Spend Yourself® India

About Spend Yourself® India

    In 2009, Columbia began funding the Pearly Gates Child Development Center 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 slum-dwellers are unskilled or semi-skilled laborers. Their income is not sufficient to feed their families, and many of their children drop out of school at the primary level. The Pearly Gates Center is in one of these slums.  Our mission partner for the center is the India Baptist Convention (IBC) and its General Secretary, Dr. BVR Rao, who oversees the center.  One hundred children (with an even ratio of girls to boys) are enrolled in the Pearly Gates center, with the requirement that parents keep their children in school until at least age 14.  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).  The center operates every evening that school is in session, Monday through Saturday.
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Children at the Pearly Gates Child Development Center
In 2011 , Dr. Rao and the IBC established an additional program at the Pearly Gates center for pregnant and nursing mothers.  Each morning, 10-15 mothers come to eat a nutritious breakfast, study the Bible, and sing praise songs.  Starting in July 2014, the mothers’ program will meet three days a week.  Our hope is that 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 and cognitive development.  

In 2012, the IBC, with Columbia's financial assistance, purchased a second facility in another slum area of the city, and began the Pindralavari Child Development Center (a.k.a. PCDC) where 50 children are now enrolled. In February 2014,a Columbia Mission Team went to visit the Pearly Gates and Pindralavari Child Development Centers in Vijayawada. While they were there, the team visited a third slum, the Gunadala slum, where Dr. Rao hopes to start a child development center for 50 girls. This slum is comprised of people from a beggar tribe, and girls are especially at risk of being forced into prostitution by their own parents in order to earn money for the family.  Columbia agreed to contribute $20,000 so that Dr. Rao can purchase a building to open this new center.   
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Pindralavari Child Development Center

NOTEWORTHY HAPPENINGS

"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 in 2011.  The commitment of all of Columbia's congregations is to help alleviate hunger and feed souls for Christ, something we gladly do in India at the Pearly Gates Center and beyond.

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                Kristin Clifton, Columbia's 1st Venturer       Martha Posada (left) and Gloria Gibrael (right)

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 Martha Posada and Gloria Gibrael, Columbia’s next Venturers to Vijayawada.  Please pray that they will be able to obtain the visas necessary to live in Vijayawada for a year.
    • 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.

          

  • GIVE FINANCIALLY
    • 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