Child of Mine wants to ensure that each graduate receives the best preparation for life beyond the homes—socially, financially, culturally, educationally, emotionally, and spiritually.
In a swiftly developing nation like India, where a strong emphasis is placed on post-secondary education as a means to success, competition is high. Child of Mine is committed to sourcing funding for this level of education with as many as 25-30 students from the homes enrolled in college-level programs in a given year.
For all of these young people, there is a cultural adjustment moving from a village setting with a close-knit (though large) family at the children’s home into a rapidly moving urban, westernized environment where many have no familial connections. Child of Mine wants to ensure that each graduate receives the best preparation for life beyond the homes, which means ensuring they can attend career-defining programs, but also that they develop the skills and relationships to cultivate their emotional and spiritual health and ultimately help them grow into leaders.
The premise is simple: two years of instruction while still living in the home, plus two years of mentorship once they move on.
The students prepare for the program in class 10 as they make education choices and determine a suitable occupation path. In class 11 and 12 they are led in courses and workshops in career planning, life choices, finance, and spiritual growth.
Upon leaving the home, the students begin the mentorship stage of the program, usually with an older, mature graduate from one of the homes. This includes teaching and mentorship on spiritual disciplines, leadership skills, discernment and healthy lifestyle choices, and growth in maturity as a disciple. Cultivating connections and strengthening relationships with other graduates and their surrounding communities is of utmost importance during this phase, so that graduates continue to feel a strong sense of community and belonging to the extended family of the homes. Grads are encouraged to get involved in a local church, seek volunteer opportunities, and take up leadership positions in order to develop deep connections in their new community.
This helps prepare them not just for success in school and work, but also for emotional and spiritual stability as they mature into adults. During this time of huge transition, a time when many young adults question their identity, these students are thus able to maintain and even deepen the foundation of family once they are living away from the homes.
Where previously this was too overwhelming a task for the staff at the homes to manage with their limited numbers, resources, and time, Child of Mine has now taken over to help. We’ve established 2+2 mentors in all the major regions and most major cities where graduates head for the next stage of their lives. The program has already seen and continues to see great success and is an anticipated part of the culture of our children’s homes. We deeply desire to see students develop as leaders learning to love and serve India!
Costs include tuition, books, and lodging expenses for each student. Many are enrolled in university, community college, or trades programs of one to three years; in a few circumstances, an undergraduate program may last up to five years. There are also opportunities for postgraduate university studies for a limited number of students. The mandate of Child of Mine is to fund undergraduate studies and deal with postgraduate applications on a case-by-case basis. Within the Indian system, raising additional sources of funding on top of studies can be very difficult, and it falls to students to have outside funding in place.