All Posts By

Caleb Petersen


By Featured, Project Stories

The healing process of small scale agriculture.

There seems to be something healing about gardening, about using your hands, about working the earth. Maybe we feel like we are connecting to creation in a way that feels right, like it’s the way that it’s meant to be. Perhaps there is something divine about producing, about creating, about caring for the land. Walking through rows of crops, checking each plant, pruning its leaves, watching over, watering and waiting. It’s a rhythm that slows us, that opens us to the movement of God, to God’s movement through the earth, from the seed to the harvest.

For five hours a day, Samali works the land. And it seems like she’s healing.

At 14, Samali became pregnant. Then the father of her child left her. She had no money. Her dad had passed away years ago, and her mother wasn’t helping support her. At 14, Samali had nothing and no idea what to do next.

Then a woman took her into her home and began caring for her and supporting her. She took her to The Hope Venture’s partner, Wakisa Ministries, where she was able to meet other young pregnant women and receive care through her pregnancy. The Hope Venture then gave her the chance to receive vocational training with an organization called Agromax. At 15, Samali graduated from Agromax having learned farming techniques which empowered her to begin a small scale farming operation on a small patch of land. There wasn’ much space, just a small plot tucked away into the hillside, but it now teems with life, overflowing with the fruits of Samali’s labor.


Now Samali is spending five hours a day farming. She’s growing tomatoes and jack fruit and corn and cocoa beans, enough to feed herself and her child. She’s dreaming of enough growth to feed her community.

Samali talks about farming like it’s a safe haven, like it’s a breath of fresh air in the midst of a life that has been choking her. She said her favorite thing to do is to water her plants, just to stand there and watch water trickle over the leaves. There’s something healing about routine tasks, about the rhythm of work. Samali is timid—a timidity that comes from wounds– but when she talks about farming she comes alive. Her eyes brighten up and a smile comes to her face. She thinks of it with thankfulness in her eyes. Like it has been a gift of healing to her.

At 16 years old, with a 1 year old child, no family and little money, you’d think her situation would be bleak. But it isn’t. It’s fruitful. It’s beautiful. It’s full and lush. And it’s hopeful. There’s a small hope sprouting out from dry ground.


To impact more women like Samali, donate to Agromax today!



By Featured, Project Stories

Fighting for an education and the hope of a better future.

This story is about Dilliyammal. Her family faces a lot of hardship. They live in Chennai, India. They’re very poor. Her dad makes a meager income, and instead of buying food for her and her little brother, he spends it all on alcohol. Dilliyammal’s mom cares a lot about her and her brother. She works when she can as a cleaning lady, trying to make some money to provide, but it’s never enough. They don’t have enough food on the table. They don’t even have a table. The four of them live in a tiny hut made of banana leaves. They all sleep side by side on the dirt floor. They don’t have bedrooms or living rooms or bathrooms. It’s just one room. Their floor functions as the bed, the table, the desk, and sometimes it gets covered in water. They live on the outskirts of town in a flood zone. They often have to trudge through a foot of water to get anywhere–work, grocery store, school, anywhere. They lack adequate shelter, education, food, and work. They lack the things we call basic necessities. On top of that, in their little one room house, Dilliyammal’s father physically abuses her mother.

Dilliyammal and her family outside their home.

Think about what it’s like for this family right now as they are quarantined together in their one room house. The extent of their hardship is difficult to even imagine.

We’ve been pouring out our love for this family wherever we can. We’re feeding Dilliyammal and her brother every day at our feeding center. While there, they have space to work on homework with the help of tutors. They’re getting space for fun, friendship, and mentorship. We also provided backpacks with school supplies for them so they’d have what they need for school.

Dilliyammal and her brother, Shanka, studying on the floor of their home.

We aren’t solving all their problems, but we’re stepping in to help in the ways that we can.

