Our Affiliated Project: The Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel in Yadagiri, Karnataka, India

Quick facts about The Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel:

  • Ages served: 5 – 19
  • Facility description: A fairly large compound consisting of a dormitory, a dining hall and study halls. The hostel also has outdoor recreation areas and vegetable gardens.
  • Education: The girls enrolled here attend the schools located only a short walk from the hostel. These schools offer instruction in core academic subjects, as well as Kannada (the regional language), Hindi (the national language) and English (typically studied in the higher grades).
  • Daily schedule: The girls’ day begins at 5:30 AM with prayers and morning chores such as gardening, cooking and sewing. They walk to school, return to the hostel for lunch, then walk back to school and finish classes for the day at 4:30 PM. Before supper, there is also time for recreation.
  • Nutrition: The girls receive three nutritious (mostly-vegetarian) meals each day.
  • Recreation: Volleyball is very popular, as are traditional Indian sports such as kho-kho and kabaddi.

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 small town of Yadagiri, located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, is no exception to these maladies. Drought is a constant threat in this agricultural community, and employment opportunities are severely limited. Field laborers earn an average of only forty cents a day and struggle to provide even the most basic necessities for their children.

Moreover, with shorter life expectancies, much lower literacy rates and markedly inferior social and economic status than males, young women in India begin life at a disadvantage. For this reason, the Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel serves as a beacon of hope. It provides boarding, nutrition and a quality education for area girls who come from impoverished families. Here, these deserving young women receive the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances they face.