A Mission to Confront Challenges
The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission (GSAM), located in Banbasa in the rural area of Uttarakhand, India, faces many social challenges: support to lepers, vocational training, education, and disaster relief. However, it’s primary focus is the care and protection of orphan children. The Mission works hard to provide a loving home and family for every child in its care, seeking to promote family relationships and a spirit of responsibility in every member.
Education and poverty are by far the two biggest challenges with the vast majority of locals who attend living below the Poverty Line. While Banbasa is on the plains of the Kumaun region of the Himalayas, the mountains are less than 10km away. Hinduism is the major religion of the area making up more than 95% of the local population.
Who gets the benefits?
The primary beneficiaries of the project are the orphan children of the GSAM. Secondary to them are the school children of the Maxton Strong School, run by the GSAM. In addition to this, the GSAM employs approximately 100 locals in its orphanage, school, farm, and workshops. Currently, there are 65 orphan children and 750 students in the school. The GSAM is also involved in many community events, awareness workshops, educational workshops, etc.
The GSAM endeavours to be as self-supporting as possible through funds raised by its school, farm and workshop projects. That said, donations will always be needed, especially for development projects.
For your interest, approximately 60% of the funding for the GSAM’s work is self-funded through projects like the Maxton Strong School and the farm.
Happenings at GSAM
With so much happening in the GSAM, it’s really difficult to come up with some highlights to give our friends a bit of an idea of what we do. But here’s an attempt with some things that stand out for us:
- Finally being able, through HADA’s support, to receive funding raised through the Global Giving website.
- Having a Netflix film crew come here to the GSAM to film a mini-documentary in which Clifton Shipway (Project Manager and Deputy Director of the GSAM) is one of 4 characters featured. While the project is focused mostly on motorcycle enthusiasts in India, a part of it will make mention of the work that goes on here at the GSAM.
- 35 of our girls, 6 female staff (and three men) went off on a 4 day Women’s Empowerment Camp deep in the jungles of the Himalayan foothills. It was an amazing time for all involved.
- Our school held its Annual School Fair.
- Christmas and New Year’s Eve were a complete success, including our Annual School Christmas Program in which more than 3000 people were in attendance.
- We purchased a new school bus through internally generated funds!
- Nine of our university students who are studying in our State Capital received excellent marks.
- Our bio-gas plant received a major face-lift.
- Dozens of birthdays and anniversaries were celebrated.
- Our school students celebrated the Indian Republic Day.
- We were able to record and film our School Anthem aptly named “The Place Where I Belong”. You can listen to it here.
- All of our staff and kids are in good health and life here on the GSAM is going well.
You can help
If you would like to help us to embrace the many challenges that face us, then just click on one of the donate buttons on this page.