Last year, the family hit a crux. Dilliyammal was about to graduate high school. Which would be huge for the family. Maybe she’d be able to go on and get some more education or get a job, and maybe she’d be able to have a different life than the one she’s always known. Her mom was holding on to that hope. She wanted Dilliyammal to experience something different. But in order to finish high school she had to take exams, and in order to take exams she had to pay, but her family didn’t have enough money. Her mom was trying to save up what she had from cleaning, but she couldn’t do it. As the end of the year approached, desperation set in. Dilliyammal’s mom started to realize that Dillyammal might not be able to take her exams. She began to see her hopes fading away. If she couldn’t get Dilliyammal through her education, she’d have nothing. Dilliyammal would fall right back into the same life, stuck in the same cycle. How would the family ever be able to be free of the difficulties? It was right at that time that the Hope Venture media team was in Chennai. The team met Dilliyammal and her family and spent some time with them at their house. As they were leaving, Dilliyammal’s mom reached out and held onto our photographer’s arm, something that rarely happens. She reached out in desperation and pleaded with her. “Please,” she said, “help me help my kids.”

The Hope Venture was born from witnessing a mother serve dirty water to her kids. The Hope Venture began out of the heart of a mom wanting to help other moms help their kids. So we responded. A scholarship was provided so that Dilliyammal could take her exams and finish school.

This doesn’t fix everything, but this family has fixed their eyes on the hope of a better future, and we’re going to keep coming alongside them to help that hope become a real possibility. Dilliyammal’s going to get an education, and in the midst of such hardships, that is something to rejoice in.

To impact more students like Dilliyamel, donate to our India Scholarship Project today!



By Uncategorized

Her dad lies at home, unable to move. Day after day, he lies on the floor of their hut. He doesn’t get up to eat, he doesn’t get up to go to work, he doesn’t get up. He’s paralyzed.

This is not a story told in past tense. Today, Priya’s dad lies on the floor of their hut, unable to move. That’s what he’s doing at this moment.

He used to be an auto-rickshaw driver, but he got in an accident. He had to have a rod placed in his leg, but that treatment backfired and ended up causing him to be paralyzed from the waist down. His family doesn’t have enough money to help him at this point, so he has nowhere to go.

This is Priya’s story. This is her life. She belongs to a poor family in a village called Kakkallur. Her mom works until 10 at night, bringing home a couple dollars every day. Priya recalls looking for scraps of paper in the trash to rip off and use at school as notebook paper.

That’s the kind of thing that gets laid to the wayside when there isn’t enough money to go around. Notebook paper is not as important as the small amount of food your hard earned money can buy. So Priya’s education took a hit.


When we think of helping the poor, we often think of the grand scale, the big problems: World hunger, the water crisis, sickness, oppression. We don’t always think about the girl who is searching through trash cans for paper because she just wants to learn but doesn’t have the money for a notebook.

But think about it. If you saw some child searching for paper in a trash can, you’d easily step in and say, “A notebook? That’s all you need? Oh, easy, I can get you a notebook.” And that’s why we do what we do. Because real life change can come through something as simple as that.

We often forget that sometimes simply showing a child that they matter is the most important thing we can do. To kids like Priya we want to say, “We see you. We notice you. You matter. We see your hunger for an education. We see your desire to dream. We see your fire, and we want to stoke it.” We believe that stepping in where we can is what we must do. If we see children searching trash cans for notebook paper, we want to give them notebooks. And what we’re noticing is that the more we step in and stoke these kids fire for an education, the more they are supported to succeed. The less their education takes a hit.

The Hope Venture’s partner, Sam, noticed Priya. He has been coming to visit her and her family to pray with them. He gave her a backpack with school supplies. And now we’re watching Priya’s education benefit. She has a scholarship to a good school and she is excited about writing. She still giggles when she thinks about how excited she was to receive a notebook and some pens.

When life seems to be nothing but despair, a notebook and a pen can be enough hope to change everything.


