“Learn and make your dreams come true!”
Banavath Peeki Bai, manager of a small post office branch in the East Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, only has one wish: Like herself, she wants other children from poor families to recognise and seize the opportunity to get a good education – even if this takes a lot of courage at times. The young woman knows what she is talking about: when she was seven, she heard about the AMG School in Chilakaluripet and moved to the city on her own.
Poor prospects for children
In spite of progress in the Indian education system: for children from the lower casts, going to a school with a good reputation is still the exception. Especially disadvantaged are girls living in the country. Peeki Bai remembers: “I come from the Karampudi settlement, where I lived in a straw covered hut with my parents and three siblings. We had electricity but no running water.” The poverty was depressing and everyday life uneventful. Like other girls, the child helped at home with chores like cleaning, cooking and doing the laundry. In here scarce spare time she played in the fields.
AMG brought change
The family was all the more delighted when neighbours told them about the AMG School, which was in 75 kilometres away Chilakaluripet. The facility has a good reputation, is open to children from poor backgrounds and, due to its attached boarding school, it also provides good framework conditions for families from distant regions.
The just seven-year ago didn’t hesitate for a second whether she wanted to attend this school. “I was not afraid”, remembers Peeki Bai. “On the contrary – I was grateful for this opportunity.”
Trust in God, courage and hard work
Kind hearted teachers, new friends and the regular daily routine made it easy for her to settle in. Security was also created by what she learned about the Christian faith at school and in her spare time: “The stories from the Bible and about Jesus taught me a meaningful life based on Christian charity. And they show what an effect trust in God can have.” Her courage to go to the far away city on her own and her hard work paid off. After then years, Peeki Bai graduated from Secondary School. And what is more: her school-leaving qualifications, which can be compared to GCSE level in Great Britain, show that she had been the best of her year.
Today, Peeki Bai is 22 and happy of what she has achieved so far: “My life has completely changed. Thanks to AMG and by the Grace of God, I lead a comfortable and secure life in Chilakaluripet.” As a branch manager, she works for the Indian Postal Services, coordinating the dispatch and the delivery of letters and parcels.
But Peeki Bai also wants to help others, in particular children. The young woman wants to motivate them to follow in her footsteps. For this purpose, she remains in contact with her former school, where she discusses new development options with teachers (on the right) and tells pupils of her experiences (top). Her most important message: “Learn and trust in God! Because later you will be able to make your personal dreams come true!”