As I reflect on Equip Asia’s work for the past 22 years, I’m reminded that when we started, 74% of the population with disabilities were unemployed. Without equal opportunities in education or unemployment, 45% were uneducated. Most people with disabilities then were high school dropouts. Some finished high school and simply sat at home because they had no access to higher education or employment.
Equip Asia believed that only education could break this vicious belief that people with disabilities will always have disabilities…good for nothing! We started our educational assistance program to encourage young men and women with disabilities to pursue higher education, providing assistance in the form of fees, books, extra coaching, computer and spoken English trainings.
Starting with 2 students in the first year, the program grew to support 100 students every year. Since its inception, 1600 students have received educational assistance! Over the last 22 years, our students have gotten jobs as teachers, nurses, engineers, bankers, accountants, health inspectors, entrepreneurs, social workers, special educators and more!
Recently, I met with a few of our alums:
“I am a computer operator at a government hospital. Education and skill training at Equip Asia gave me confidence!”
“My parents were fed up with me. I was so unruly and a nuisance to my family and my community. Equip Asia’s intervention in my life shaped me to be a better person everyday. With my master’s degree in social work, I work as a health care counsellor.”
“I always wanted to be a teacher. It was my only dream. Equip Asia helped me to pursue my education in this field making my dream a reality!”
“Coming from an extremely poor family, with my father suffering from cancer, I thought education was impossible. Who would help a disabled person, I thought? Equip Asia’s educational assistance helped me to excel in academics and taught me Godly values that help me even now. Completing my master’s degree in arts, I got a job as a development officer of a village council.”
“I was worthless…but now I’m in a profession which is highly respected.” Nagaratna, a teacher, loves her job and gives all the credit to God.
Akkamma “With handicraft and tailoring training at the Equip Asia’s India center, I started a small training center in my village for women not only from my village but from the neighbouring villages too.”
“My family are all construction workers…but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to be an engineer. My dream came true with Equip Asia’s educational assistance. I’m now a civil engineer!”
“Handicraft training helped me earn an income. Equip Asia staff counselled me to consider starting a business. With seed money from Equip Asia, I started a garment business in my village. Gradually I incorporated many other things to my business that helped me elevate my earnings. This gives me lot of confidence and self worth. I save for myself and also contribute to the family’s income.”
“I joined as a student of 9th Grade to Equip Asia’s residential care and received educational assistance to complete my school and my Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. I was also employed as an accountant with Equip Asia administration department. I also did my Master’s degree with the salary I got. I continue as an admin accountant with Equip Asia, India office.”
There are many more impact stories. Your gifts and support helped us to touch these lives with education that in turn brought an increased sense of dignity, self-worth and self-reliance.
By helping kids recover from trauma, helping families heal through God’s love, or helping deliver nutritious food, basic healthcare, or other essentials, thank you for faithfully reaching out and sharing God’s blessings with those in need.