By Project Stories

The simple, yet essential, gift of a mama kit

In order to give birth at a hospital in Uganda, women are charged a price many can’t afford. For those in poverty, that means they are forced to give birth in unsanitary and unsafe ways. A Mama Kit is an all-in-one kit that contains everything needed to help provide a clean and safe delivery for pregnant women. This summer we visited a slum in Kampala, Uganda where we met a young woman named Leon. Thanks to a Mama Kit we also met Leon’s 5 month old daughter, who she named Lucky. Leon sat on a plastic chair outside her thatched hut while holding Lucky close. It was a simple scene, but one that may not have been possible without a $7 donation. Each one of these Mama Kits counts for something big.

To impact more women like Leon, donate a mama kit today!



By Featured, Project Stories

The hope of a family and the strength of a daughter.

Hi. My name is Caleb. I was the project manager for The Hope Venture until last August. Normally, I write stories without revealing myself as the author, but I just couldn’t do that with this one. I feel like this story has a gift to give each of us, and I can’t share it without bringing you in to how it has personally been a gift to me.

I think there is a tendency to see the content that The Hope Venture produces (or any non-profit for that matter) as another dose of daily media consumption. You know the trends, we’re constantly consuming media. We listen to it, read it, watch it, scroll through it. We live amidst a seemingly endless barrage of content that we honestly don’t know how to deal with.

I feel that. I’ll be scrolling instagram and I’ll see a photo that is meant to elicit some sort of personal response or engagement, but I will most likely scroll on by. I sometimes find it hard to pause long enough to even read the posts of some of my closest friends. Confession time, I even struggle engaging with The Hope Venture’s posts. And I was projects manager! The problem with this is that I don’t give these stories the time to actually touch me. I don’t give them the chance to reach out and grab ahold of me. I scroll through Instagram at arms length, keeping content just out of reach, and in doing so, I miss out on the reality that these photos are reaching out to me. I miss out on the reality that these photos are not content, not media to be consumed; these photos are real people, real stories.

Normally, the stories I’ve written have come from a personal experience I have had with someone overseas. But last spring I was tasked with writing stories of people I hadn’t met personally. So for the first time, I sat where you normally sit. I sat on the other side of the globe, thousands of miles away from the people in the stories. And it made me long to somehow reach through the screen and shake their hand. It made me want to travel to Africa and India to actually meet these people. Confession time round two, I am often tempted to think that the story won’t be truly impactful if I don’t actually meet them face to face.

And then I met Kavitha.

It was a couple of days after Josh (our Creative Director at The Hope Venture) and his wife Victoria got back from India. We decided to meet up at a coffee shop and talk through some of the stories that impacted them from the trip. I was sitting across from Victoria at one of those big work tables. Laptops were out, mugs were full, and they began to tell me about the people they met. 

Victoria began to tell me about Kavitha. She gave the details: Kavitha is a 7th grader, she lives in the village of Selaiyur, she is the youngest in her family, she’s the only one going to school. She got a backpack through The Hope Venture backpack project. It felt like we were going through the motions, like the details of her life story were just facts that writers and creative directors need to sift through in order to produce relevant content so that people will donate to the backpack project. And then, catching me off guard, Victoria explained that Kavitha’s parents were born blind while simultaneously spinning her laptop around to show me a photo of Kavitha standing between her parents.

Kavitha’s gaze pierced through the screen. And there, at the big work table, Kavitha’s story reached out and grabbed me. Her eyes, a piercing look of determination. She stood facing forward with confidence and humility, holding her parents’ hands as their eyes avoid the camera. Her eyes seem to say, “I’ve got this.” 

In that moment, I felt the power of story. I realized how much more there is behind the photo, how much the story matters. In order to see that this photo is not just another dose of media for our daily consumption, we need to learn the story behind it. For I will tell you, Kavitha’s story is not asking for a double tap and a digital heart. It is asking for your hands to be open, because her story is a gift. Her story is one that reaches out and holds open hands.

