Thankful for 10 Years of Growth

A Message from the Executive Director

As I reflect on the past year, I am so grateful for each and every gift that donors like you gave to make this work possible. You brought the joy of freedom and hope to hundreds of Dalit families in rural villages throughout India. Without education, Dalit children believe their only option is to support their families.

Too often, this work is modern-day enslavement, with employers who exploit and mistreat their workers. By giving, you’ve shown the Dalits that their lives do matter, and that they have other options.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Dalit Freedom Network Canada. For as long as this organization has been around, it has been supported by the generosity of our Canadian donors. Without that support, Dalit people would not be receiving life-giving education, leading to true freedom.

As I reflect on the past ten years, I’m overcome with gratitude for everyone who has played a part, no matter what the role. Thank you for trusting us with your gifts and your prayers, for joining us in our mission of freeing the Dalits from lives of poverty, exploitation and slavery. Thank you for sharing your love and helping spread hope for the future.

Warm regards,

Sherry Bailey
Executive Director, Dalit Freedom Network


Overcoming Obstacles

to Achieve an Education

Even before Dalit children reach their classrooms in the morning, they have faced incredible odds.

Amith is a Grade 8 student at one of our Good Shepherd Schools in Rajasthan. Each morning, he walks 6.5 kilometres and crosses a river in order to get to school, only to turn around and do the same journey again in the afternoon. It’s always a dangerous trip but during the monsoon rains, when the river has expanded and is often surging over its banks, Amith’s trek to school is even more perilous.

The obstacles in his life don’t end there. Like many Dalit children, Amith has a father who struggles with an addiction to alcohol—a means of momentarily forgetting the troubles of his difficult life.

“[Amith] is the most educated person in his village, and in fact, is the only person who can read, write and speak English.”

Amith’s parents are also both illiterate, which may mean that Amith doesn’t receive a lot of support from home. Now that he is in Grade 8, he might hear things like, “Why don’t you get a job to help support the family?” or “You know enough now, it’s time to go to work.” Within Dalit families, it’s often a struggle between whether to force a child to find work, or to send a child to school and hopefully ensure a better job and income in the future.

Add to this a Dalit background—a life of oppression and poverty—and it is truly amazing that Amith has been regularly attending school since kindergarten.

Despite these barriers, he continues to be committed to his education. Even though there is no electricity in his village, Amith still finds a way to complete his studies after dark.

He is the most educated person in his village, and in fact, is the only person who can read, write and speak English. For him, his friends and teachers at school have become like family. Each day he goes to school, he knows that he is one step closer to achieving his dream of breaking free from the oppression he faces as a Dalit.

When you give, you are showing that you support dreams like these and that you envision them becoming reality. Thank you for giving the gift of education to children like Amith, who are working hard to achieve the means to a better life—not just for themselves, but for their whole communities.

Please give generously so that children like Amith can turn their dreams into reality.

Why I Give

“We were moved to donate as we have South Asian family members. Thanks so much for the faithful work of Dalit Freedom Network to reach underprivileged children.” —Diane and Bill Macaulay

“Our church choir supports one of the children. They are delighted to hear of his school progress. So encouraging to think that more schools are being built.” —Sheila Jakus

“What touches our hearts most is that these precious children are so imprisoned in darkness and hopelessness with no way out. We are thankful for the hope and direction that is being gifted to these children through Dalit Freedom Network.” —Juerg & Esther Salzgeber

Give a One-Time Gift

Please help us start the 2016 year strong by making a one-time gift or signing up to sponsor a child’s education. Any amount you give is deeply appreciated and will go a long way to bring Dalit people closer to the freedom they deserve.