Series Code: HIM
Program Code: HIM000036A
00:02 The Asian Age School
00:04 for speech and hearing in Kollegal, India
00:06 is very special for Asian Aid.
00:08 Here, these special needs children
00:11 are given opportunities,
00:12 opportunities to learn, acquire skills
00:15 and are given a chance to transform their lives.
00:18 In this episode of "Hope In Motion"
00:21 we see how Asian Aid sponsors are helping this special school
00:25 transform the lives of disabled children
00:27 like Lakshmi and Sita Raju.
00:29 I wish the sponsors could be here.
00:31 I wish the sponsors could really see
00:34 beyond the difference they are making.
00:36 Without the sponsors
00:38 this simply wouldn't happen.
00:39 It's bigger than their education.
00:41 It's bigger than the child at the desk.
00:43 It's giving these kids a delight in life
00:46 and that's what I see when I come here.
00:50 We meet Jacob and his wife Shiny
00:52 and see how working with these children
00:54 has been a life-changing experience for them.
00:57 I myself was Asian Aid child, sponsored child
01:01 and Asian Aid gave me love and gave me hope.
01:06 If it is for Asian Aid, I would have not been here.
01:11 It's because of the Asian Aid help
01:13 I'm here as a teacher for this special children here.
01:18 And we travel with Carl Ginger
01:20 as he discovers firsthand
01:22 how Asian Aid is spreading hope and light
01:24 to these disabled children and the community at large.
01:40 Asian Aid is an organization giving hope,
01:43 an organization fostering permanent positive change
01:46 in the lives of disadvantaged children
01:48 and their communities,
01:50 an organization that is committed
01:52 to making a difference in the lives of children
01:54 and those who are in need.
01:56 Serving communities in Nepal, Bangladesh,
01:59 Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India.
02:10 For the last 40 years,
02:11 Asian Aid has invested in the futures of people
02:14 and their investment has proven infinite returns
02:19 driven by their dedication to helping those
02:21 who have the least.
02:23 Asian Aid is an organization
02:25 focused on the welfare of children,
02:27 implementing diverse development projects
02:30 and sponsoring thousands of children.
02:32 Their outreach spans from child rescue operations
02:36 to providing an education for orphans,
02:38 deaf and the blind children.
02:41 Giving them a sense of place, ahome
02:44 but above all
02:45 Asian Aid is an organization giving hope,
02:48 giving hope to children,
02:50 giving hope to communities,
02:52 giving hope to the ones who needed the most.
02:56 This is "Hope In Motion."
03:19 Carl Ginger's involvement with Asian Aid
03:21 as one of its board members
03:23 has taken him to India many times.
03:25 The vibrancy of life in India
03:27 is something that has captivated him
03:29 and it's a place to experience and appreciate life.
03:32 For Carl, this was one such opportunity.
03:36 He is traveling with Jim Rennie,
03:37 CEO of Asian Aid USA
03:40 and his fellow board member and friend
03:42 Dittu Abraham
03:43 to the Asian Aid school for speech and hearing
03:45 in Kollegal.
03:53 As they drive down into the campus,
03:55 the children appear from nowhere to greet them.
03:57 Their smiling faces and their warm welcome
03:59 was rewarding for the visitors.
04:01 The children were well groomed and ready for church.
04:11 I'm here at a church service with these children
04:15 and getting their responses
04:18 to the questions we ask about Jesus Christ.
04:21 The energy they have, the commitment they have,
04:24 the pleasure in being part of a church service
04:27 it truly is amazing.
04:28 This is something we can give these kids
04:31 that they would never have.
04:32 Never have had the opportunity of knowing Jesus Christ
04:35 and we are going to see results for eternity.
04:41 For Carl, attending church service
04:43 with these children with hearing disability
04:45 was an opportunity to grow and expand his understanding
04:48 of the differences between people
04:50 the gift of communication
04:52 and the privilege of being human.
