“I’m afraid to go home for my vacation time.”

My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach when I heard Nishanthi’s story. No child should ever have to face what she has.

It’s not easy to read about the abuse, trauma and family circumstances children like her experience. Today, you can show Nishanthi God’s unconditional, healing love through a gift to support her education – and change the course of her future.  

Nishanthi’s father drinks daily. When she’s home he often beats her. She never knows when he’ll start hitting. Her mother died when she was little, so she has no one to intervene.

“When I was very young, my parents fought all the time. After one really bad fight, my mother started herself on fire. This was in front of my father’s eyes, but he didn’t try to save her. He just sat there. Watching.”

Can you even begin to imagine what childhood is like for Nishanthi? I can’t. Will you help ensure she has a safe space to live, where she can learn from caring teachers, feel the love of her school family and simply be a kid who isn’t forced to face terror like this.

Will you make a generous contribution right now – before the end of December?

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Nishanthi is currently 14 years old and enrolled in the 8th grade at the LPGM-sponsored Melpattambakkam Girls’ Boarding Home in Tamil Nadu, India.

Afraid of Turning 15

She’s afraid of next year… when she turns 15. Without her mother to support her, that’s the age her paternal grandmother forced her sister to marry.

About a year after her marriage, her sister gave birth to a little girl. Nishanthi is worried. “My 16-year-old sister does not have the maturity to raise the child.” 

As we write this letter, her grandmother is starting to discuss marriage for Nishanthi, telling her father to stop her education.

Nishanthi has a difficult life at home and is desperately trying to have a future unlike her sister’s. She knows that marriage at the age of 15 is too young. She knows that finishing school will allow her children to have a childhood unlike her own.

“My education is changing me, I’m becoming a courageous and intelligent girl. Education’s the most powerful weapon I can use to change my village.”

That’s a story I hear all around the world. Girls see how powerful education is. How it changes lives for the better. But their circumstances get in the way – they need your help.

Nishanthi can’t do this without your support, and neither can other girls who face similar barriers. With your gifts you support their protection, care and education.

Your gift keeps students in school

Your gift today is essential to keeping students — especially girls — in school where they’re safely learning and working to change their own futures. But they can’t get there without you.

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You are the piece of the puzzle that allows students like Nishanthi to become courageous, educated, and receive the support and love they desperately deserve. Please make a gift this Christmas to help keep students like Nishanthi in school.

Almost Unbelievable

Her story’s almost unbelievable. And yet, for far too many girls it’s deeply relatable. It’s hard to understand how anyone can survive such experiences, let alone thrive.

But through your gift today, Nishanthi’s traumatic past doesn’t need to dictate her future. Your gift today will ensure her education tomorrow.

With support and compassion, you can provide a quality education to students who are afraid to go home. You can truly make a profound difference.

Your donation will help students who are working toward breaking the cycle of abuse and poverty by allowing them the opportunity to complete their education. Your support is life-changing and will have a lasting impact for future generations.

So please – for Nishanthi, her classmates and girls like her around the world – join me in being as generous as you can.

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Author Dan Ruth

Dan Ruth is the executive director of LPGM and an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

More posts by Dan Ruth