Kavitha is a 7th grader who lives in poverty in a village in India. Her parents’ blindness not only inhibits them from working and providing for the family, but it also ostracizes and outcasts them. Her father recently had a heart attack and now has trouble even moving around. Her older sister gave up school so that Kavitha wouldn’t have to. She was given a backpack and school supplies. She’s given a daily meal at The Hope Venture’s feeding center. Everyone is pulling for her, doing all they can to ensure she gets an education. She’s the hope of the family, the light in their darkness. And now she looks forward at the path ahead, the path that is complex and scary and difficult. The path that is far too much for a 7th grader to have to handle. And I’m thinking, she must feel the weight. She must feel the pressure. For she walks to school with far more than the weight of her backpack on her shoulders. 

Yet Victoria tells me that Kavitha walks not as one burdened with the weight of the world. She walks with the strength not only to hold herself, but to hold her parents’ too. She’s confident, humble, and sweet. She has a big smile. Even though she’s the youngest, she’s clearly leading her family. Victoria simply said, “she’s incredible.” 

And that’s what I see when I look at this photo. I see someone who is incredible. 

She looks through the camera like she’s trying to look into my eyes. Like she’s trying to look through the lens into the eyes of everyone in the world. Like she’s trying to use her eyes, her beautiful eyes, to see. And to be seen herself. It’s a passageway into her story, the story of a girl who has never been seen. The story of a girl who does her homework in the dark because her parents don’t need a light in their hut. The story of a girl who is the youngest in her family but the only one with a chance at an education. The story of a girl who makes tea for her guests, but places the tea in her mother’s hand so she can have the dignity of hosting someone. The story of a girl who holds onto her parents hands to guide them. The story of a girl who holds onto her parents hands to be guided. The story of a girl who holds onto her parents hands for dear life because she is only a 7th grader in a world that is far too complex and far too difficult to navigate alone. And yet she looks through the camera like she’s saying, “I’ve got this.” She stands, hand in hand with a mother and father who have never seen her, with a backpack on her back and the weight of life heavy on her shoulders. And in the midst of this, she looks through the camera, across the globe, and into our eyes and says, “You’ve got this too.”

Kavitha deserves to be seen. Her story is not a collection of details and facts to be placed in an Instagram post. Her story is living and active and full of power. Her story is an inspiration, a gift, an arm outstretched. Her story is a picture of light in darkness, of love in difficulty, of hope in despair, of strength in weakness. She holds her parents hands, and in doing so, she gives us hope that all the hands of the world are being held too. That our hands, our fearful, frail, and failing hands, are being held too. 

Her journey teaches us that we can walk through difficult things, really difficult things. Sitting there at that coffee shop I felt like Kavitha gave me strength. I felt like she reached out to me and told me there is light in this dark world. I felt like she asked me if I see her.

And that’s my hope. My hope is that she’d be seen. My hope is that this photo would not be another photo we scroll past. Another bit of content as our thumbs do our daily dose of despairing. For Kavitha is incredible. And her story is a gift. Her hands are reaching out as an invitation to walk through life, even in all its difficulty and complexity. 

So I think it is important to break through the fourth wall of sorts and tell you that though I have never met Kavitha in person, I see her. And I want to say, her story is important enough to allow it to impact us. It is important enough to stop me in my tracks. It is real enough to change my life. For she is not a photo in a catalog, she is a person, a real, incredible, human who has and is making an impact in this world, and she’s inviting us to join her.

To impact more students like Kavitha, donate a backpack today!



By Project Stories

A father’s fight to provide nourishment for his child.

