UN Parallel Event IV: 10 Hope Villages Boast 95% School Enrollment Rate for Children

After six years of dedicated effort, the Hope Village education project in Chennai, India, supported and guided by the BLIA World Headquarters, has brought significant improvements to the lives of children and women in 10 villages.

During the "Hope Through Education: India's Hope Village" parallel event, Venerable Miao Ru, with nearly two decades of service in India, highlighted crucial statistics. India now stands as the world's most populous country, with a staggering 1.44171 billion inhabitants. Furthermore, the slum population in Chennai has surged by 50% over the past decade. In light of these figures, the importance of the Hope Village education project is particularly pronounced.

She explained that the project stemmed from BLIA's compassion for the underprivileged during the Chennai floods rescue operations in December 2015. Subsequently, BLIA-Chennai has maintained consistent visits to these regions, offering aid and educational assistance. In 2018, it officially embraced eight villages, designating them as 'Hope Villages,' symbolizing a pathway towards transformation for the marginalized under the banner of 'Hope.' Additionally, the organization established two more Hope Centers, extending educational focus and support to them.

BLIA-Chennai dispatches teachers to the 10 villages every week to impart literacy skills to children and advocate for parental involvement in schooling. Additionally, they offer guidance for enhancing living conditions and extend aid in accessing nutritious food for the communities.

In July 2023, Venerable Jue Cheng spearheaded the inaugural teacher training camp in the vicinity, aiming to bolster the quality of education and fortify the teaching faculty. This initiative empowered local BLIA members and educators with more systematic teaching methodologies.

After six years of dedicated work, there is better access to education and greater participation in learning opportunities among children. The children's enrollment rate in these villages has skyrocketed from a mere 5% to an impressive 95%, marking a remarkable achievement. Furthermore, there has been notable progress in enhancing sanitation conditions. Venerable Miao Ru highlighted the hurdles faced by BLIA upon entering these slums, including parental reluctance to send their children to school, child labour concerns, and economic hardships. The Hope Villages education project successfully tackled these challenges by diligently raising awareness among parents and offering alternative income sources. This approach gradually alleviated resistance and underscored the crucial significance of education.