Empowering the Poor for a Brighter FuturePoverty is a national problem in India. Slums are a way of life for many and opportunities to advance their way of life are non-existent. Children are put to work at an early age or run in the street with no hope of an education. It is a bleak existence for many. It is also a heartbreaking reality for poor parents to see their children grow up with no advantage in life. Many ministries try to help as best they can. One ministry takes the help that they offer above and beyond mere immediate need. They educate, as well. They help to establish micro-businesses among the poor so they can work and excel and escalate their lives beyond the slums.
“Biblically based enterprises are the best way to break the cycle of poverty.”
ESAF offers childcare centers to help these little ones. They educate thousands of poor tribal and rural children each year. Through ESAF, they are able to get a valuable, faith-based education that truly impacts their lives. They are given medical treatment and food through ESAF’s childcare centers. They are also given a moral compass, creating more respectful citizens and outward thinkers, ready to bring the love of the Lord to their community.
"Children are the most vulnerable victims of poverty. Acute poverty, migration, illiteracy, ignorance of parents, etc. lead children to ill health, abuse, and exploitation.”
Child labor, child marriage, and sexual abuse are getting to be the norm here. With such a need, ESAF has made it their mission to help each and every child.
At present, there are over fifteen hundred children being cared for in 34 childcare centers throughout the four districts of Jharkhand. There are also 60 teachers and 30 care takers! Through the childcare centers, kids gain a well-rounded education which also includes basic computer training and kitchen gardening to learn how to grow their own food and take care of the environment.
In addition to these amazing centers, ESAF also organizes Children’s Camps for their students in all childcare centers. Children have fun-based learning activities like games, Talent Night, Dances, Action Songs, and Competitions which are all conducted during the camp. They also learn life lessons through touching biblically-based stories. At their latest camp, they had 1,100 kids attend!
Oakseed partnered with ESAF in 2000 and has since been providing prayer and monetary funds to help EASF with its growing need.
Currently, over seven thousand families are receiving financial and non-financial services thorough ESAF’s microfinance program which enables the poor to create a future for themselves that will allow them to support themselves and their families. These families were considered “unbankable” as they lacked physical collateral to benefit from formal banks. ESAF gives them the chance they need to change their lives for the better.
Also, 1,540 children are receiving a formal education in a Christian setting in Jharkhand state. These impoverished children would otherwise be forced to work in stone quarries or paddy fields.
They are in need of your prayers:
God is working miracles through ESAF and you can be a part of that. This ministry is asking for your prayers for their many children and their individual spiritual paths. That these children come to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and make a lifelong commitment to Him is their goal.
Within the next five years they are hoping to open 300 more childcare centers that will ultimately help 15,000 children. They are also endeavoring to open a library in every village.
HistoryThe Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) was founded in 1992 to empower the poor thus helping to promote a just and fair society. Based in Kerala, India, they work throughout the country to provide micro-finance for small biblically based enterprises as well as educate and offer medical services to children at risk.
In India, approximately 12 million children are working, though most non-government organizations place that estimate much higher in number. Over 10 million children live in slums. Nearly 7,000 children a day die of malnutrition and starvation.
ESAF has also worked hard to bring water pipe lines into the slum areas. Most women and children would have to walk for miles to get their ration of water from the municipal taps. They would have to wait in long lines for water with no guarantee that they would receive any once they reached the head of the line; sometimes the tap ran out of water before everyone’s needs were met. Thanks to the effort of ESAF, water pipes are being run into individual homes in the slums for more accurate usage. This wonderful ministry has also implemented new programs like their Clean Energy Initiative which distributes solar lamps, and Greenway Stoves. They also conduct an environmental education program training which is set apart from the childcare center’s other routine activities.
ESAF is growing very rapidly as so many impoverished children are in need of an education. ESAF is making plans to expand their program and open more centers. They are planning to add sports and art to their curriculum as well as a high school.