Goats are provided for impoverished families located in the drought-ridden area of southwestern Kenya. This region is home to the Maasai tribe, a people group characterized by their awesome, brightly colored robes (typically called “shukas”), their beautiful jewelry, and their fun chants. The Maasai live as herders, but drought has scorched the land, leaving very little vegetation for cattle, causing widespread poverty throughout the region. In the midst of this, goats have proven to be surprisingly resilient. Unlike other livestock, they feed off leaves and are able to survive even during times of drought. This is huge for a family that doesn’t have a way to sustain itself. The goat produces milk for their children, who without it are susceptible to malnutrition. This summer we talked to a man named Jonathan who shared with us how the goat has helped sustain his 2 year old son, Barak.

Jonathan spoke of the goat like it was an absolute game changer for him and his family. Also, many of the goats have babies and the increased milk supply can be sold. That income can then be used for clothing and school fees for the family. We hope you understand that your support is not a small thing, it is huge. Even one goat is a life-changing gift.

To impact more families like Jonathan’s, give a goat today!



By Uncategorized

A need deeper than money.

When we go to Kenya we take time to sit down with the students we sponsor so that we can hear their story. One of the questions we ask many of the students is, “What was the biggest challenge facing you in your life?” A lot of students talk about their lack of money and their inability to pay for school. It almost feels like the right answer to give a non-profit who helps sponsor students.

But Kelvin said, “I didn’t know how to understand myself, and I felt very alone.”

Do you hear his cry from within? This little boy was confused. He had trouble finding himself. Trouble understanding himself. The turmoil wasn’t just in what was happening around him. It wasn’t just in the death of both of his parents. It wasn’t just in the displacement, in the ripping of his land. It wasn’t just in his inability to go to school. The turmoil wasn’t just external, it was internal. In his heart. In his mind. 10 years old, no parents, no land, and the wreckage of his circumstances broke into his very being. He said he felt very alone.

Kelvin brings us into the complexity of the problem of poverty. Sometimes it can feel oversimplified, as if the story is as simple as this: someone doesn’t have enough money to go to school, so we give them the money, and then happily ever after. It’s not that simple, it’s deeper. We’re talking about real people. Real pain. 

You see, poverty wreaks havoc on its victims. It attacks and attacks and attacks. Stop it in one area, and it will come in another. Defend with your right arm, and it will take your left. 

This is Kelvin’s story:

He lost his dad when he was an infant. 

Then he lost his mom when he was ten.

Then his land and his home were taken from him, forcing him to move in with his aunt.

Then he lost his chance to go to school.

This is when The Hope Venture intervened, giving Kelvin a chance to go to school. But the story doesn’t end there. For poverty continues it’s unrelenting attack.

You see, Kelvin struggles to have enough money to go on his school trips.

He struggles to have enough money to buy the clothes necessary for extracurricular events.

He struggles to have enough money to buy his books. Even though he has been sponsored, a multitude of difficulties remain.

Yeah, poverty keeps coming up with new ways to try and keep Kelvin down. But something is different. Something changed in Kelvin. Something changed within.

You see, when Kelvin got sponsored by The Hope Venture, he wasn’t just given money to go to school. When Kelvin got sponsored he was given guidance in his quest for understanding himself. He was given support in learning to deal with the difficulties of his external circumstances. People believed in him. 

Our student sponsorship project is multifaceted. First, sponsorship provides the funds for high school kids who are unable to attend school because of their inability to pay for the school fees. Second, our Hope Venture Kenya partners visit these students at school, offering opportunities for mentoring and counseling. Third, we connect our students to their sponsors through written letters, providing encouragement and support from afar. Fourth, we gather all the students for Camp, where they build relationships with our HV Kenya partners, as well as the other students. At Camp, the students are encouraged to process their story together and to think about how they can make a difference in the world. Each of these layers seek to empower the students in all areas of their life: emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Each year at camp, the Hope Venture’s US team, the Kenyan partners, and all the students work together to do a service project for the community. During Kelvin’s first year at Camp, he got the opportunity to help build an outdoor classroom. Through that project, he met Scott, our team’s building aficionado. Scott took Kelvin under his wing, teaching him the ins and outs of building. It was Kelvin’s first time using power tools, and he was very good with them. He found work that he loves and work that makes him proud. He came alive to his passion for building. The next year when Camp rolled around, Kelvin was eager to see Scott and learn more. The third year, Kelvin was leading a service project of his own, building desks for an elementary school in the area. He started to feel the confidence that comes with learning his purpose.

