Thursday, August 10, 2017

Piyali - Our Eighth and Final Day

In our final days at Piyali Learning Center (PLC) we have experienced such joy from having formed new relationships with these fine students and their teachers.  Some of us were blessed to continue to grow relationships we had begun last summer.  All of us, no matter the length of those relationships, will be forever touched by the welcome and love extended to us by everyone at PLC.  

Our team said some tearful "Good-byes."  The "Didis" each found connections with students who, one might think, are so very different from them.  

They connected as friends as they all shared similar interests, curiosities, and dreams.   At PLC students celebrate education and our team encouraged them to continue with dreams and goals that education can bring.  

Many of the Piyali parents hold on to traditional values that can change the educational paths for these girls. It is acceptable in this culture for young girls to marry, some as early as twelve years old. Many also believe that there is no need to educate girls past elementary levels.  When our team shared their college experiences, and their hopes and dreams related to education, the PLC students appeared to be listening, yet they posed questions to the team as to what they as 14 year olds should do when two boys have proposed.  The cultural expectations are not easily changed. 

The reality of life for these young students at PLC has its heartbreaks.  The physical marks of a difficult life are visible on some of the girls.  Whether theses were self-inflicted or caused by the hands of another, they cannot be ignored.  Then there are the emotional scars that are revealed in the most casual conversations or within one of their many letters.  Many of these young women are suffering through social pressures, family abuse, and feelings of inadequacy. In building these relationships we can more clearly see how much we are the same. Our doubts, insecurities, and failures as young women are not unlike those of the PLC students. Struggles with being accepted and loved are not limited to any one gender, culture, or race.

So we close our visit to PLC in hopes that our love has shown through all that we have done.  We will never forget these wonderful students, teachers, and staff.  They will be in our daily prayers.  We invite you to include them in your prayers too.  
With love from India ~ Deacon Mindy 

1 comment: