Six years ago the Wings School was just a dream. When Grace Rajkumar shared her vision of a school for poor girls I said “Let’s do it!” What a thrill to return to India to celebrate the school’s fifth anniversary.
My daughter Kiran and I arrived in Hyderabad in late June. Wings had been back in session for several weeks and the senior girls had been hard at work preparing a fifth anniversary program. Many of the senior girls had written speeches and all the classes had been working with the dance teacher on special routines. When Kiran and I arrived at the school two younger girls placed garlands around our necks – a traditional Indian welcome – and we were beckoned in perfect English by some senior girls to come to the stage.
It was wonderful to see the girls perform. The senior girls gave well written, heart-felt speeches about their school and what it meant to them. The dances and songs kept our toes tapping. Most of all, it was satisfying to see how well the girls are doing and what a difference the school has made in their lives.
Wings now goes up to Class 10 and this year will have its first graduating class. The nine Class 10 girls will write their state exams in March and the results will determine where they will qualify to go next. Some will go on the junior college (like grades 11 and 12 here in the U.S.) and others will head to the police academy or other vocational schools. Much will depend on the parents and their willingness to let their daughters continue their education. KAP is working with Wings to establish a scholarship program to fund the girls’ further studies.
One thing all the girls and staff shared was gratitude to our donors. They asked that I convey to all of you how much your support has meant. Thanks to all of you nine girls will be graduating this year with the health and education that they need to pursue their dreams.