He began to see the bad influences around him and how they affected his character. He learned about living for God. He learned about loving people. He got baptized. 

He underwent a transformation. While the turmoil of his circumstances were not altogether relieved, he gained the empowerment necessary to face the hardships that life will continue to throw at him. 

Now Kelvin says that he has been changed. He says that he has a different character. That something has taken place within himself which has given him the ability to face his circumstances. He now knows that God can use even his disappointments to appoint him somewhere else. 

You see, what changed in Kelvin’s life is that he found hope. Yes, hope. Hope in a God who works all things together for good. Hope in the midst of difficult circumstances. Hope that stands up to the relentless attack of poverty. 

Kelvin’s story is not a happily ever after. His story is real. It’s painful. It’s difficult. Poverty is still present. But he has found hope in the midst of it. He’s found a peace that surpasses understanding. He’s been transformed from the inside out.

To impact more students like Kelvin, donate to our Student Sponsorship Project today!



By Featured

The dignity of providing for her family.

When I go for a walk, typically it’s leisurely. Maybe I have a lot on my mind, or maybe it’s a beautiful day. When Ambiga goes for a walk, it’s a two kilometer journey to attend her sewing classes in a palm leaf hut.

When I do my laundry, typically it’s because the pile has become a mountain too high to ignore, too vast to sidestep, and too smelly to endure (but let’s be honest, no one really wears ALL their clothes). Begrudgingly, I shovel mounds of fabric into a machine, add soap, set a timer, and think, “Hm, that wasn’t so hard after all.” I know many mothers out there know this scene all too well and cringe at the thought.

When Ambiga does her laundry, she proudly soaks each garment, scrubs each stitch, and rinses every inch of the clothes she knows so well. She made them. Because of the Hope Venture’s vocational training center in Perumpally, Ambiga gained the ability to sew. Before she learned this skill, buying proper clothes for her two daughters was an impossibility. Now, she is able to clothe her family. Now, her daughters stand tall and beautifully with bright colors, brighter smiles, and striking dignity. Confidence is sewn in every stitch.

Ambiga has the skill set to clothe her two little girls while also supporting her family by selling clothes. Months can go by where her husband receives no work as a mason, but Ambiga finally has the ability to provide.

As I talked with Ambiga, gratitude soaked each and every word and washed over me. She repeatedly thanked The Hope Venture for the trade she has learned, for the class of peers she now calls friends, and for the ability to support her family. Our conversation ended as she swelled up with joy and said, “I am now such a proud and happy mother.”

To impact more women like Ambiga, give to Vocational Training today!



By Project Stories

Defying oppression and creating beauty.

I want to capture that moment when we met. All day I had waited in anticipation. Peter told me all about her amazing designs and how happy he was she was graduating. Vinod shared how she was deaf since birth and since she didn’t know sign language she was basically mute. Everyone was so inspired by her, she was who everyone was talking about. She was the woman who was not only achieving great things for any woman, she was doing something no one had ever seen. She was dreaming in ways that hadn’t been done before. 

Shanthi. 19 years old. Woman. Born deaf. Poor. 

Shanthi. Fashion designer. Graduated tailor. Aspiring shop-owner. World changer.

It is true. This young girl named Shanthi is changing her world. She was the hero of the women graduating alongside her. They praised her for doing something that seemed to defy what they thought possible. In a world where women are not free to dream, Shanthi did. Unable to pay for training, she joined the hope venture vocational training center. She now has learned a skill: tailoring. And she’s good at it. She now designs her own clothes, drawing out each design, and then stitching them herself. She’s not just getting by, she’s excelling. Her designs are being used by all the women at the training center.

