The Door to Education Opens
Sumana told a coworker about her sister’s struggling grades and her frustration at the obstacles that always seemed in her way. The coworker had children and had the same struggles until her kids joined a GFA Bridge of Hope centre.
GFA’s Bridge of Hope Program began in response to people trapped in generational poverty and cycles of illiteracy. K.P. Yohannan, founder of GFA World, and leaders on the field knew education would be key in helping people out of this destructive cycle, and the Lord revealed to them a way to help families and communities. Because many parents needed their kids to work to put food on the table, providing a daily meal and basic household necessities through an after-school childcare project would relieve some of the burden these families carried.
Interest piqued, Sumana asked to hear more about Bridge of Hope and learned that the children went to the centre every day after school to be tutored according to their grade level. They also got individual instruction and help with their daily homework. After studying, the children had a meal together and sang songs and played games. They even entered local contests and participated in competitions.
Sumana felt her resolve solidifying once again.
Going to the Bridge of Hope centre, Sumana introduced herself to the staff. She told them about her younger sister and how her parents thought they were both working in a carpet factory, but Sumana was trying to keep her sister in school instead. The staff agreed to enroll Sai in Bridge of Hope and provided Sumana with the school supplies her sister needed. They also committed to paying Sai’s school tuition.
Every day after school, Sai raced to the Bridge of Hope centre, eager to see her new friends. She received help with her homework and grew to love the adults who took care to invest in her life. When she came home, she had so much to tell her sister. Sumana was grateful to the Bridge of Hope staff for investing in her sister and helping her to thrive in school.
The Bridge of Hope centre Sai attended was not unaware of the difficulties many in their community faced—Sai was not the only child Bridge of Hope was keeping out of the carpet factories. Sumana’s heart and determination to see her younger siblings have opportunities she was denied mirror the commitment of Bridge of Hope to lift up impoverished and vulnerable children all across Asia.
Bridge of Hope became the community support Sumana needed to help her family. The staff was there every day for Sai, helping her grow and develop. When winter came, Bridge of Hope gave Sai and her classmates a winter coat. They also gave the children hygiene items to help with household expenses. With this help, Sumana started sending more money home to support the rest of her family.
Sumana sees a future wide open with possibilities. With her sister now at the top of her class, Sumana is confident that poverty has moved out of the picture for her and—through her sister—her family. With a higher education leading to a good paying job, her family’s future is secure. Sumana rejoiced in the realization of her hopes. Her determination in the face of many obstacles and sacrifices for the sake of her sister has opened the door to a new world.