Are you willing to change a Dalit child’s destiny?

Arunthathiyar Dalit, also known as “untouchables” are the most oppressed among the Dalits of India. They live on the fringe of society in miserable conditions. The parents work as scavengers, beggars or as day laborers, if they can find work. Often the young Dalit children accompany their parents as they scavenge or beg for money and hope to earn enough to survive another day. Sometimes, they go without anything to eat for days and are often malnourished and vulnerable to infections and disease. Without an education, they are trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty. Most are illiterate, and many suffer from impaired psychological and social development. They will live out their entire lives in dire poverty and despair. As Franciscan missionaries we want to change a Dalit child’s destiny.

There is Hope

Father Joseph Raj, OFM and other missionary friars in Chennai, India, are beginning a new program focusing on the younger Chennai-India-Preschool-childDalit children and need our help. They have just opened a preschool for three-to-five-year-old children like Dhanalakshmi.

She is almost four years old and has spent most of her life accompanying her mother to beg on the streets. But now she is attending the new Franciscan preschool.

Dhanalakshmi loves school and has not missed a day! She has forty-eight classmates, a professional teacher and an assistant teacher. The children are learning the basics of Tamil, the local language, and English. They have free time with play materials and learning aids that foster their early cognitive and social development.

There is also a part-time cook who prepares a healthy noon meal. The children are fed beans, eggs, green peas and local vegetables every school day.

After only a few months, Dhanalakshmi can now pronounce some Tamil and English words and even write some letters. She can repeat rhymes and is able to count.

Are You Willing To Change A Child’s Destiny?

I am writing today to ask you to help Fr. Joseph give young children like Dhanalakshmi a chance to break the vicious cycle of poverty of a life begging on the streets. Please help provide these children with an early learning experience so they develop a passion for school and the skills to be successful!

It will cost only $7,850 to educate all the children for one year. Every $18 you share with Fr. Joseph will feed and educate a child for a full month!

Please consider helping Fr. Joseph give these children hope for the future by preparing them to continue their education and succeed in school! Your gift to help educate a child reflects your loving heart and your commitment to helping the poor.

YOU have a special place in the prayers of all our friars because you support our Gospel work around the world. Please help Fr. Joseph give the Arunthathiyar Dalit children an education and the dream of a better tomorrow!

Please Donate

With a grateful heart,

Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM

Executive Director


P.S. Thank you for your wonderful generosity. Your donation today will do more than pay for a

child living in dire poverty the opportunity to attend school. It will give that child the hope

and chance for a better future.