This is just the first step for Shanthi, though. She has plans of learning more, getting a degree in fashion design, and returning home to open her first shop. Remember, this is a woman, born deaf, in the slums of Jeevanahalli we’re talking about. A place where women are not free to just go out and get a job and better their future. A place where the poor are untouchable, unable to change their status in life. A place where the disabled are disregarded and mistreated. Shanthi is all three. In her world, thats three strikes, she’s out. But she wasn’t striking out.

She was the talk of the day. Everyone was telling me I have to meet her. 

I don’t think I can quite explain what happened the moment we met, it seemed to transcend the space we were in. I had been told she could not read the lips of anyone except her aunt, not the teacher’s, the leaders, the other students, only her aunt’s. Yet somehow she could read mine.

Here I was, a long-haired kid from Nebraska, standing in the slums of India with a world-changing-ground-breaking-hero, talking. Just talking. As if the world was standing still and there we were, defying the odds of humanity, having a conversation. She was not just saying some words, she was inspiring something deep within. She was called mute, but her voice was beautiful. She was not shy, she was confident. She smiled and laughed. I goofed around and she let her guard down. Our conversation was not long, and we didn’t say much, but that first moment there was a connection I will never forget. She told me I could be the first customer at her shop, that I was welcome any time. Here she is changing the world around her, and inviting me to come and see. 

There is oppression in this world. Oppression of women, oppression of the poor, oppression of the disabled. The oppressed are told to stay down. You are at the bottom, stay down there. The oppressed are not taught to dream, they are not free to achieve, they are stuck, trapped, bound. 

Shanthi is not staying down. She is rising up. She is achieving and dreaming and soaring. Her new skill is providing an income for her and other women. Instead of having to pay for clothes she is making them and selling them, and her life is improving. Right now the chains of poverty are being broken.

I have to thank Mary Latha, Peter, Vinod, Charlie, and the Hope Venture for giving her the chance to do these things. Celebrating her was a special moment, and I hope I never forget it.

To impact more women like Shanthi, donate to our Vocational Training Centers today!



By Project Stories

The hardships of poverty and the beauty that can lie within.

Danush is the class clown. He’s the one all the other boys look to. Some might even call him a bit of a trouble maker.

When it was his group’s turn to dance he was nowhere to be found, off messing around with his friends I bet. Maybe he just wanted a better entrance, had to let the crowd build in anticipation a bit. He was hilarious. His dancing was way better than the other boys, maybe not technically, but at least in confidence. He was a character, hamming it up in front of his classmates, making them all laugh.

Danush lives at the top of a large rock quarry in southern India. He lives in a village that is dependent on the quarry. Most of the parents work in the quarry, and it is back-breaking labor. All-day long these men and women take homemade sledgehammers and smash granite, breaking it down into smaller and smaller pieces. This is home for Danush.

I got to go with him to his house. It was a tiny cement box, about the size of your bathroom. He sleeps on the cement every night, side by side with the rest of his family. I laid down on the floor next to him; he thought that was funny. Danush’s family doesn’t have enough money to buy him food. His mother died when he was younger, and his father can only come home once a month because of work. So he lives with his aunt.

Hi my name is Danush and I live in a cement box the size of your bathroom. My mom is dead and my dad comes home once a month. We don’t have enough money for food so I go to this place called the feeding center, it’s right by my house. Most of my friends go there too, since our village is very poor many of us don’t get food if we don’t go there. It’s one meal a day, but it’s better than nothing. 

The problem is less physical and more mental. To take down cyclical poverty it must happen at the source. What is keeping these people down? I don’t like hearing that poverty is going to be gone in our lifetime because I think it is bigger than that.

To impact more kids like Danush, donate to our feeding centers!