It had been 9 months since we last visited Good Shepherd Homes, one of the children’s residential projects that we partner with as Business for Orphans. Good Shepherd homes first opened 18 years ago and now has 6 homes serving nearly 100 children!
It is always a delight to visit these children: to hear the personal stories of impact, to witness the growth not only physically, but on all levels – mentally, emotionally and spiritually! Since our last visit, one major change to the Pune location of GSH is the addition of this little man: meet Lakesh.
Five years ago, Lakesh was born in the red light district – in the heart of Pune city – to his mother who is working as a prostitute. Her home is a room large enough for a single bed and a small gas stove. She lives and works in this room. It probably goes without saying, but it is no place for a child to grow up. Nearly one year ago, Lakesh was brought to Good Shepherd Homes and is now incredibly well adjusted and thriving in his new home environment.
At the beginning of his transition to GSH, Lakesh was still suffering post-traumatic-stress from his earliest years, that he couldn’t enter into any room alone. Even going to the toilet with the door closed stirred up fear. Over time, he’s witnessed – through the fellow children, his house parents and the wonderful staff of GSH – the love and presence of Jesus in his life. He invites Jesus to come with him to the bathroom and knows that he’s not alone anymore.
From the time that we spent with the kids at GSH, it’s obvious that Lakesh is the most beloved boy in this house full of girls! He loves having so many older sisters to look out for him and is the center of attention! Yet the care and love he is receiving from these girls is just a testimony to the care all of the kids are receiving at GSH.
What is unique about GSH to other residential children’s projects is the size and ratio of staff to children. GSH has a maximum of 6 children per house parent. Generally 12 children maximum per home. It is a costlier form of care because it requires more money to pay for the addition staff and space. However the fruit of this model is obvious: these children are receiving personal attention and care that is more closely resembling a natural family model. Every child needs and deserves personal love and attention for their growth and healthy development. The affects are obvious: these children are so well-adjusted, well-behaved, able to give and receive love, and are succeeding in school.
There is so much more to tell about the work of Good Shepherd Homes…
To be continued in the next days…