkle with anticipation while we listened to their plans and dreams brought tears to our eyes. And what made the experience so very special was to realize the impact DFN’s supporters have on individual lives. We are so grateful and humbled to be facilitating this work.

But the impact extends far beyond individual lives. The ripple effect is extraordinary. There are Dalit graduates who are now teaching in the very schools they attended. There are graduates, now professionally trained, who come back to serve in the villages where they grew up. This is how community transformation happens.

Following are some PORTRAITS OF HOPE  – Graduates ready to take the next step into their dreams and careers. We hope you enjoy!

 

 

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More graduates in their finery:

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Justice Connections

This past weekend was the 2015 Justice Conference in Chicago, IL. It was a great weekend full of dynamic speakers, challenging sessions, and lots of sharing and connecting.

We had a great time at the DFN booth, sharing the reality and story of the Dalit people – sharing that #RescueIsReal when we are able to support the Dalits with education, healthcare and economic development.

The attendees of The Justice Conference come from all backgrounds, professions and ministries, but all have a passion to see justice in an unjust world. We met film makers and moms, pastors and students, non-profit CEO’s and professors. What a joy to be in the same room with so many people yearning and fighting for justice for the “least of these.”

If you are one of our newest followers on Twitter or Facebook, or are new to our email list through our interaction this past weekend, WELCOME! We would love to connect with you further. We would love to share with you about how we connect and partner with people, churches, businesses and campuses here in the USA to empower Dalit freedom and education.

 

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Some of our favorite quotes from the conference that continue to inspire us in our work with the Dalit people:

 

Justice and love are not identical, but they are indivisible. ~ Cornel West

Justice is our worship in action.  ~ Mark Reddy

We are who we are for the sake of the other. ~ Shauna Niequist

By serving others, we gain an access to a joy the world didn’t give and a joy the world cannot take away. ~ ~Cornel West

 

The recurring thread this year was about justice and peace. Justice work is a calling, not an optional occupation. Peace work is a theology of daily living, not a fringe experience. Each of us should be learning to walk justly in all of our relationships, starting with ourselves and our families and extending to our neighbors close by and around the world.

At DFN, we seek justice and peace for the largest group of oppressed and marginalized people in the world, the Dalits. Will you join us in our work?

Are you a pastor at a church looking for grassroots justice work on the ground to support? Are you an entrepreneur looking to donate some of your proceeds to a reputable non-profit? Are you an individual looking to work in some sort of justice-related field of service? Please contact us. We will follow up with you to explore how we might connect and collaborate on behalf of the Dalits.

 

 

The Justice Conference 2015

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We are so thrilled to be in Chicago this weekend with The Justice Conference 2015.

What an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the most passionate and brilliant minds, the movers and shakers of the cause of justice in our world today.  We will also be standing side by side with many other sponsors and exhibitors, pastors and churches, colleges and NGO’s as we share our vision and specific work with Dalit people for the cause of freedom and justice.

What a thrill to be in the room with so many world changers! 

If you happen to be coming to the conference, please stop by our table at Booth 11! We have lots of freebies and a fun giveaway this weekend. Come say hi!

Check out this link to see if  The Justice Conference is simulcasting in a city or church near you! It is well worth your time if you can get there.

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You can follow us online with the #RescueIsReal and #Justice15 hashtags as we will be posting throughout the conference. 

 

 

Global Day of Parents |Celebrating sacrifice and hope.

Happy Global Day of Parents! Haven’t heard about it?

Here is the official UN statement:

The Global Day of Parents is observed on the 1st of June every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012 with resolution A/RES/66/292 and honors parents throughout the world. The Global Day provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.

In its resolution, the General Assembly also noted that the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children and that children, for the full and harmonious development of their personality, should grow up in a family environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.

The resolution recognizes the role of parents in the rearing of children and invites Member States to celebrate the Day in full partnership with civil society, particularly involving young people and children.

We want to take this day to celebrate Dalit parents.

At DFN we exist to help and support Dalits in their quest for freedom, education, opportunity and equality in the communities where they live. We come alongside Dalit families to help provide a quality education for their children, one which they could not have afforded without help.  Dalit parents, like parents all over the globe, want the best for their children. They want their kids to have a better life than they have had. We are grateful to support these parents in their dreams for their children.

 

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The following reports from some of our schools illustrate just how much a subsidized education means to parents:

Raja is in 4th grade. His village is quite a distance from school, yet he walks there daily. His father is a farmer who makes very little money and his family struggles to provide the bare essentials. Raja’s father believes that the presence of  the Good Shepherd school will help in the overall progress of their community and claims that others with similar situations could not imagine educating their kids anywhere else. Raja has ambition to become a first class officer.

Asha is a little girl studying in the first grade of a Good Shepherd school. Her father is a farmer.  He says he is happy to see Asha speaking and reading English and especially enjoys when she sings phonics songs and reads books. He also says,  “Our GS School has brought hope in the life of poor parents to fulfill their dream to educate their own children.”

 

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Do you ever think about what sacrifices you would be willing to make for an education for a child you love?

We want to take a moment this Global Parents Day to stand with Dalit parents to honor the love, choices, and sacrifices they make every day on behalf of their children.

Please consider joining our Fresh Start 10,000 Reasons effort to support more Dalit parents in their hopes and dreams for their children’s education and lives.

 

10,000 Reasons

The global Dalit Freedom Network has been challenged to free 5,000 children in 2015. 5,000! If we do it, every dollar we raise will be matched by a donor once the funds reach India. This means 10,000 children will have the opportunity to get the education they need to change their future! Fresh Start is a significant opportunity for us to start strong.

Get Involved