Lily’s School! Plus, Paula & the State of Global Education

PD: A girl stands against a white wall, wearing a traditional Indian sari that is hot pink, blue, & gold w/ paisley accents & sparkly glitter. Her hands are at her sides, wearing blue bangles.

Update 2018:

*Lily‘s forever family has found her! They are working feverishly toward getting her home as soon as possible.

PD: *Lily lays on a rug, pretending to talk on the phone. She wears a pink textured dress, black & white patterned leggings, & bangles on each wrist. A sticker obscures part of her face.
Typical teenager! Photo credit: Nikki C/Merissa H

PD: *Lily lays on a rug, pretending to talk on the phone. She wears a pink textured dress, black & white patterned leggings, & bangles on each wrist. A sticker obscures part of her face.

Update 2017:

*Lily no longer attends the school she previously attended, due to their neglect  and refusal to treat her equally. She learns with a tutor every weekday and has daily therapy and lessons from her foster mothers in speech and augmentative communication using an iPad app called Proloquo2Go, which is a programmable app that allows *Lily to customize her communication with others. She has a variety of choices from which to choose on this board, and she can build sentences, then press a button that reads what she has said aloud. It is helping to improve her independence greatly! *Lily also vocalizes some words that those who know her can understand and uses limited sign language. *Lily is learning to read, and has recently transitioned to more difficult books. She was previously reading ‘BOB’ books, short books meant for learning to read with 1-4 letter words.

*Lily receives regular physical therapy and is walking (and running, which she prefers!) using a gait trainer. She rides an adaptive bike meant for people with disabilities, which has straps to help keep her feet positioned correctly on the pedals. She’s so amazing! She now lives at Courage Home Purple, with her 2 co-foster mothers and 11 siblings.

PD: *Lily using her gait trainer, walking away from the camera across a balcony. She is wearing a black dress w/ heart cutout & her hair in a bun. She's wearing jingly ankle chains.
Go, *Lily, go! Photo credit: Nikki C/Merissa H

PD: *Lily using her gait trainer, walking away from the camera across a balcony. She is wearing a black dress w/ heart cutout & her hair in a bun. She’s wearing jingly ankle chains.

Original post:

In America, education is so important to every child; however, in India, children with disabilities must fight and be advocated for in order to attend school. *Lily attends a special education program in a private school 3 days a week, does home school with her foster mothers and ayahs 3 days a week, and has Sunday off to rest. *Lily loves school! Know what’s amazing? This is the first time *Lily has been allowed to go to school.

Yes, you read that right – she is attending school for the first time in her entire life. While most children begin school in America at the age of 4 or 5, *Lily is 9 and is finally getting the opportunity to have what other children on the other side of the world have without worry. How can a child, who wants to learn and wants to go to school, be denied an education just because she lives with disabilities? There are many children who take school for granted, who wake up in the morning and do not want to go to school. Because where they live, they don’t have to think twice about whether or not they will get kicked out of school because of things they can’t control.

This happened to one of Carrie’s former foster daughters, *Paula (click her name to meet her). You can read the full story about this over at Carrie’s blog (here). *Paula now lives at Jubilee Home. She needs $85/month more in funds to be fully sponsored. Sign up to sponsor her here!

Here’s the short version: *Paula has cerebral palsy (CP), which affects her mobility; she uses a wheelchair at home, but wasn’t allowed to bring it to school. Then, she was rejected from school recently after a short bout of sickness that every child experiences at one time or another. Education can be such a challenge for kids like *Paula, whose potential is not seen by the culture around her.

It was discovered that *Paula was having some difficulty retaining the concepts she was learning at school, so homeschooling actually turned out to be a better option for her at this time, but the issues she is having should not have been issues in the first place.

In America, *Paula would have an IEP that was tailored to her specific needs.

However, *Paula lives in India, so her foster mom has to ensure she is getting the education she deserves, instead of having a network of people who are responsible for ensuring she is getting the proper education. Her mom now has to take on that role for her, even if she doesn’t know what will help. She must advocate for the things *Paula deserves, no matter how hard it is.

*Lily has CP, as well, which affects her movement and speech, but it does not affect her intellectual ability. Her foster moms also fought to get her enrolled in school, to have her rejected from more than one, before finally enrolling her in a special education school where she is thriving. She works through her challenges and succeeds – and, she loves learning.

No child with a love for learning should ever be denied an education that is appropriate for their abilities and pushes them to succeed. *Lily deserves it, *Molly deserves it, *Nolan deserves it, *Cedar, *Dinah, *Jasmine, *Promise, *Paula, *Stephanie, *Heidi, *Naomi… they all deserve appropriate education. So does every child at SCH!

Education is important, and is the foundation for success in so much of life. I have written about global education before, but I am writing about it again because I am passionate about at least basic education for everyone. I can’t wait for the day when basic education is a fundamental right for each and every child on this planet.

An important part of SCH’s work is YOU! SCH relies on donations to keep running. Donation opportunities include child sponsorship at any cost per month, from as low as $25/month. Sponsorship usually costs between $300 and $500 per child, depending on complexity of needs and the city in which they live (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 become an educational sponsor and donate toward a specific on-site school! Also, here is the link to SCH’s general fund. In addition, you can give a one-time donation to any home by visiting each home’s landing page on SCH’s official website, under the heading “Meet Our Kids”! 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.

Connect with SCH: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

PD: the SCH logo – black text reads ‘sch’; red text below reads ‘sarah’s covenant homes’; heart-shaped flowers bloom from the name.

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