Compassion Beyond Borders educates more girls in India than in any other country due to the poverty in its immense population, the pervasive discrimination of its caste system, and the oppression of its indigenous peoples. India also ranks among the worst nations in the world in its gender discrimination.

A tribal schoolgirl recites her lessons

Scholarships in 40 villages

CBB partners with Just Organization for Natural Growth (JONG) in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu to educate tribal and Dalit ("untouchable") girls in villages so remote that Compassion Beyond Borders' Executive Director was the first foreigner to visit them.

Only a generation ago female infanticide was common in these communities. Some of the girls receiving CBB's scholarships wouldn't even be alive but for the progress that has been made. In supporting the schooling of 485 of these girls, CBB affirms the value of a girl's life and her importance to her community.

JONG administers 25 education centers where village children receive three hours of tutoring after school by local women with a high school education. The tutors are now being paid for the first time--a monthly salary of $15 coming from CBB's grant

Textbooks and uniforms are free to school children in India, but students must supply their own notebooks that may cost from $2 for the first grade to $30 for the 12th grade. CBB buys these notebooks for the girls and has purchased 50 bicycles for them to travel three to five miles each way to their middle school. Girls without bicycles are at risk of being raped when they pass through upper-caste villages.

After CBB began supporting these girls' education, their school enrollment increased 24% in one year. The district Chief Education Officer commented recently that "12 years back no girl or her parent could dream of studying beyond fifth grade. But now girl children go to high school and some to university education because of the program of COMPASSION BEYOND BORDERS."

Abha, fourth grade

One girl's story: Abha

As is so commonplace in the developing world where Compassion Beyond Borders gives scholarships, Abha's father is an alcoholic who beats his wife and daughter when he comes home drunk. Throughout the developing world, men spend 90% of their additional income on themselves, all too often on the consumption of alcohol, and only 10% on their families.

In contrast, women spend 90% of any additional income on their families, including their husbands, and only 10% on themselves. For this reason, a girl is often better off with a single mother than in a family headed by a drunken father.

To protect Abha from her father's violence, CBB funds her education in a boarding school. Even under the past difficult conditions of her life, Abha has been an excellent student, standing near the top of her class.