Right away, Jenya was excited to go to the centre. She wouldn’t have to go home to an empty house every day. Her usual, isolated after-school routine was replaced by a room full of children singing songs and happily studying.
Jenya loved going to the Bridge of Hope centre. Soon, Jenya caught up on her lessons and her grades began to improve. As her school performance strengthened, other changes occurred too. Jenya’s former downcast face broke into radiant smiles more and more frequently.
Now when Jenya came home in the evenings, after tutoring at the centre, her grandparents were already home cooking dinner. They watched with wonder as their granddaughter blossomed before them.
In addition to getting the education she needed to reach beyond the poverty of tea estates, she also received the love her little heart longed for. The Bridge of Hope staff invested in Jenya’s life, and she knew she was valued.
Jenya now spent her days surrounded, supported and guided by the caring adults in her life.
Having a community of love and support has changed Jenya’s outlook on life. She is happy and confident, a change that both grandparents and parents have noticed. Jenya prays that her parents will find work in a plantation closer so they can live together again. Living under one roof together would make her joy complete.
Children—God’s Image Bearers
Bridge of Hope has been a lifeline for many impoverished children like Jenya, by covering many of the costs of school, plus supplying a free meal, Bridge of Hope has made it possible for children to leave the fields for an education.
“Basic education is often out of reach for the students of tea estate workers, even when the schooling is offered for free and each child receives a set of school uniforms,” reports Sahana Menon for the Global Press Journal. “Costs, such as additional uniforms, shoes, exam fees and more, must all be paid by the family.”3
Bridge of Hope centres exist near many tea gardens, providing the same support, education and love to thousands of children in Asia. Children are leaving the fields to sing, dance and study—the true work of childhood. This opportunity lies at the very heart of transforming communities.