We are excited to announce that Leena started a new school at a village in Vinukonda. This February, Leena was traveling home from visiting the tribal children in Dornala and saw some children begging at a banana stand. She stopped her car to talk to them. Following them home, she found a very poor village of 50 families of the Yanadi tribe. Most families live in shelters with plastic sheeting for cover and there are no schools nearby. Seeing this need, Leena stepped in to start a new village school.
There are currently about 30 children regularly attending school. While they are aged 4-13 years old, the children are all taught on a preschool level since they have never had schooling before. Leena is facing a big challenge to teach the families the value of education, so for now the teacher is focusing on having fun with toys, games, and singing songs to help encourage a new culture of children wanting to attend school.
This was made possible due to shifts in other places. The school services in Markapur were recently shut down since the children there were no longer utilizing the daily transportation and monthly support ServeTrust provided to attend the government schools. The children had become used to staying home during lockdown and many are older, so they prefer to accompany their parents at work now. Leena felt that the funds could be redirected to fill a greater need, so they are now being directed towards Vinukonda. The new ministry is going very well; Leena describes it as a “new life for these children” in such a remote village, who otherwise would have no option for education.