Helping the Soya Tribe in India

This is a tribe of about 1000 families. Tribal people are outside the caste system, or rather beneath it. They are Untouchable. The Soya tribe are hunters. They live so close to the brink that from time to time when they run out of food they sell their children. Sometimes there are two for sale, sometimes as many as six. They are sold into slavery in the rock quarries or the porn industry and prostitution.

But no one is Untouchable in God’s eyes. Touch 1000 Lives is committed to saving the Soya tribe children; to do whatever it takes to make them safe. A year from now, they won’t be for sale. The Soya will have their needs for survival met, just like we do.

In December 2010 Touch 1000 Lives drilled a borewell that now supplies safe drinking water to the whole village. We supplied 20 sewing machines and our partner organisation Touch 1000 Lives in India organised two tailoring training programmes, 10 women in each class, which ran for 3 months; the second class are about to graduate. Some will stay in the village, some may go in small groups to work in a city where they might be able to earn more: we will help them make their choices, support them as they make their way and look forward to telling their stories... Stop press: 8th June 2011. Soya women stitching 40 school uniforms. Contract awarded to supply all uniforms to new school for 200 poor children just opened in Kakinada by partners Mercy29

On Christmas day 2010, as part of a village-wide feast and celebration, the foundation stone was laid for a new school on land donated for that purpose. Soya children will receive an English-medium education, opening the door to good employment opportunities. We are talking to other organisations with experience in establishing schools who might partner in this project.

We are sponsoring vulnerable children, who won’t be sold because their family receive free food, as long as they stay together.

Other projects planned for 2011 include a chicken farm and training in carpentry. The idea is to take the tribe from where they are now, sometimes barely surviving by hunting and sometimes selling children, to a whole better place where they have diverse streams for food and income, safe drinking water and education for their children.

You can help. Click here to get involved

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