Spend Yourself® India

About Spend Yourself® India

Starting Date:  June 14, 2009
Mission Partner:  India aptist Convention (Dr. BVR Rao, General Secretary)
Location: Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
Population:  Approximately 1,000,000
Projects:  Three Children's Development Centers, with 200 children and 40 expecting/nursing mothers. Ramavarrappadu, Pindralavari, Gunadala)


In 2009, Columbia began funding, from it's  Spend Yourself® Hunger Offering, the first of three Children's Development Centers in Vijayawada, India, a city of about one million people and over 100 slums.  About 40% of Vijayawada’s population lives in slums, and most of the adult are unskilled or semi-skilled laborers. Typicially, parental income is not sufficient to feed their families,and many of their children drop out of school at the primary level.

The Ramavarrappadu Center is located in one of these slums and operates every evening that school is in session Monday through Friday. Our mission partner is the India Baptist Convention (IBC) and its General Secretary, Dr. BVR Rao, who oversees the centers. One hundred children (with an even ratio of girls to boys) are enrolled, with the requirement that parents keep their children in school until at least age 14.  Daily Activities include help with their school work, creative individual and group activities such as Bible stories, games, and songs; and a nutritious evening meal (with a multi-vitamin). 
Children at the Ramavarrappadu Child Development Center
In 2011, with Columbia's financial assistance, Dr. Rao and the IBC established an additional program at the Ramavarrappadu Center: a program for pregnant and nursing mothers.  Originally meeting in the mornings the present bi-weekly program has 10-15 mothers who come to study the Bible, sing praise songs and enjoy a nutritious breakfast.  By providing a meal to these mothers, they will pass the nutritional benefits on to their infants (both nursing and in utero) in the form of proper physical cognitive development. 

In 2012, the IBC, with Columbia's financial assistance ($25,000 from Missions Reserves), purchased a second facility in another slum area of the city Thus, began the Pindralavari Child Development Center (a.k.a. PCDC) where 50 children are now enrolled. The program at PCDC is identical to that of the Ramavarrappadu Center.

Each year in February/March, Columbia sends a mission team to visit the centers.  In 2014, the team visited a third slum, in the Gunadala community, where Dr. Rao proposed the stared of a children's development center for 50 girls.  This slum is comprised of people from a beggar tribe, in which girls are especially at risk of being forced into prostitution and trafficking.  Columbia agreed to contribute $20,000 for the purchase and renovation of a center facility, and in June 2014 the Gunadala Children's Development Center was opened.

Presently, Dr. Rao is exploring the potential for a fourth center.  In the fall of 2015, he along with is wife Sabita and an associate in ministry, Pastor Johnson Veerapeneni, will visit Columbia.  Columbia anticipates an official proposal for the fourth center.  
Pindralavari Child Development Center


"Spend Yourself® is making a difference in the lives of scores of children and their families", as observed by a Columbia Mission Team member who made the trip to Vijayawada.  The commitment of all of Columbia's congregations is to help alleviate hunger and feed souls for Christ, something we gladly at the centers in India.

http://www.columbiabaptist.org/uploads/Kristin Clifton.jpg       
Kristin Clifton, Columbia's 1st Venturer      

Get Involved

  • PRAY
    • Pray for the people of India who are gripped by the desperate nature of hunger and poverty.
    • Pray for the Spend Yourself® leadership team.
    • Pray for our church as we follow God’s lead into India.
    • Pray for the women in the Mothers Program at Pearly Gates.  Pray that nothing would hinder them from attending the program and receiving the support they need for themselves and their infants.


    • The total cost of the children’s programs at Pearly Gates and PCDC (including meals and tutoring) is $45,850 for fiscal year June 1, 2014-May 31, 2015.  The cost of the women’s program is $4,680.  The cost to run the third child development center will be $15,000 a year.  For about $1/day, you can provide the financial support for one child to attend an after-school program for an entire year.
    • Donate now by going to our Online Giving page. Sign up for an account and designate Spend Yourself® World Hunger Relief for your contribution.

Spend Yourself® India VIDEO