Project Education India
Project Education India (student sponsorship program) was created in 1996 by a leap of faith. Without any sponsors, LPGM promised to provide financial support in the first year for 217 students from three boarding homes of the Arcot Lutheran Church in Tamil Nadu, India. Sponsors now support nearly 1,300 students across six different boarding homes, four in the Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC) and two in the India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC), also in Tamil Nadu, India.
Sponsor a Student
$30 a month provides funds for shelter, food, clothing, medical care and school supplies. Children come from families in India who value education but cannot provide the kind of opportunities they would like for their children.
I'm a 8-year-old girl.
I'm a 12-year-old girl.
I'm a 17-year-old girl.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I sponsor a student through Project Education India?
LPGM offers a unique opportunity to connect directly with the student you sponsor.
We are a small, nimble organization that is constantly communicating with those who manage the boarding homes and therefore the lives of the students. We host a group trip once or twice a year and if you join us, you will meet the student you support and possibly even his or her family.
Do I need to support a single student, or can I simply support the program?
You don't need to be connected to a particular sponsored student to make a difference!
Any support of Project Education India helps to provide access to a quality education for students at the margins. You can make a one-time gift, or monthly gifts that make your donation go further.
Support the Program
How can such little money do so much?
It’s fortunate that a few dollars go a long way. The boarding homes are a ministry of the Arcot Lutheran Church and the Indian Evangelical Lutheran Church. In addition to support through LPGM, the educational program receives assistance from the Indian government (for teachers’ salaries), the Danish government and Danmission, a Danish mission society. In addition, there are local contributions from various sources and parents/families contribute as they are able. It is a truly collaborative partnership.
How old are the students?
Children begin school at age 5 or 6 in the first standard (like U.S. first grade). Children study through the 12th standard, usually age 17 or 18.
How long am I committed as a sponsor?
We ask that you commit to at least one year.
It’s our hope that you will want to support the student for many years. Nearly 400 supporters have been loyal sponsors for more than ten years.
Can I communicate with my student?
Yes! While there’s no requirement to write, all sponsors are encouraged to build a relationship with their sponsored student. Writing an occasional letter and praying for the student connects you with the student and gives him/her the knowledge that someone really cares.
Communicate with your student
Your letter will be translated in India. The students are required to respond to each letter that they receive. The young children will draw you a picture and the older students will write a response in Tamil which will be translated to English for you. They are taught to pray daily for their sponsors.
Can I send a gift to my student?
Gifts to the students are not encouraged.
A greeting card or short letter with a picture of your family is a prized possession among students. They can easily carry it with them to share with family and friends. Communicate with your student here.
If you want to send something else be sure that it is small and flat and will fit in a letter or card envelope like stickers, hair ribbons, bookmarks, and postcards.
Large gifts that are bulky and/or expensive to mail are inappropriate. A student that receives a lavish gift can be excluded by other students. A large package may not even make it to the LPGM India Office and therefore will not be delivered to your sponsored student.
Please, never send cash to your sponsored student.
An extra amount (above the sponsorship rate) contributed to Project Education India will be added with other extra sponsor contributions to provide a small gift for all of the LPGM sponsored students. We provide one or two such gifts each year.
What happens when students graduate?
Many students return to their villages where they will serve as community and church leaders who will influence higher standards for education, health and productivity.
More and more students are continuing on to extended studies in a variety of disciplines at institutions of higher learning. Some go on to vocational or technical training. Increasing numbers are attending higher education for professions as nurses, doctors, pastors and teachers.
Read a story about 42 boarding home alumni who came to speak with us.
Today, some alumni are in Chennai working as teachers, nurses or pharmacists, as computer scientists or physical therapists. Some are in nearby villages teaching, serving as nurses, and raising a family. As the stories unfolded, the tears streamed down their cheeks and ours with gratitude for what has been given and received.
What is the Christian emphasis in these schools?
Most of the children enter the boarding homes as Hindus. Hindu families will allow their children to be exposed to the Christian faith knowing that they will also receive a very good education. Some become believers through Bible teaching in Sunday school, morning and evening devotions.
This is a very important mission of the Arcot Lutheran Church, and the India Evangelical Lutheran Church.
LPGM works with our partner the Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC) to improve literacy and exposure to the English language through the ALC School Projects department. What began as the Library Program in 2007 has grown into a spoken English program in most of the ALC’s schools and, in the process, transformed families and communities, many of whom never thought they would have the chance to learn English. English is the unifying language of India which elevates its importance and necessity.
In addition to working with students, the English+ Program also provides spoken English training for teachers and spoken English experiences for families. Some highlights:
- Parents and teachers exclaim, “ENGLISH+ is a gift for us. Our students are improving in English every day.”
- School admissions have increased because of the enhanced English program. Students are asking, “Teacher, when will we have the next ENGLISH+ class?”
- Keeping the libraries refreshed with new books, some bilingual, is helping the program to continue its effectiveness.
- “… the program removes the fear of learning English. Now great interest is created and they learn with pleasure and new vision.”
Donate to English+
ALC Community College
The ALC Community College was begun in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that devastated southeastern India. Today it serves as a glorious witness to God’s long-term vision. The Arcot Lutheran Church founded the institution after local leaders said they wanted their young adults to have more choices for their future occupations than fishing and living off the sea. Several organizations joined LPGM as partners in this ministry.
Owned and operated by the Arcot Lutheran Church, former ALC Bishop Raja Socrates calls it the “City of Hope.” Courses focus on education that leads to jobs in auto mechanics, electrical wiring, nursing assistants and tailoring.
The college campus is surrounded by a diverse community of Christians, Hindus and Muslims, all living together peacefully. We are proud of this campus and the potential for the college and its students.
Donate to the Community College
The Timothy Center for Women & Children Empowerment
The Timothy Center for Women & Children Empowerment is a ministry of the Arcot Lutheran Church with support from LPGM. A Child Rights curriculum exists in each of the church’s 94 schools.
Each day, staff members travel through Tiruvannamalai (Tami Nadu), looking for women and children being forced to work, most for very little money. Some children are referred by those who know about the center. Parents are invited to meetings that introduce rehabilitation programs and try to convince them that the long-term education and training of their children will pay off in far greater ways than the few pennies they earn as child laborers.
- computer education
- and other programs.
Income generation efforts include a business processing office and a ready-made garment unit. Future efforts may include a community kitchen, wood carving skill training, and seeking assistance from the National skill development program.