I woke up with this feeling. I remember this feeling from previous trips. I woke up worried.
To explain: this is my 10th year of fundraising for Padhar Schools. I began after my trip in 2008, to raise money to support students at the Padhar Mission School. Over these nine (going on ten) years we have supported an average of 30 students per year. I would not be surprised to find if upon completion of this 2017-2018 school year, we have reached over 300 students.
But as I sat and chatted with school administrators yesterday about general “how is it going” subjects, I began to realize that life is harder here in the village than it was ten years ago. Climate change has affected the life of the village farmers, and therefore the ability to send their children to school. Instead they leave school to help with farming, around the house, or other labor jobs. Demonetization in India has created a sense of financial instability and that makes paying to educate their children difficult for families. Jobs are scarce, contractors unreliable, plans and dreams are postponed until the resources show up. Life is hard in the village.
Nevertheless, I will persist. Furthermore Friends of Padhar Schools will persist. It is during these tough times, when hope is dim, that non-profit work is vital to fill in the gaps left in the name of ’progress.’ I will try to help as much as our small non-profit can, but whatever we do, whatever help we offer…there will be needs unmet.
This is the hardest part about non-profit work: we address needs, but we cannot solve all the problems we find. But we can provide hope to our partners in the field and assurance that they are not alone in this important work they are doing to educate our next generation.
For more information about demonetization in India, here is a great article.