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A Tale of Two Worlds – STEM Education Vs. Begging

In most developed countries we hear about programs such as STEM and how to motivate young girls to be interested in STEM. While I highly recommend and support such programs, I can’t help but think of the children The Bridge Foundation serves. In a world far away, we encounter children dying of starvation, children who have never stepped in a classroom and who can not dare to dream beyond today. Their entire lives are consumed by when they will have their next meal. While most children eat breakfast and head to school, the children in Ramapuram, India, walk several miles to the city to begin their day of begging. They stay out all day walking up and down the street hoping a kind soul will give them money or something to eat. Some of these children are very bright and full of talents that the world may never see. They could have been future scientists, programmers, developers, doctors, engineers, politicians, economists, actors, and writers but alas, many die of starvation, their talents, buried with them. The ones who survive continue to live a life of mediocrity and poverty with the world never meeting or hearing of them.

First, we need programs which will provide basic necessities to such children and give them an education which will introduce them to the world of reading, science, technology and computers. This will allow their young eager minds to soar and begin to dream again. See, the children in the developed world, your children, my children, start out in life with so many opportunities available to them. We tell them they can be anything they want to be and strive to give them every advantage in life. The children we serve in Ghana, India and Uganda do not have the opportunity to do 1% of what our children will get to do. That, my friend, is Social Injustice. The Bridge Foundation wants to be a bridge that these children can cross to arrive at a life filled with opportunities they didn’t even know existed. We want them to also have a choice of whether to pursue STEM, the Arts, Finance, or Economics. We want them to laugh and play as children.  We want them to worry about which book to read first and not when they will eat again.

Ramapuram is an impoverished village in South India where their own government uses their land as a refuse dump. About 80% of the mothers are child brides and almost 100% of them lack a viable employment. They lack basic amenities such as water, electricity among others. They walk about 4 – 6 miles daily to fetch water. Parents and children alike go days without eating. The only employment available is collecting ashes from the refuse dump and selling them for nearly nothing.

The Bridge Foundation is working feverishly to build a bridge for these children through the feeding program we have already started in Ramapuram. We currently feed 26 children twice a day for roughly $650 a month. The parents and grandparents hang around in hopes that there will be leftovers for them to also have. Right now, all we can do is feed them but they have other needs. We are painfully aware that it is not enough and we can’t stop there. The children will need to go to school if they are to have a chance to succeed in life. They need water, access to healthcare, and the adults need a viable source of income. For now the children are content. They don’t have to go begging again nor worry about what they will eat. The Bridge Foundation knows that there is a whole world of opportunities out there for the children to explore but it will start with them getting an education.

The Bridge Foundation will not rest until the bridge has been lowered for all the children to cross over to the other side where literacy, STEM, the Arts, business, sports, good health, and nutritious meals await them. We need your help to make this a reality. Help us with your financial donations and time to beautify this world one tiny corner at a time.

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Thank You Partners for a Great 2017!

Sponsor a Child

James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

2017 has been our greatest year yet. When we first begun this work three years ago, we didn’t know what the future would hold and if we would be able to make an impact. Everywhere we turned, there were heartbreaking stories of children in need. We felt helpless and overwhelmed, but God reminded us that this was His work. Through the years He has used you, our partners, to do His glorious work. Many of you donated in countless ways and often through your generous funds, time, prayers and words of advice and encouragement. Here is what your partnership with God has done in 2017:

Education Sponsorship Program
You provided education, food, medical care and other basic necessities for 30 children through the Making Smiles Happen Everyday sponsorship program. At the beginning of the school year, you generously gave to provide school supplies to about 50 children. You brought smiles and hope to many families and children in Ghana, India and Uganda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeding Program
We brought you the story about Ramapuram, a small forest village in South India, where 75% of the mothers were under the age of 15, where the men’s sole source of income was collecting ashes to sell for mere cents, where 50% of families lived in makeshift tents and all 20 children were severely malnourished and had never attended school. You donated so we could start a feeding program which feeds children two meals a day. The children are thriving and learning about the love of God. Before we started working in this village, the people had never heard about Jesus. Because of your generosity, this people group have come to see the love of Jesus and now believe in Him.

Building A Home For Orphan Boys
When our partners in India met 7 year old Joshua begging for food in Ramapuram, they learned that he was an orphan and lived with his 3 year old brother and disabled grandmother. They often had no food to eat and lived in a makeshift tent. It was winter time and they had no warm clothes or bedding. Through your partnership, we built them a new home and furnished it. You are now the sponsors of the two boys and your contributions provide them with an education, food, medical care and basic necessities. Joshua and his brother currently excel in school and have won many academic awards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Saving Surgery for Kwabena
Kwabena, a one year old baby, lives in Ghana. He has esophageal atresia, a congenital defect where a baby’s esophagus does not develop properly, causing coughing, choking and gagging when feeding.
At three days old, the mother abandoned her son, Kwabena. Naomi, a Godly Ghanaian woman who courageously and lovingly runs an orphanage, took the baby in and has cared for Kwabena ever since she found him. Kwabena needs surgery to repair his esophageal atresia; the surgery costs $2000 USD. In August, we informed you about Kwabena’s needs and you abundantly gave out of your compassionate hearts. You helped us raise $1000USD in one weekend as a down payment for Kwabena’s life saving surgery. Due to his low weight, the surgery had to be postponed, and for the last 4 months you have generously given so that we can buy the food which he needs to gain and maintain his weight. Thankfully, his surgery has been tentatively scheduled for January 2018. Now we anxiously wait for the good news of an approved surgery time and date.

 

 

 

 

The Bridge Foundation wants to say a big thank you to all of you for making 2017 our biggest year yet. We could not have done it without your help. You are helping to transform lives, communities and nations and most importantly taking Jesus’ gospel of love to some of the most unreached people groups in the world. We will continue to dream big with God in 2018 and we look forward to partnering with you to make these dreams a reality. In January 2018, we will launch The Bridge Foundation online shop which will feature artisan products from Ghana and India. We will include products made by the women in the Women Empowerment program which will be a source of income for them. We wish you a Happy and Blessed New Year!!