There are 472 million children in India—the world’s largest population of children. In 2009 the Indian government passed the Right to Education Act, guaranteeing free education at a neighborhood school for every child in India between the ages of 6 and 14. However, at least 35 million children in that age group do not attend school, and 73% of them live in rural areas where schooling can be difficult to access or of very uneven quality.
Education and literacy give children tools to fight poverty and prevent disease. It also builds confidence and dignity. Realizing this, an ANM partner wanted to equip India’s young people with the gospel, skills, and knowledge that would enrich their lives, their families, and their villages.
Our partner has a church in a small town in Himachal Pradesh. A dozen rural communities surround the town, and none has a school. In 2011 property became available that would accommodate both a church building and a school. The church began praying and raising money, and in 2015 it opened Cornerstone King’s School. The school now has 160 children in grades K–12, and its leaders hope to expand to 200 this year.
Parents are grateful that their children now have this opportunity. They’re saying wonderful things:
- “We are so glad that we have a school that offers quality education right in our neighborhood. Now I can dream that my children can obtain good jobs in any field.”
- “We are thankful for the school because now our children don’t have to wait to join a literacy program someday when they are in their fifties.”
- “My son was unhealthy and I didn’t expect him to do well in his studies when the school opened. I have been proved wrong. The staff and environment at Cornerstone showed him love and care that has changed his life. He loves school! His health has improved and he is getting good grades.”
- “My child didn’t know a single word in English on his first day at this school. Now he speaks and writes in English!”
MORE THAN A SCHOOL
Cornerstone King’s School is about more than just academics. It is a center for Christian living and service. It is a hub of ministries to the children, their parents, and families in surrounding communities.
A sewing center, an adult literacy center, and a computer lab draw in the residents, resulting in life-changing interactions and salvation. Every Sunday, more than 100 believers from other faith backgrounds now use the building to worship Christ. As the believers multiply, the church and school staff provide training programs for gospel workers and pastors preparing to plant churches in other unreached areas.
A REGION RECEIVES HOPE
Himachal Pradesh is one of the least-reached states in India. Hindus call it the “land of the gods,” because every mountain is named after a god. Many Hindus take pilgrimages there.
In 2006 it was too dangerous for local Christians workers to enter the villages the school now serves. Today, because of the school, hearts are open.