Our Affiliated Project: The Dornakal Girls’ Hostel Dornakal in Andhra Pradesh, India

Quick facts about The Dornakal Girls’ Hostel:

  • Grade-levels served: Kindergarten – high school
  • Facility description: Located in the Dornakal Cathedral Compound adjacent to a theological college and a hospital, the girls’ hostel comprises a dormitory, study hall, mess hall and a bathroom facility. There is ample space for sports and games, as well as fields where small gardens are maintained.
  • Education: Most of the girls here attend school all the way through junior college (eleventh and twelfth-grade equivalents). Core academic subjects are taught in Hindi in the lower elementary grade levels and then (from the fifth grade on) in English.
  • Academic schedule: In India, the school year varies some by region but typically begins in late June and ends in late April, with a two-to-three week break in December.
  • Nutrition: Three nutritious meals are served each day, and the girls often take part in preparing these.
  • Daily Schedule: As education is the primary focus for the girls enrolled here, a typical day revolves around studies, but also includes the completion of various chores to maintain the hostel, gardening, dancing, and musical activities and homework in the evenings.

From the snowcapped Himalayans to tropical beaches, India is truly a nation of contrasts. It boasts a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years. In fact, the earliest known civilization in South Asia once called India’s fertile Indus Valley home. Today, with the world’s second-largest population, India includes a staggering variety of ethnicities, languages, religions and cultures. Its wealth of natural resources and vibrant cultures, however, belie the abject poverty in which so many of India’s citizens live.

The town of Dornakal, in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, is no exception to these maladies. Within this rice-producing region, many aboriginal people live in villages of primitive huts. Staunchly independent from mainstream Indian society, they often subsist on roots, tubers and berries. In this impoverished area, the Dornakal Girls’ Hostel serves as a beacon of hope. Since its founding in the 1970s, the hostel has provided countless girls from surrounding tribal settlements with education, encouragement and a window into the outside world. Its mission remains to provide for these deserving girls’ immediate needs, while also investing in their future. The well-rounded education that students receive here may help them break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.