04:55 Being created in the image of God
04:56 binds us as one,
04:58 multiplies our understanding of being human
05:01 and the many gifts we have.
05:02 These children were demonstrating that gift
05:05 on this beautiful Sabbath day.
05:07 This school has a far wider impact
05:10 for the church in this country.
05:13 Asian Aid is very excited
05:15 to partner with the church at the school.
05:17 And so when we see the children
05:19 singing songs and learning about Jesus
05:22 it not only has an impact on their life
05:24 but it has an impact
05:26 on the community that they return to,
05:28 it has an impact on where they go,
05:31 but also the community see the work the school that is--
05:34 that this school is doing
05:36 and it really lifts the presence of the church
05:40 in a very unique way.
05:45 The church service was an amazing experience
05:48 that changed some of Carl's unconscious preconceptions.
05:53 These disabled children
05:54 clearly demonstrated their ability to praise God
05:57 or be it in their own way
05:58 but it also demonstrated the role we play
06:00 as an institution and a church
06:02 in reaching out to this community.
06:05 When I look at this place I'm convinced
06:07 that this is exactly what God wants us
06:09 to be doing as a church that working with the children
06:12 who otherwise in society would be rejected
06:15 and cast aside
06:17 and not provided the means to an education.
06:19 I think this is what the church should be doing
06:22 as part of its gospel outreach.
06:24 This is a testimony to the love of Jesus Christ
06:27 for the most rejected
06:29 for the most...
06:31 ignored part of society and these children are just
06:35 the type of people we should be serving.
06:38 Children like this are often seen as a liability
06:42 by the family and by the community.
06:45 This school changes that.
06:47 This school gives them hope.
06:49 This school gives them an education
06:51 which in most cases enables them to have a job
06:54 and to have a future.
06:56 And then many of these children
06:58 assist in funding or supporting their family--
07:03 their family or village.
07:05 This school makes a difference
07:07 far beyond the child that attends here.
07:12 This type of disability
07:13 where children are born deaf is quite common in this area
07:16 and Carl was determined to know the reason behind it.
07:20 He was disturbed to learn some social practices
07:22 that is prevalent here
07:23 that results in children being born deaf.
07:26 One of the reasons he discovered
07:28 is that people in villages around here
07:29 marry within close relations.
07:32 Here in this village it's a custom
07:36 that they marry within the relation
07:39 you know, to say
07:41 sometimes when they are small itself
07:42 they say okay,
07:44 this child should marry that uncle's son
07:45 or that child should marry this.
07:47 So it's more of relation here.
07:49 It's a custom and tradition
07:50 that they're following for many years.
07:53 But when they get a disabled child
07:56 they bring them here
07:57 and we cannot change the community,
08:00 we cannot go there and tell them
08:01 because it's their tradition
08:02 that they are following for many years
08:04 but when the children come here
08:07 we give them a lending hand to help them
08:09 so the children get good education
08:12 and the children here
08:13 are all aware of the relation marriage
08:15 and the problems that comes along with that.
08:20 However unconventional and disturbing it may seem
08:23 we cannot change society's customs
08:26 and traditions nor change their ways of living.
08:28 Traditions are deep-rooted
08:29 but what we can do
08:31 is to sow the seed of opportunities for people
08:32 affected by society's actions especially the children.
08:40 Carl was introducedto Sita Raju
08:42 a cheerful boy whose teaching him
08:44 how to sign his name.
08:45 He was born deaf.
08:50 Sita Raju's mother passed away when he was still a child
08:53 and soon after her death his father remarried.
08:56 His new wife didn't take kindly to Sita Raju
08:59 and despised his very presence at home.
09:02 Him being deaf only made matters worse
09:04 but his father loved him
09:06 and wanted the best for his disabled son.
09:08 With the help of a local schoolteacher
09:10 Sita Raju was brought to the Asian Aid School
09:12 for speech and hearing.
