Our Affiliated Project: The St. Paul’s Home for Girls in Paloncha, Andhra Pradesh, India
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 industrial town of Paloncha — located in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh — is no exception to these maladies. In fact, over the past few decades, Paloncha has seen a marked influx of migrants from surrounding rural communities, who come here in search of employment opportunities. The resulting overpopulation has led to a severe lack of housing, sanitation, medical care and schools. Widespread illness, poverty and malnutrition are tragic realities for the children of this region.
This is especially true for girls, who essentially begin life at a disadvantage in India, with markedly lower literacy rates and socioeconomic status than their male counterparts. For this reason, the Church of South India established the St. Paul’s Home for Girls. In conjunction with Children Incorporated’s sponsorship program, the home serves as a beacon of hope. It strives to provide underprivileged girls basic needs along with a well-rounded education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.