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!
More graduates in their finery: