Highlights from India

Growing Confident as English Speakers
An India Hope Campus Update

“Stick together, no hurts, have fun!” This phrase is one generally heard across sites from the children Back2Back serves. They are part of life scripts used in Nurture Groups, where the children learn, and are equipped, to understand the power of their voices and emotions, and to use them in healthy ways. Recently, these phrases were used in unique ways on the Back2Back India Campus.

Thirty of the children who normally call Back2Back’s India Hope Campus home are currently with their extended families in their villages as a safety measure against COVID-19. Two of the children remain on campus, under the care of staff and dedicated caregivers. Staff are using this special time to connect deeper with the women who offer round-the-clock care to the children.

“We’re taking this opportunity to grow in the depth of our relationships with the caregivers,” explained Hanna Firstenberger, Back2Back staff. She and Melissa James, another staff member who lives on campus, are diligently working on getting each of the caregivers on the same page with their English-speaking skills.

“We not only want them to feel confident to speak English with the children and each other once they’re all back on campus, we also want them to be women who stick together and build each other up,” shared Hanna.

This focus on English-speaking skills goes further than the caregivers on campus, it is an intentional plan for each child, even as they are with their extended families. Staff don’t want the children just getting by with their English skills, they want them to feel confident to speak it regularly, and especially when they return to school. Caregivers and staff are doing weekly check-ins with the children not currently on campus, offering emotional and social support, and using the same life scripts from Nurture Groups with them as they are with the caregivers.

“We know when the children are on campus, what they’re hearing, the verbal affirmations they’re receiving, can be monitored,” explained Hanna. “We’re not always sure what they’re hearing when they’re away from campus, so we’re taking this opportunity to remind them who they are and to Whom they belong.”

Welcoming a New Hope Student!
A Hope Program Story

The Hope Program recently welcome its eleventh student! Kajol, a young girl formerly part of the Strong Families Program, has enrolled in Junior College and will be studying finance, with the hope of working in a bank.

The Junior College she will be attending is near her home, so she will continue to live with her family, helping to set positive examples for her two younger siblings. Please join Back2Back in prayer for Kajol’s transition to the Hope Program and higher learning.

Growing Reading Comprehension and Connection Virtually
An India Hope Campus Story

Readworks, a non-profit, has offered their website for free to teachers through donations and sponsorship. They offer classroom set ups with different assignments and base the rooms off of reading level. Staff has has recently started sending articles and assignments out to the children off campus each week, and she is able to track their progress, even when she’s not right next to them.

“Our goal is the children wouldn’t just be memorizing a bunch of words, but truly comprehend what they’re reading and learning,” explained Hanna. “We’ve been offered this unique time to really get back to the basics with the kids – relearning phonics and measuring how long they can maintain focus are all possible with this new day-to-day we’re in.”

Hanna, along with caregivers, connects with the children weekly, and they read books together and review questions. The children recently each got a tablet to help foster ongoing learning, even as they’re out of school and away from campus, thanks to the generous and faithful giving from sponsors. Schedules may be different, and school is far from normal, but the children served in India will not let the changes slow them down!

Please join us in praying for India:

  • Please pray for each child served as staff begins to connect with them through new technology for spiritual, educational, emotional, and social development.
  • Please pray for staff, their families, the children, and their families for protection from the virus as cases in India are increasing.