Update from India, May 17 2017
Last week our cooperatives spent significant time working with students at Aquatic Public School. Sneha Purti facilitated a class on Self-Esteem, which is part two of a discussion series with teenage girls. Her classes provide female students education related to the social issues that they face, such as self-image in a male-dominant society, and how to deal with stress/anxiety in a healthy way. In a culture where such topics are often taboo, the first step towards a sense of freedom and confidence for these girls is a hospitable setting to articulate themselves. The principal of APS has welcomed Sneha in to allow such a discussion to be part of the school curriculum.
Sneha came prepared with icebreakers and games, to help the girls engage and feel the freedom to share. “We know that some issues faced by teen girls are never addressed by anyone, either parents nor teachers,” says Sneha. “ We can address those issues and educate them for their future.” Sneha has felt increasingly impassioned to serve teens in this way, as she too has experienced transformation through studying God’s Word and coming to recognize the incredible strength and value of women.
Manohar Paul also provided administrative support at the school this week. He led a debate among the older students about culture, and how to evaluate what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in a culture--whether Indian or Western. Manohar challenged the boys to take responsibility for treating women with respect, and be leaders amongst their peers so as to promote health on their communities. Both Manohar and Sneha are happy to follow Jesus’ directive to focus attention on the development of children, offering counsel and love. They have discovered that the students are very eager to ask questions and engage in dialogue about the world around them! We look forward to continued opportunities to serve these precious students.