09:14 So when the children come here
09:16 we as a team here
09:18 we encourage the child to be independent
09:21 and we give them a second chance.
09:24 We try to tell the children
09:26 that just because you're disabled
09:28 it doesn't mean they are lower than the normal.
09:31 They are very smart
09:33 that they can move forward in their life.
09:35 So that's what we're training them.
09:37 We're giving them the second chance.
09:39 They may not-- you know as
09:42 we may not say that they can become a doctor
09:44 or they can be an engineer
09:46 but they can become someone great in future
09:50 like we have a girl who is expected in electronics.
09:55 The child, if she would have been at home,
09:57 should have been taking care of house activities,
10:01 maybe married, had kids, washing the vessels,
10:04 taking care of the child, that's it.
10:06 But because she was here
10:09 now she is an expert in electronics.
10:11 She is working in a company
10:13 where they all appreciate her work.
10:15 So it's a same hope we are giving the children here
10:18 a second chance in their life
10:20 and they say this is their second home.
10:25 I like the slogan of Asian Aid,
10:26 "Give Hope Today"
10:29 and for the past 40 years Asian Aid has been involved
10:32 with the giving a hope
10:35 and a great education for the less fortunate ones.
10:38 And I think Asian Aid's work with the deaf
10:40 and with the blind in these last 40 years
10:43 has been a blessing and a meaningful one,
10:46 giving hope and giving future and life
10:50 for the less fortunate ones.
10:52 If it was not for these schools
10:53 I'm sure these deaf children would be back in their homes
10:56 working along with the parents and maybe even being abused.
11:02 The school for speech and hearing
11:03 is what Asian Aid is all about,
11:05 helping children in need and giving them an opportunity
11:08 to look beyond their disabilities.
11:11 Rejected by their family and society
11:13 they would have lost all hope
11:14 but this school has given them hope.
11:17 It has given them a future
11:19 and for boys likes Sita Raju
11:20 it has given them a place they can call home.
11:24 This is also having an impact on their family,
11:26 their immediate family can now be proud,
11:29 proud that their child can achieve something
11:31 and have a job.
11:32 The school is making a difference
11:34 far beyond the education
11:35 the child receives at the school.
11:38 When we say reaching out to the least of these
11:41 this is what we mean.
11:43 This school and what happens here
11:46 is reaching out to the least of these
11:48 who would have been rejected by their society,
11:51 their family and have no hope.
11:53 This school has made a difference
11:56 and so they've gone from being the least of these
11:58 to being something to having a career
12:01 and then actually impacting
12:03 on their village or with their family.
12:07 This Asian Aid school
12:08 for speech and hearing in Kollegal
12:10 is standing as a testimony for Christ
12:12 and what He represented why He was on this earth.
12:16 When we come back
12:17 we meet with Jacob and Shiny
12:19 and see how they are being used
12:20 as an instrument in God's service
12:22 and meet Lakshmi and her family
12:24 and witness how Asian Aid is helping them
12:26 overcome their difficulties.
12:30 Lakshmi's mother
12:32 was also got married at a very young age
12:35 and that's the same thing that she did with her...
12:38 elder daughter
12:39 and we are hoping that the same thing
12:41 doesn't happen to Lakshmi.
12:43 That she will be able to finish her studies,
12:45 her college and then get into a good job
12:47 and then look for getting married to someone.
12:50 We hope that that will happen.
13:04 My wife Angela and I are here in Andhra Pradesh, India
13:07 visiting some of the Asian Aid projects
13:09 to see for ourselves
13:11 how the work that is being done here
13:12 is transforming lives,
13:14 especially lives of orphaned children
13:17 and abandoned children,
13:18 children from the tribal communities.
13:21 And we've discovered that because of sponsors like you
13:23 they now have a place that they can call home,
13:26 they have wonderful clothing,
13:27 nutritious food and they are being prepared
13:30 to propel themselves into the future
13:32 for a promising career.
