The Duars Rural Development Program is located in North Bengal, India and has been a partner of Partners International Canada since 1977. Lack of opportunity keeps more than 400 million people below the poverty line in India. Duars responds to this lack of opportunity holistically and a part of this is through their Education Program
Specifically in this region, illiteracy and poverty are directly linked to lack of education in rural areas. Approximately 58% of rural communities do not have primary or secondary schools within walking distance. Schools that do exist often do not meet government standards, lack qualified teachers and have poor facilities. These serious challenges perpetuate generations of poverty among tribal people of North Bengal.
The introduction of quality primary and secondary Christian education into this context will have a significant impact on the future of tribal children. Christian education will provide children with numerous advantages. This includes a strong moral and ethical foundation, the ability to read and write, to understand math and science and to increase self-esteem and problem solving skills. With these skills, tribal children will have more options, including greater employment opportunities, the ability to pursue post-secondary education and make a positive impact in their communities.
Duars’ education program consists of helping children in neighbouring communities with tuition as well as running their own school that offers orphans and vulnerable children the opportunity to receive a high quality primary and secondary education. This school is called: Cornerstone.
Cornerstone is currently serving 400+ children. The school has had a positive impact on the students, teachers and the community. In my later blog posts I will talk about how Cornerstone has influenced each group and we will hear stories from those directly involved in the school. In order for Cornerstone to continue its impact and grow, we need help to complete the final phase of the building. Prayerfully consider your involvement in Cornerstone and be a part of ending the cycle of poverty in North Bengal, India!