Thursday, January 21, 2010

turning scars into stars...

...that is the theme of Stars Welfare Society, a school for children in the slums. We visited Stars today for the second time this week. The first visit was an opportunity to meet the children, play with them, take pictures, and so on. Today our goal was to observe with the least amount of distraction and interruption possible. Yasmin, the "mother" of the school, pointed out a few students in particular that she has some concerns about. The language barrier makes things difficult, but we did our best. These are brilliant children. I can't help but think about how different their behavioral, academic, social, and psychological development would look if placed in a different environment. There is virtually no structure. To make matters worse, the building is not conducive to learning in the slightest bit. Essentially, it is a dark, abysmal basement. Yasmin loves these kids, but they need so much more than that in order to thrive. As a team, we are developing ideas and suggestions for the school. I didn't take many photos today, but I got one shot I'm happy about...

Tomorrow at 6am, we will drive through the red light district. Appropriate adjectives for my feelings are escaping me right now. The atrocity of the brothels in Kolkata is the primary reason I am here right now. The future existence of Hope House, a home for women and children escaping the sex trade occupies my thoughts and dreams. In conjunction with Hope House, the 5-year plan also includes a school of psychology headed up by Dr. Herkelrath--my hero, my professor, and the dean of the school of social and behavioral sciences at Northwest. His relationship and involvement with Mercy Ministries has led him to a groundbreaking place. I'm thrilled to be a part of the early stages of this brilliant and monumental vision. The possibilities are astounding.


  1. I'm thrilled to hear about Hope House, please keep me updated on it. This week as America honored the work of Martin Luther King Jr and the work he did for bringing freedom/civil liberties to black people. I could only think about the millions and millions of people who are enslaved today - through the sex trade - with no freedom and no voice. Tell the story of the women and children in the brothels of Kolkata. God Bless you and your team. - Dan Ford

  2. Praying for your mission and for the foundation building of Hope House.