13:34 But above all that
13:36 because of sponsors like you
13:37 they now have hope, hope for a better future.
13:55 Well, I am here in Sunrise Home with Sheela.
13:58 Now my family and I have been sponsoring Sheela
14:00 for just about a year now
14:02 and I can tell you, being here and spending time with her
14:05 I can see the difference
14:06 that sponsorship is making in her life.
14:08 She now has plenty of food,
14:10 she has a beautiful place to sleep each night,
14:12 she has clothes, she has a school uniform
14:15 and an excellent education.
14:17 I can tell you
14:18 it's made a difference in her life
14:20 and it's made a difference in our lives too.
14:22 Now through sponsorship
14:24 you too can make a difference
14:25 in the life of a child every day.
15:03 That morning,
15:05 Carl drove back to the Asian Aid School
15:06 for speech and hearing and found the children
15:09 spread out on the verandas doing their homework.
15:11 Later he learned they were actually studying
15:14 for their final exams the next day.
15:16 This was critical in his understanding
15:18 of Asian Aid's work here for the deaf.
15:20 Asian Aid has not just giving them
15:22 three meals a day or given them shelter
15:24 but it is giving them an opportunity
15:26 to prepare for the world outside.
15:30 Asian Aid has provided the support here
15:34 to these children
15:36 and I think there's a lot of lessons
15:37 that people can learn from what is happening here.
15:40 There must be so many places around the world
15:42 where children need an education
15:45 and the governments don't have the funds
15:47 but the people can come together and support
15:50 the work that we do.
15:51 It's not just the regular kids of society
15:53 who should be getting an education.
15:54 I think it is even those who are marginalized
15:57 or ignored or set aside or just...
16:01 where children cannot get into a school
16:03 because they can't hear, they can't speak.
16:05 But this is where I see them
16:07 finding an outlet
16:09 for their talents, their emotions and their skills
16:13 and even though you don't hear what they're saying
16:16 they hear you loud and clear
16:18 from your face, from your gestures
16:20 and that is turning their lives around.
16:25 The education that this school provides here
16:27 through qualified teachers, skilled teachers,
16:29 teachers who know exactly how to impact their lives
16:32 through sign language and other methods
16:34 helps them to contribute to society
16:36 just like any one of us can
16:37 and not be a liability
16:39 or burden to their parents and society.
16:42 This education is crucial for them
16:43 to go out into society, get a job
16:46 and to be able to impact other children just like them.
16:50 Teaching to a group of children
16:51 with hearing disabilities is not easy.
16:53 Even though all of these children
16:55 are so eager to learn and grasp everything
16:57 that is being taught to them
16:58 it takes an extra effort from the part of teachers
17:01 and those who care for them.
17:05 Jacob Bhaggen is the principal of the school.
17:08 He along with his wife Shiny
17:10 look after these children like they are their own.
17:14 When I joined to work here in the year 2008
17:17 I came to work here as a chaplain
17:19 and I enjoy doing that even now
17:23 taking the weekend services,
17:25 sitting with the children
17:26 in their morning and evening worship,
17:28 singing along with them
17:29 and listening to them tell stories
17:31 and sometimes involving myself in telling them some stories
17:35 has been a great experience
17:38 not only for the children but for me
17:40 equally, spiritual growth for me as well.
17:43 After being here for past 10 years
17:46 it's not difficult for me to be here
17:51 simply because every day you wake up
17:54 you know that
17:56 there are so many kids
17:58 who are ready to give you love.
18:00 And this children love very, very genuine.
18:04 I don't know where will I find this love.
18:08 You cannot get 70, 80 children love at one time
18:13 and this is a wonderful place to really work.
18:17 Of course we get,
18:19 we may face problem from the outside source
18:22 but the children love just make you stand firm.
18:27 And every day you wake up,
18:29 you wake up with the energy,
18:31 you go to them
18:32 and you feel you need to teach them more
18:34 and they give you more love.
