MORNING STAR DEVELOPMENT

Bridges Academy: A high school for Afghan refugees in New Delhi, India

REQUEST: $2,460 for school and education materials for the senior class at Bridges Academy.

New Delhi, India.

  • Population: 1,339,330,514

  • Languages: Hindi 43.6%, Bengali 8%, Marathi 6.9%, Telugu 6.7%, Tamil 5.7%, Gujarati 4.6%, Urdu 4.2%, Kannada 3.6%, Odia 3.1%, Malayalam 2.9%, Punjabi 2.7%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.1%

  • Religions: Hindu 79.8%, Muslim 14.2%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.7%

  • Median Age: 28.7 years

Morning Star Development provides training and services to the Afghan people to empower individuals and transform communities. Although most of the ministry is found inside Afghanistan, this high school for Afghan refugees is located in India.

Afghanistan produces one of the highest numbers of refugees in the world. Many of them end up in India as they wait to immigrate to the USA, Canada, Europe, or Australia. This time of waiting usually lasts 7-12 years. Students can attend local Indian schools up to the 7th grade. After 7th grade in India, there are no schools for most of the refugees. Presently, Bridges Academy is the only school that serves Afghan refugees and is taught by Christian teachers. Students are taught in English and can earn a GED after completing their studies. Most of the students are Muslim, but they are taught by loving Christian teachers (American, Indian and Afghan). About 25% of the students are now followers of Jesus.  There are currently 75 students enrolled at Bridges Academy.

Families of refugees cannot legally work in India. They are very poor. Consequently, many of our upperclassmen drop out so they can help raise money for their families. Although the school is heavily subsidized, students still need to pay tuition ($45/month), buy their books, have a uniform, and pay for their GED exams.  On top of this, they are paying for their public transportation to get to school. Our desire is to see that our upperclassmen have the support they need so that they can graduate on time.

Image Copyright: Morning Star Development

Life in the Day of Bridges Academy

Image Copyright: Morning Star Development

Andisha’s Story

I am Andisha Kohdamani, I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. I am the first child in my family. I used to live in a big house with my aunt in Kabul. At a very young age, there was pressure on me as a girl in school (most girls don’t go to school in Afghanistan). At least I was one of the best students in our school. These are not good memories for me. I finished the 9th grade in Afghanistan.

When we came to India in 2017, I was 13 years old. I felt like my life changed, I knew that the comfortable life that I had in Afghanistan will not be here. I was happy as well as sad about coming to India; happy, because I improved in my studies; sad because we do not have the life that we had, my father is jobless. My father was a principal in AgaKhan councils, and my mom was a teacher in AgaKhan school, but when I see my father selling fruit, it upsets me and it also gives me strength and courage.

Since I came to Bridges Academy, I feel like I am improving every day. I learned many things: making friends, adjusting, being happy, and so on. I spent many good moments at Bridges Academy. They are all a blessing for me and helping in many ways, especially during the pandemic time they supported my family. To add on, teachers’ efforts for my studies have encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a cardiologist. I pray to God for the Bridges family.

HEALTH / HYGIENE

FAMILY / COMMUNITY CARE

FOOD

THEOLOGY

EDUCATION / TRAINING

INFORMATION / RESEARCH

EQUIPMENT / TOOLS

MATERIALS

RENOVATION / MAINTENANCE

ADMINISTRATION

TRAVEL

OTHER

* Highlighted budget icons apply to this grant

Budget
DescriptionCost
Tuition$1,620
Books$240
Uniforms$60
Exams$240
Supplies and Miscellaneous$300
Total Budget Requested:$2,460

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