How does a grown woman born in Kathmandu, Nepal, benefit from an Early Childhood Development (ECD) program that is a partnership between a secular child-sponsorship organization and a charitable foundation based upon Hindu principles?
We’re so glad you asked! But first, a bit of context: Children International partners with a virtual alphabet soup of organizations, from multinational corporations to small, family-owned vendors based in the cities we serve. Some of the names, like Amazon or Planet Water, are probably familiar; others, such as the Guru Krupa Foundation, are perhaps less so. But each and every one of them adds their own unique expertise to CI’s holistic recipe, strengthening the mission we all hold as vitally important: Eradicating childhood poverty via our powerful, programmatic approach.
One ingredient of that approach is what takes us back to Nepal, where Suntali, the mother of a child enrolled in Children International’s sponsorship program, grew up. Years ago, when Suntali moved from Kathmandu to be closer to her husband’s family in Kolkata, India, she was illiterate in Hindi, one of the official languages of India. The move (and the language barrier) left her feeling alienated. But after her daughter, Sanskriti (seen above with her mother), became enrolled in our ECD program, Suntali began to receive a great deal of support from other mothers — and her own Hindi skills rapidly improved.
ECD programs are obviously not intended to directly assist adults with their math, language and social skills, but Suntali’s story beautifully, if serendipitously, illustrates the kind of generational effect that CI’s movement to eradicate poverty IS intended to solve. (You can read more about their story here.) And by partnering with organizations such as Guru Krupa, we’re able to magnify the impact of our supporters. In this instance, we provided vital learning skills to children in Kolkata and Delhi, India.
The Guru Krupa Foundation’s goals and principles align wonderfully with Children International’s own. According to the foundation, the causes they fund “provide social, educational or religious/cultural benefit” to recipients. And their three-point guiding philosophy is just as awesome: 1) Help those who are less fortunate than yourself, 2) Support causes related to the acquisition of knowledge — both materialistic and nonmaterialistic — and 3) Preserve the heritage and knowledge that has already been acquired.
Partnering with others makes us stronger and better at achieving our goals. This is true at an individual level and remains true on an organizational scale. And, just as no one can learn a language entirely on his or her own — we at least need other voices to listen to — teaming up with others to combine skill sets and strengths makes our efforts that much more effective. And when the common goal is to help those who are less fortunate, the power of partnership is an inspirational and transformative force.
Maybe you have a story of partnership that brought two forces together, equaling a sum greater than two? Perhaps you have an idea for a partnership we’ve not yet discovered? Please share in the comments below. We always appreciate your input and ideas!