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Ministry Highlight: East India
Posted By Web Team On January 20, 2012 @ 3:03 am In Country Staff | 11 Comments
We began our ministry in East India in 2002 with the Child Sponsorship Program. In 2006, the Child Survival Program began, and the Leadership Development Program followed in 2009.
In just eight years of ministry, we have had a great impact on impoverished urban areas and poverty belts in East India. We have also networked with other agencies to bring together resources and raised awareness about child issues in the local churches.
D.G. Jebaraj joined us as the East India Country Director in 2004. Before coming to the ministry, Jebaraj worked in various positions at World Vision for 13 years.
His last position there was as National Tuberculosis Coordinator.
Jebaraj holds a bachelo’rs degree in English and a master’s degree in social work from Madras Christian College and a master’s of philosophy from Annamalai University.
He is currently pursuing research on the effect of sibling rivalry in sponsorship programs toward community transformation. This research is being done through the Oxford Center for Mission Studies under the University of Wales.
Implementing Church Partners
Implementing Church Partners are local churches in East India with whom we work to deliver child development programs and frontline ministry in the field.
Naxalism is an antisocial movement that is well-established throughout Eastern India. The government is constantly working to try to curb these rebels and bring peace and security. Naxalism creates terror among people and inflicts injuries, death and damage to public property.
To ensure the safety and security of our children and to ensure visitors are not threatened, we must conduct our activities sensitively. The Naxalites do not harm our child development centers; however, due to disturbances they cause in the region where our centers are located, we occasionally have to put activities on hold for a day or two.
Natural disasters such as flash floods, drought and hail storms are also a challenge. These disasters put our development efforts at risk as well as make our children and their families extremely vulnerable to migration, displacement and loss of livelihood, assets, and even their lives.
We experience high numbers of departures due to natural disasters, which poses a challenge to achieving our outcomes as well as to the quality of the program implemented by our partners.
Child Survival Program
Literacy classes are held weekly in most Child Survival Programs, but in others they are held twice a week. The Implementing Church Partners receive training from non-governmental organizations such as Child in Need India.
If there is no primary health center in the vicinity, the ministry pays for monthly checkups for pregnant mothers and children as well as costs for labor and delivery. We work to raise awareness of health issues such as hygiene, immunizations, nutrition, common illnesses, disease prevention, family planning, and HIV and AIDS. We also provide hygiene items.
Sometimes special programs such as a couple’s get-together or a family day are organized. Fathers are also encouraged to attend Christmas programs and graduation.
Mothers are informed about this beforehand and no assurance is given that their children will be immediately transitioned into the Child Sponsorship Program upon graduation from Child Survival Program.
Due to high rates of illiteracy in these areas, the general population has extremely low awareness of proper prenatal and postnatal care.
Child Development Through Sponsorship
Your sponsorship of a child in East India provides a variety of benefits.
Children come to the child development centers either before or after school depending on their school schedules. Saturdays are set aside for service opportunities as well as clubs such as prayer, music and dance.
We hope to counter the children’s nutritional deficiencies by providing this food.
Hepatitis vaccinations are given in the areas that have the highest incidence of hepatitis.
Activities such as soft toy making, quilting and embroidery are offered at the development center. Certified courses such as computer training, motor vehicle repair and electrician training are offered at nearby recognized institutes.
Because many parents are day laborers, we schedule these meetings according to their availability.
Leadership Development Program
They cover their program curriculum, have individual health screenings, participate in cultural programs and morning exercise, have sharing and worship times and complete their program requirements such as My Plan for Tomorrow.
Compassion’s core Child Sponsorship Program, while comprehensive, cannot address all obstacles to a child’s healthy development. Compassion’s Complementary Interventions program works in harmony with the holistic child development model to provide additional services as needed such as the AIDS Initiative, Bibles for All Children, disaster relief  and water projects.
Typical Complementary Interventions in East India include:
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