As I reflect on South Asia Access’ work for the past 22 years, I’m reminded that when we started, 74% of the population with disabilities were unemployed. Without equal opportunities in education or unemployment, 45% were uneducated. Most people with disabilities then were high school dropouts. Some finished high school and simply sat at home because they had no access to higher education or employment.
South Asia Access believed that only education could break this vicious belief that people with disabilities will always have disabilities…good for nothing! We started our educational assistance program to encourage young men and women with disabilities to pursue higher education, providing assistance in the form of fees, books, extra coaching, computer and spoken English trainings.
Starting with 2 students in the first year, the program grew to support 100 students every year. Since its inception, 1600 students have received educational assistance! Over the last 22 years, our students have gotten jobs as teachers, nurses, engineers, bankers, accountants, health inspectors, entrepreneurs, social workers, special educators and more!
Recently, I met with a few of our alums:
Chandrappa “My parents were fed up with me. I was so unruly and a nuisance to my family and my community. South Asia Access’ intervention in my life shaped me to be a better person everyday. With my master’s degree in social work, I work as a health care counsellor.”
Prashant “Coming from an extremely poor family, with my father
Nagratna “I was worthless…but now I’m in a profession which is highly respected.” Nagaratna, a teacher, loves her job and gives all the credit to God.
Akkamma “With handicraft and tailoring training at the South Asia Access’ India center, I started a small training center in my village for women not only from my village but from the neighbouring villages too.”
There are many more impact stories. Your gifts and support helped us to touch these lives with education that in turn brought an increased sense of dignity, self-worth and self-reliance.
By helping kids recover from trauma, helping families heal through God’s love, or helping deliver nutritious food, basic healthcare, or other essentials, thank you for faithfully reaching out and sharing God’s blessings with those in need.