United Nations Parallel Forum V: Ending Poverty through Supporting Education

In a touching narrative of resilience, a young girl from India, facing financial hardship, found solace in the form of a priest who supported her continued education. Overcoming obstacles, she ultimately thrived. This girl is none other than Jida Kumar, now serving as the president of the BLIA Chennai. Her presence at the United Nations today underscores the profound significance of education, as illustrated by her journey.

Jida, recognizing the power of education in changing one’s life, has emerged as a dedicated advocate for the Hope Village Education Project. Through her unwavering commitment, she seeks to give back to impoverished communities and inspire hope in disadvantaged children through the gift of learning.

Struggling amidst financial constraints, Jida had to interrupt her education during seventh grade. However, the compassionate support of Father Matam, a local priest, became a guiding light, enabling her to resume her studies. Not only did she complete her education, but she also turned her gratitude into action by supporting other girls facing similar educational barriers.

"Today, I stand before you to prove that achievements can be made as long as we support and believe in the potential of every girl. That is the power of education," Jida declared, sharing both her journey and the impactful initiatives undertaken by the Buddha's Light International Association in Hope Village. Her words resonated deeply, touching the hearts of everyone in the audience.

Jida also shed light on the rural communities of India, where nearly 68% of the population resides. Despite this, access to education remains an elusive dream for many in remote villages, particularly children.

Under the guidance of Ven. Jue Cheng, Vice Secretary General Southeast Asia,  the BLIA Chennai Chapter has redirected its focus to these rural communities. Through the Hope Village Education Project, they endeavour to bring hope and educational opportunities to those most in need.