Update 2017: Due to her school not willing to accommodate her disability, *Molly now takes classes at ASB (discussed elsewhere on this blog) in her home at Courage Home Purple, with foster moms Nikki and Merissa, as well as local and international teachers. She is learning to read sightwords and other academics at her own educational level. She is very bright! She has received a special computer program known as an eye-gaze machine, which allows her to use her eyes to make choices on the computer screen. It also allows her to ‘speak’ with her peers and interact with the world around her, using a speech output device.
To see an eye gaze computer in action, visit this Youtube video! The young man in the video is using an eye gaze computer to talk about his family outing.
I wanted to take this time to redirect you to a blog by another blogger. Her name is Nikki, and she is currently the foster mom of eight children in India, as a long-term volunteer for Sarah’s Covenant Homes.
*Molly’s School Story at One Tiny Starfish (*You will need to subscribe to Nikki’s blog to read this article, due to changes in privacy in SCH as requested by the Indian government – you can do that here, then look for the post by the same name in the search bar.)
This is more than just a blog post about a little girl going to school. This is a blog post about about an amazing little girl who meets her personal challenges every day, and it was written by one of *Molly’s foster mothers. *Molly was abandoned as a baby because of her disabilities. *Molly has CP and is dependent on others for all of her needs. But that does NOT mean that *Molly is not aware. *Mol is very smart!
At seven years old, she attended school for the first time ever. *Molly has two loving foster moms as part of Sarah’s Covenant Homes’ mission to provide all the orphaned children in their care with small, family-style homes where they can live for the rest of their lives if need be. She has
11 13 foster siblings who love her, and she loves them.
*Molly, her foster siblings, and all the children at SCH deserve the education every other child deserves. Her disability does not mean she is not worthy of education, a home, love, and an equal chance at a happy life. In India, children with disabilities who are orphans do not attend school, because there is no free public school system. Most disabled orphans live in orphanages where they receive basic care, and are not valued by society; in fact, in certain religions, they are often seen as burdens or ‘curses’ for bad deeds the parents may have committed in previous lives (‘karma’).
SCH is different. They advocate for their children to be treated just like everyone else. Because they ARE part of everyone else. Worldwide education should be a goal of the global society. All children deserve the right to attend school, to learn, and to have dedicated teachers and staff who strive to teach them in the way they learn best. Free education is, unfortunately, a luxury and a privilege in a lot of third-world countries, rather than a fundamental right. We are lucky in the US that all children are allowed to go to school, regardless of disabilities – as I said, it is a right for children to be allowed to attend school.
*Molly’s story is just one reason why I support and donate to SCH. She is one of the reasons I advocate and try to help any way I can. Even though I cannot physically be in India, I can support form afar. If that means blogging, sharing on social media, spreading information through word of mouth, and sending donations whenever I can, then that is what I will do. SCH is doing great things, and we would do well to follow their example.
*Molly is fully sponsored, but other children at SCH are not. Use the resources below if you are interested in learning more about child sponsorship or any of the other ways you can help SCH.
An important part of SCH’s work is YOU! SCH relies on donations to keep running. Donation opportunities include monthly child sponsors at any cost per month, from as low as $10/month. Sponsorship usually costs between $300 and $500 per child, depending on complexity of needs and which city they live in (Ongole or Hyderabad).
You can sponsor any child who needs additional funding at SCH by using the resources found here. Use these resources to get involved in other ways, such as becoming an advocate or volunteering. You can also become a medical sponsor (ideal for large groups or organizations who wish to support SCH) and donate toward monthly emergency medical expenses; or an educational sponsor and donate toward a specific on-site school. Learn about other ways to give charitably to SCH here, and check back often for additional opportunities.
*A note about names: SCH uses online nicknames for the children in order to protect their identity, per Indian governmental guidelines which state that children in care may not have identifying photos of them on the internet, as well as no identifying information such as birth name, place of origin, etc.