Quarterly Report from July to October 2021
Ongoing COVID 19 Relief Efforts
During July & August, we have been helping some of the Shining Star’s children and their families in any way we can, so that they can get some relief from the effects of the COVID 19 3rd wave. We were able to provide some families with a month worth of groceries and helped some children with their school fees.
In August the government announced that school’s should start online classes. We found that many of the children could not attend for lack of the right, or enough devices in their homes. Thanks to some generous donor’s we were able to provide devices for about 20 children to get online at our centre, using our wifi connection. There are still 9 children using them on a daily basis, as their school has not yet opened. This gave us an ongoing connection with our kids!
Child Development Centres
Presently, we have nineteen centres all together in Odisha and the two Telugu states. Twelve have started up again and are running well and seven are yet to start when the covid issues subside. We are hoping that all of them will start running from November. There are about 350 children being served on a daily basis in these 12 centres, with the help of 25 teachers and volunteers. Our staff are planning to visit all of the centres in November 2021, to catch up with them.
We visited all the centres in Odisha during the first week of September and conducted some activities for the children and teachers. This gave us an opportunity to spend a day in each centre.
We also conducted some one-day retreats in the centre’s in the Telugu states and are planning to continue to do it in every centre by Christmas time.
New and Old Partner’s Development
- In the ongoing process of developing the teachers and leaders of our partnering centres, we have conducted an online session on teaching skills. We believe that each of the teacher’s need this teaching. This is helpful when they teach different class level’s of children in their various Our hope is that the teacher’s pass on how to apply the learning to their lives, not just the knowledge.
- Our pattern is to partner with a centre for five years. However, in some cases, when the centre is running well we continue for longer. Four of our centre’s in Odisha are continuing on and are raising some of the amount, locally, to run the centre, which we are matching, to double the
- Laxminaraya, one of our long-term staff, felt the Lord moving his family to another village to start a centre. They moved in August and things started off well. The numbers of children have recently dwindled, we’re not sure of all of the reasons. Please pray that God would establish this family and use them for His glory. He’s planning to try to partner with the local school to run the after-school programme. We’re hoping that this opens up more doors for relationships.
We believe in equipping our staff on an ongoing basis. Presently we’re going through the book of Romans in our Bible study. Three of the staff are working on their theological studies, and another two, their MBA’s. I am taking a coaching course and we encourage other short term courses, as opportunities become available. A number of our youth and junior teacher’s are also studying a foundational level Bible course named TAFTEE – it’s excellent!
Annual Children’s Camp
The fact that we couldn’t have our annual camp last year, due to Covid, made this year so much more special. We were able to spend two full days together with 60 children/youth from eight of our Shining Star’s Centre’s, and 22 teachers & volunteers came along to give support. Our theme was Run to Win and the verse we highlighted was 2 Timothy 4:7 “. . . I have finished the race . . .” The subjects we taught were Quiet Time, the inspiring story of Samuel Morris (an excellent read for those who don’t know it), My Identity, Win – Win, Stewardship and being a Pacesetter. We had a combination of teaching, games, competitions, and a fun night. The kids really enjoyed it, although it wasn’t long enough. Here are some samplings of decisions many kids made for their Christian lives – Stella and Nalini decided to have a regular quiet time and find a mentor to be accountable to. Shailaja, “Made a commitment to surrender my life to my Father, Lord God, for each problem, like Samuel Morris.” Rahul said, “By attending this camp, I decided to be humble like Christ and to control my anger.” Pooja, in her own words said, “I decided to use my mobile in the limits according to the need but not like in the past as an addicted person.” At the end of camp, we have children write a letter stating the things they’ve learned and commitments they made. After a few month’s we send that back to them, to remind them. Please pray for Eternal Fruit to be established in all who were there!
We have started a new initiative – ACADEMY for SKILLS and KNOWLEDGE (ASK), which is a programme designed to teach soft skills, study skills, and personality development to any youth who decide to sign up. Our expectations are:
- To equip children ethically and morally.
- To support children to reach their personal goals in life.
- That participants will grow in their knowledge, attitudes, skills, aspirations, and behaviour.
If you would like to check out the website, here it is – https://ask.org.in We will offer online and offline programs. We had our kickoff on November 4th. Please pray that youngsters will see the value of this and sign up and that we’ll have wisdom as we teach and build relationships through this.
In the last quarter, we had two online sessions designed for our Shining Stars Alumni. We call it the Shining Stars Alumni Fellowship (SSAF). In August, Dr. Jaison Verghese shared on Success vs. Significance. Success, although important, must not overshadow our significance in God’s eyes. God created us uniquely and values us all the same. In the month of September, Mr. Premdas taught a session on Self-Esteem. He shared the importance of a balanced self-esteem and how to maintain it.