Spotted in Manila, 2014

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

About Shanti Bhavan

As the students arrive on campus (!!!!!!!!!!) I am beginning to understand what an incredibly special place Shanti Bhavan is. This school is a beautiful bubble, that serves children born into the lowest, "untouchable" caste in India's ancient, illegal, and still quite-present caste system. Sent by their families from their homes to this boarding school to receive and excellent education, these students begin their studies at age 4. They continue these rigorous courses (as well as eat healthy meals three-times a day, drink clean water, play sports, sing and learn instruments, celebrate holidays, have access to free healthcare and constant safety and security, and open their minds to staff and volunteers of all cultures, languages, and beliefs) until they graduate at age 18. At this time, their excellent test scores and language fluency in both English and various Indian dialects earns them enrollment at the best higher institutions in the country, funded by Shanti Bhavan and its George Foundation, preparing them for jobs with India's best companies and corporations. In this way, in just one generation, the caste system is completely reversed, and eliminated. This place is absolutely a dream come true.

Possibly the most exciting part, though, is that every student and graduate of Shanti Bhavan is excited to voice their ideas on how they will change the world upon their graduation. Each one has thoroughly thought-out plans about founding their own Shanti Bhavan in their home villages, to spread the mission of the school, and pay-forward the incredible gift they have received. These young people are going to be the ones that save the world.

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