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Frequently Asked Questions

Student Sponsorship 
Why sponsor a student?
Education, which is sustained by student sponsorship, is the key to total community transformation. Your sponsorship offers students the hope that comes with excellent English education from Indian national teachers at our Dalit Education Centers. As parents grow to trust the DECs through their student’s schooling, they may join economic self-help groups and be equipped to better provide for their family, or they may learn important health and hygiene practices through healthcare programs. Your sponsorship will help open the door to a new world for the Dalits: a world of opportunity, dignity, and best of all, hope.

How much does it cost to sponsor a student and what does this cover?
Sponsorship costs $30 per month per student. Your faithful sponsorship covers tuition, uniforms, school supplies, midday meals (where necessary) textbooks, teacher salaries, and administrative costs for your student's education.

What information do I get about the student?
You will be given the profile of that particular student with the following information: 
  • Photograph of the student 
  • School in which he/she is studying 
  • The class in which he/she is studying 
  • Information on family background 

Does the student get the money directly?
No. The money is sent to our partner organization which pays some of the school costs centrally. The remainder is then distributed to the school managers to be used to cover the daily operating costs. .

How long do I need to support a student?
We seek to establish relationships with Dalit students that will last their entire lifetime. A majority of our schools will offer education through Tenth Grade, the Indian standard for what the American educational system considers high school.  However, due to extenuating circumstances, some students may not be able to stay in school. Our hope is that you will remain committed to sponsoring your student until he/she no longer needs your support.

How often do I need to send support?
You can arrange to pay monthly, yearly, or you could make a single payment to cover the total number of years that you wish to support the student.

How do I pay?
 Just follow the links for "Student Sponsorship" and you will be walked through the process on our secure site.

Can I write to or send gifts to my student?
Imagine your student’s excitement to receive mail from you and know that you desire a special relationship with him or her. As you are the only one with the opportunity to write your student in this way, we encourage you to do so. We understand your desire to provide for your student, however, we request that you NOT send packages, gifts, or extra money to yourstudent. Individual gifts to one student in a school can cause a great deal of jealousy and may create an environment for that student that leads to his/her isolation from the rest of thestudentsn. Instead, please consider a monetary gift to your student’s school for the school’s area of greatest need, or contact us for other giving opportunities.

Can I visit my student?
Yes.  Visits are permitted, however, we don't encourage you to reveal to the student that you are their supporter while visiting the school.  We also ask that you not bring gifts to your student while visiting the school. We do this because, there will be students there whose supporter may not be visiting them or providing any special gift and they will feel hurt and neglected. 

What happens if my student stops attending their school?
Occasionally, we have students who are no longer able to attend school. Unfortunately, there are sometimes family economic needs that require a studnt to remain in the home to supplement the family income, or a family moves too far away for thestudent to walk to school. If this happens in the case of your student, we will automatically assign you another student needing sponsorship and notify you of this change via mail. You will then have the option of supporting the newstudent, choosing a different student, or discontinuing your support.

About GHN
What makes GHN unique?  
Our focus is on connecting a specific village (or cluster of villages) in India to a specific  organization here in the States.  This will bring vitality to the sponsoring entity and a greater sense of connection with your Indian partnership.  When necessary, we will bring in additional  groups to help meet the needs of the focus village.  We often start with a Self Help project like a tailoring school and later move toward student sponsorship in the local Dalit Education Center.  By using this method of focus, it is easier for us to visit the villages we are sponsoring and getting to know the in-country leadership.  We also develop a camaraderie between the sponsoring  organizations as we receive reports from the field and travel together to see the work.

How can I make my giving go further?
GHN works closely with the “in-country” leadership in the selection of projects for partnership.  There are often regulations or contingencies that need to be met before a project can move forward.  Our team is committed to being involved with “the right projects” with the “right timing” so that we can report our projects completed as advertized.

Also, GHN works with a host of volunteers to keep the paid staff expenses to a minimum.

How can I get involved with GHN?
  • Sponsor a Dalit student’s education.
  • Be a Dalit advocate in your own community.  (For example, coordinate speaking engagements for national businessmen and pastors.)
  • Join us on a trip to India.
  • Give financially to the Dalit cause in a variety of ways (follow links for ‘Be a Champion’).
  • Introduce us to other opportunities globally and begin a dialogue, possibly developing into a new partnership agreement between GHN and the charity of your choosing.
  • Arrange for a national leader to come and speak at your group or organization (we generally have Indian leadership here about 4 times a year).

How does GHN choose its projects?
A number of factors come into play.  First of all, everything happens through relationships so our getting to know the heart of a charity and working directly with the people is the primary key.  
There needs to be a functioning “in-country” infrastructure in place so that we can be sure that once monies are committed, there will be follow through in the field.  GHN will not fund individuals directly but will help with projects through other non-profits.
There has to be a “home-based” advocate or Champion willing to work closely with GHN.
The projects need to be in keeping with the vision and mission of GHN, be seen as a good fit, and receive board approval.

Where does GHN get funding for its micro-economic projects?
We're glad you asked!  It’s from folks like you.  We generally have a project for Micro-loans (follow links for 'Be a Champion').  Many feel this is the best use of their assets since the micro-loan not only provides seed money to start new businesses which become self sustaining, but our re-payment record runs in the high 90 percentile. 

Who are the Dalits?
Dalit - the word means "broken," or "crushed."  You may also know them as the Untouchables at the bottom of India's caste system.  This oppressed people group is made up of 250 to 300 million people, and comprises 25% of India's population.  Dalits are not counted as part of Indian society, but are shunned as less than human - even their shadow is considered to pollute those of higher caste.  As a result, they are often exploited and deprived of basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter.  Dalits have no access to decent education, healthcare, or employment.  They generally try to get work as day laborers - sweeping streets, disposing of dead bodies, or cleaning sewers - in order to scrape together enough to survive each day. For millions, this is daily life, with no glimpse of hope for the future.

Why focus on the Dalits of India?
We focus on India’s Dalits primarily because they have asked for help as they struggle for freedom from oppression. Their movement is gaining momentum, and we have the opportunity to play a vital role in their emancipation.