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."

Mahalaksmi

One girl's story: Mahalaksmi


Mahalaksmi is the daughter of a young widow who lost her husband in an accident when she was three years old. Mahalakshmi’s mother is an uneducated agricultural casual laborer. When she went to the field to work, Mahalaksmi was kept at home to take care of her younger sister.

Compassion Beyond Borders’ India project director helped Mahalakshmi’s mother admit her younger sister to a government crèche. Then he arranged for Mahalaksmi to be admitted to school to begin her education.

When Mahalaksmi came home from school, her illiterate mother could not help her with her homework. The After-school Program teacher funded by CBB spoke to Mahalakshmi’s mother about the program and admitted her. Mahalaksmi now studies well and scores good marks in her lessons. She is especially developing her skills in drawing and elocution in her after-school program.