18:36 That's what you need and you get it from them.
18:40 Shiny has a special attachment to these children
18:43 and the children are very found of her.
18:45 Shiny was an Asian Aid sponsored child.
18:48 I myself was Asian Aid child,
18:51 a sponsored child
18:52 and Asian Aid gave me love and gave me hope.
18:57 If it is not for Asian Aid
18:59 I would have not been here.
19:01 It's because of the Asian Aid help
19:04 I'm here as a teacher for this special children here.
19:09 Shiny owes her success
19:10 to becoming a special educator to Asian Aid
19:13 and she hopes that it will continue to help
19:14 many more children to be successful
19:17 and continue to spread hope,
19:18 especially for children with disabilities
19:20 who are victims of neglect and abandonment.
19:31 Lakshmi is a 12-year-old girl at the school.
19:34 Like Sita Raju she was born deaf
19:36 and has been at the school
19:37 when she was just a two-year-old baby
19:39 and her mother was having a hard time bringing her up
19:41 along with her older sister and brother
19:43 who was also deaf.
19:46 Lakshmi is right now doing her forth standard here
19:51 and we're hoping that she will...
19:52 finish her studies from our school.
19:54 We want to do college just like her brother
19:57 and be able to earn a living.
19:59 Now the reason why Lakshmi's mother
20:01 and father were separated
20:02 is because of some family issues
20:05 and they have been separated for more than 10 years now.
20:09 The father lives with his mother
20:12 in another state
20:13 and the mother
20:15 brought up all these three children
20:17 by working in a factory that makes noodles.
20:21 And because he's not able to
20:22 give them a good education
20:24 she has put both her
20:26 hard of hearing children well in our school.
20:30 Lakshmi's mother married when she was just 16.
20:33 Although such practice exists in rural India
20:36 since ancient times
20:37 it would be hard for someone to assimilate this mentality,
20:40 especially for a first time visitor to rural India.
20:44 Lakshmi's mother
20:46 was also got married at a very young age
20:50 and that's the same thing that she did with her...
20:53 elder daughter
20:54 and we are hoping that the same thing
20:55 doesn't happen to Lakshmi.
20:58 That she will be able to finish her studies,
20:59 her college and then get into a good job
21:01 and then look for getting married to someone.
21:04 We hope that that will happen.
21:07 One can only hope that Lakshmi will have the opportunity
21:10 to break the shackles of their long observed traditions
21:12 and compulsions and hope that education will let her
21:15 have the freedom to choose how she wants to live.
21:28 Lakshmi's family lived in a nearby village
21:30 and Carl was anxious to meet them.
21:33 Upon arriving at her village
21:34 it was clear that Lakshmi's family
21:36 loved her very much and she loved her family.
21:39 The home was certainly minimalistic,
21:41 the hospitality was evident.
21:43 Seeing how contend they are with what they have
21:45 is such a blessing and a valuable lesson
21:47 to all addicted to consumerism.
21:52 Carl got to talk to Kalavathi, Lakshmi's mother
21:55 through the help of Rajkumar who was translating for them.
22:04 And her wish is
22:06 her two children got educated in this Asian Aid,
22:08 through Asian Aid,
22:09 sponsored through Asian Aid
22:11 and there are many children in the villages
22:12 she also want them to get educated same thing,
22:16 she want more sponsors to come forward
22:17 so that many children can get-- come to the light.
22:22 Although the pain of life struggle
22:23 was deep within her
22:25 one could sense how happy she was
22:26 knowing that her daughter Lakshmi
22:28 was well taken care of
22:29 and she was thankful for what we could do
22:31 as an organization.
22:33 Rajkumar, we just been talking to Lakshmi's mother
22:37 and there must be lots of other children
22:39 in these villages who have disabilities.
22:44 What would be the situation if there was no help?
