India is home to one-third of the global poor. For many, poverty is a way of life. Families living in poverty lack access to education and medical care. Children work at an early age or survive on the streets with no hope of an education. For many of India’s poor, there seems to be no way out.
ESAF is helping families break the cycle of poverty. Based in Kerala, India, ESAF offers microloans to help the poor establish biblically-based enterprises and lift themselves out of poverty. ESAF also provides childcare for children living in poverty and offers them an education and medical care.
- In India, approximately 12 million children are working, though most non-governmental organizations place that estimate much higher in number. Children in India are vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor, including forced labor in garment factories and the production of hybrid cottonseed.
- Over 10 million Indian children live in the slums, and nearly 7,000 children die of malnutrition and starvation each day.
- Child labor, child marriage, and sexual abuse are becoming commonplace in India. Sexual offences against children in India have reached epidemic proportions.
- Many people living in the slums lack access to basic utilities such as electricity and clean water.
- In tribal villages, schools are often inadequate and illiteracy rates can be as high as 95 percent.
- ESAF has made it their mission to help each and every child. Today, ESAF cares for over 1,500 children in 34 childcare centers. Children at ESAF centers receive a well-rounded education, as well as training in skills such as computer literacy and basic gardening.
- ESAF has helped improve the quality of life for those living in the slums through projects such as running water pipes into homes and distributing solar lamps and Greenway stoves.
- Over their 25-year history, ESAF has assisted over 2 million clients with microloans.
- Today ESAF has a membership base of over 1 million clients and operates 264 branches located in ten states of India.
- Through the Arogyamithra project, ESAF trains women from among their client base to deliver education on healthy habits and prevent the spread of non-communicable diseases.
- Disability awareness campaigns, skill training programs, and wheelchair distribution help improve life for persons living with disabilities.
- Skill training programs train clients in trades such as jewelry making, fabric painting, handicrafts, umbrella painting, food processing, and soap making. These skills help families start businesses and improve their way of life.
ESAF was founded in 1992 with the goal of helping the poor and creating a just and fair society. Spurred on by the encouragement and support of Oakseed Founder Dr. Ed Bradley, Paul Thomas left his secular career to minister full-time through ESAF. Oakseed partnered with ESAF in 2000 and helps support the ministry through prayer and funding. Within the next five years ESAF plans to open 300 more childcare centers, ultimately caring for over 15,000 children. They also hope to plant a library in every village.
- Pray that the children ESAF cares for will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Pray God will give them a future and a hope.
- Pray for safety for the children who are living and working on the streets.
- Thank God that ESAF is able to offer families hope through helping them establish microbusinesses. Pray God will provide the resources needed to continue and expand this work.