Pranay looks down at the ball as he dribbles it from his left foot to his right and then back, again. He raises his eyes to the goal just up the field from him; bobbing and weaving between boys taller than him, with more experience than him, he edges closer to the net where the ball needs to land. He gives a swift kick to the ball, moving it along the dirt, and then swings hard and fast – directing the ball towards its final destination. It slides toward the net. GOAL!
A wide smile lights up Pranay’s face as he is congratulated by those on his team and his opponents.
Pranay is one of six children new to the India Hope Campus. When he first arrived, Pranay was quiet and kept to himself – most often found dribbling the soccer ball by himself to the side of a lively game being played by the other children. As he continues to gain confidence socially and becomes more comfortable on the campus, Back2Back staff can see Pranay opening up and getting involved in the fun.
Taking part in a friendly game of soccer is just one way Pranay is connecting with his brothers and sisters on campus and learning the value of being a part of a team.
Like Pranay, the other six children new to the India Hope Campus are beginning to show improvement from the ways they’re interacting with others, in their eating habits, and in their academic performances.
Sudha, who is the first child to be a part of the Strong Families model in India, lives in the nearby village with her family, but attends school, rides the bus, and enjoys tutoring and Spiritual classes with the other children living on the Hope Campus. As the first child in the Strong Families pilot program in India, Back2Back staff seeks to come alongside Sudha and her family, providing supplementary care for her while doing what is possible to help her parents care for Sudha. Back2Back staff want to continually aid them in understanding the irreplaceable value of a parent’s love and the effects of a safe, family environment. As she acclimates to her time on campus, she is learning the importance of how we speak to those around us.