“I really want them to get an education, I wouldn’t even care if I didn’t have food to eat sometimes. Education is more important than anything,” Nazir (pictured right) shares. “I do cleaning jobs at a hospital and I want my kids to grow up and get an education so they don’t have to do the work I am doing.”
Nazir is just one of thousands of uneducated parents in dusty Raxaul, India trying to offer their children a better future. Even though it is a major port of entry to Nepal with thousands of trucks barrelling through each day, the industry of Raxaul mostly relies on menial labor jobs and agriculture, meaning few families have the funding to send their children to school.
That’s where ServLife India Missions School (SLIMS) comes in. The school works in conjunction with ServLife’s children’s home to offer free education to 72 children who might not otherwise be able to break their family’s cycle of poverty. “The very poor in Raxaul are working each day for survival and none of our children come from educated backgrounds,” explains Camillus Das, India Children’s Home manager and Teacher at SLIMS.
Savitri, mother of SLIMS student Laddo, shares “I don’t have any education, so I can’t do many jobs. I wash clothes and work in the fields sowing rice to make money. So I’m very happy for my son to be able to study because it’s not possible for me to educate him at all.”
The education children are receiving is already changing their family’s lives. “I never studied anything. I can’t read,” shares Nazir, whose 4 children now attend SLIMS. “Before, when we would receive mail, we would have to go to neighbors in the village and ask them to read the letter, but now my kids just read it. I feel so proud that my sons can read and we don’t have to go to other people to ask them ‘please can somebody read my letter.’ That makes me very proud.”
Through the education they are receiving the children at SLIMS are pursuing futures they never would have been able to dream of before. Laddo wants to become an engineer when he grows up. Nazir’s sons Saddam and Salman dream of becoming a teacher and a doctor respectively. Their new ambitions could change their lives and those of their families.
“I’m so thankful that through this ministry my kids are able to study,” says Lakshmi (pictured above right), mother of two boys attending SLIMS. “Through this ministry and through all of you, my sons are able get an education and I am so thankful for that. I am hoping they can get a good education and have a better future.”