22:49 If there is no outside help,
22:52 for example like Asian Aid,
22:54 the other NGOs in India
22:56 families like this will suffer very much.
23:02 And the pathetic situation is
23:03 if there are no NGOs coming forward
23:06 to help them like these kids
23:08 the society will be dropping them to one corner.
23:13 They will not come out and they can't get exposure.
23:17 If people, the society from outside
23:22 comes and helps people in these,
23:24 like these small villages, remote villages
23:27 children like Lakshmi will come up much brighter.
23:31 Their future, they can read it
23:33 otherwise, their future will be in debris.
23:39 You know, this is an example of what can happen
23:43 if someone like Asian Aid gets involved
23:46 and sponsors get involved in a child's life.
23:49 They can transform the person,
23:52 give them a future,
23:53 create opportunities for them to be themselves,
23:57 be what God intended them to be.
23:59 What a privileged to create and generate and multiply hope.
24:16 For someone like Lakshmi
24:18 having a loving family is a blessing
24:20 because their mother wanted the best for her
24:22 she was willing to leave her in schools boarding environment
24:25 just so she could give her the education
24:27 she otherwise would be unable to provide.
24:30 Most of these children
24:31 understand their difficulties at home
24:33 and understand the opportunities
24:34 they've been given by their sponsors
24:36 and are ever thankful for the part
24:38 they are playing in their lives.
24:41 I'm sure that this children
24:44 are very thankful to their sponsors
24:46 and the sponsor should know this
24:48 that everyday the children pray for them.
24:51 There is not a day that goes
24:53 without the child praying for their sponsors
24:56 and they are very thankful to the sponsors
24:59 and they know the importance of sponsorship.
25:02 It's because of that sponsorship that they are here
25:05 and they are having new friends,
25:09 a new life given to them.
25:13 For when I come to the school,
25:16 it's just touching.
25:18 I wish the sponsors could be here.
25:20 I wish the sponsors could really see
25:23 beyond the difference they are making.
25:25 The kids are so happy.
25:26 The kids want to touch you,
25:28 they want to communicate with you
25:30 and without the sponsors this simply wouldn't happen.
25:34 It's bigger than their education.
25:35 It's bigger than the child at the desk.
25:38 It's giving these kids a delight in life
25:40 and that's what I see when I come here.
25:44 When Jesus was on the earth
25:46 He invited the poor, the blind, the lane,
25:49 and the deaf into the temple and had fellowship with them.
25:52 Jesus mentioned that when we do service
25:54 to the least of these,
25:56 we are doing service to Him
25:58 and He commissioned us to take care of the ones
26:00 who are less fortunate than us.
26:02 What a blessing it is for us to be in His service.
26:06 Many times I question myself asking,
26:09 "am I doing the preaching work here
26:13 or am I doing some kind of service?"
26:15 But then I want Jesus told
26:17 the true religion is to take care of the orphans,
26:21 the widows, and the less fortunate ones.
26:24 And then by seeing the lives of these children transforming
26:28 it gives me hope and courage,
26:30 yes, what we are doing here
26:32 is any day the best thing that we must be doing.
26:35 It's important that the church has these services going on.
26:43 Today, this Asian Aid School for speech and hearing
26:46 is a beacon for Christ in this area.
26:49 With this school in Kollegal,
26:51 Asian Aid is not only bringing hope to the children
26:54 but also to the community
26:55 as it sees practical Christianity in action.
26:58 The church could not have scripted a better outcome,
27:01 just being there and demonstrating love
27:03 on a consistent basis reflects the image of God.
27:08 These children are preparing for their final exams tomorrow
27:12 and it's clear
27:14 that these children
27:16 are being prepared not just to survive
27:18 but for a future tomorrow and a future for eternity
27:22 and for Asian Aid to be involved
27:25 and creating these opportunities
27:27 really warms my heart.
27:29 It's helping me see
27:31 what it is really to be human
27:33 and I'm so glad to be part of that.