India, it’s often said, is a country of extremes. Its white-hot economy has, in a short time, made it an emerging global force. Target’s own large headquarters in Bangalore is a testament to the country’s growing importance.
But its growing wealth is matched by persistent privation, especially of children, which has led Target teams to lend their support and time to community causes. Team members were honored recently to witness firsthand the impact of community involvement at Jeevodaya – a charitable school that educates underprivileged children from slums and villages.
The children smiled and clapped to welcome volunteers who came to paint murals on the walls of the school. After a traditional Indian welcome, in which the children presented volunteers with flower leis, the students performed customary folk dances and spoke about their education.
There were few dry eyes as Target team members observed the devotion of the caring adults who help shape the futures of these children. Beth Jacob, Target Chief Information Officer, thanked one man in particular – Gerard Valavan, founder of Jeevodaya.
His work is fulfilling Jeevodaya’s mission to give the children of India the education they need to thrive.
“It is extremely difficult to find good resources,” Valavan said. “But with the help of partners like Target, we are educating 250 deprived children at this free school.”
The time, energy and love spent at Jeevodaya fills the school classrooms and, most importantly, the students with “self-confidence, dignity and self-reliance.”
Get inspired by on-the-ground footage of the trip, below!
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