I am just back from India and the thrill of inaugurating the first high school for Santal students in West Bengal! It was shocking to see how much difference a year has made. The building is now enclosed and filling up with desks, computers, and children!! It is much bigger than it appeared as a shell. The land, now filled and flattened, isn’t dotted with mounds of dirt and construction debris. Instead, the flat fields are electric with children chasing soccer balls or each other and crowding onto brightly colored play structures and swings. Laughter punctuates the huge field that has patches of fragile new grass sprouting here and there.

The whole school is charged with possibility! 

Jittery children standing tall in their clean uniforms piled into the school for their first day. Formidable packs of children are dwarfed by the mammoth cement columns and hidden behind the windows still decorated with flowers and balloons from the inauguration event. In this unsettled state of transition, I find myself in awe at how much has happened in such a short time.

Thanks to each one of YOU, every donor and sponsor who has supported this work for the last five years, we are changing the lives of the Santal people today, tomorrow and for generations to come. The success of Gurap, as a model program, will open up education for tens of thousands of Santal students. Change is already happening, and it won’t be stopped.

 Hopes and Dreams: We had the honor of interviewing several moms at the inauguration event. One after another, women told their stories of shattered dreams. They had wanted to be students; they were good students… but instead they ended up in the fields and married young. Now their hopes rest in their children. They can and will do whatever is necessary to help their children fulfill their dreams through a good education.

The weather was perfect on that beautiful Sunday morning, February 11. A variety of cultural rituals were used to bless the school and the children who would study there. The little children caressed the shiny tile walls of the gorgeous washrooms. The families took long walks along the long hallways, pausing at every classroom and office.

There is still a lot to do, but thanks to YOUR support, Tribe Rising India is living its mission and providing hope to the Santal people—hope for everyone!

Thank you, Aima sarhau! 


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 

—Margaret Mead, anthropologist

Help us build up our growing student body:
  • Honor someone special by gifting a scholarship in her or his name(s)–a great holiday gift for that someone who has everything! 
  • Donate to our capital campaign or annual fundraiser to help us complete the Gurap K-12 campus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *