CHRISTEL HOUSE LEARNING CENTERS:
EMPOWERING YOUNG LIVES
I had heard about the Christel House in Bangalore, India
but not until I attended a presentation recently at India
Garden Restaurant did I really understand the enlightened
concept, scope of the project, and its potential impact.
This successful and unique program is committed to transformation
and emotional empowerment for young lives caught in the
web of poverty, failure, and with no-promise of decent future.
To date, four Christel House Learning Centers located in
India, Mexico, South Africa, and Venezuela, and the Christel
House Academy in Indianapolis provide free education to
over 2000 under-privileged children. Expansion will follow.
The imaginative and innovative orientation to education
at these Centers embodies a "comprehensive holistic
development" model aimed to enhance the inherent skills,
talents, and cultural enrichment. Prepare children for self-sufficiency,
responsible citizenship, and to be contributing members
of society. The Learning Centers are well-integrated into
civic infrastructure, higher educational institutions, health
facilities, and businesses and strive for maximum optimization
of rewards for the students, families, communities, and
CHRISTEL HOUSE INDIA
Christel House India, a co-educational and non-residential
Learning Center is located in Kannur Village, a suburb of
Bangalore Metropolitan area. Beginning with 320 students
in 2001, the present student population of 635 students
represents many faith traditions (57% Hindu; 34% Christian;
4% Muslim; 5% other) and served by 35 dedicated full-time
teachers and competent administrative staff. Christel House
India will grow to 1,040 students in the year 2010 when
the first class of students will graduate.
The school day at Christel House India begins with the
famous poem, "Where the mind is without fear and the
head is held high; Where knowledge is free;
by India's poet-laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. The words,
ideas, and inspiration in his universal anthem define the
Center's cherished hope and all-embracing vision for humanity
and a strong belief that such a dream must begin with our
Each year the school carefully selects, admits, and offers
life-changing opportunities to 80 new children. All students
come from under-privileged homes with a family monthly income
of less than Rs. 2500. Most of the children live within
a 15-kilometer radius of the educational facility.
The Center works closely with the Bangalore Metropolitan
Transport Authority (for transporting children), St. John
Medical College and M.S. Ramaiah Medical College (for regular
medical check-ups and health services), Central Board of
Secondary Education (for meeting educational standards and
requirements), business and civic organizations (for job
opportunities, and sponsorships for vocational trade skills),
and parents (for volunteer support and day-to-day projects).
Outreach Programs are an important part of Learning Center's
community involvement to increase awareness in environmental,
health and hygiene issues among parents and the community.
Christel Houses Learning Centers around the world emphasize
four core values: Respect, Responsibility, Independence,
and Integrity. The school management promise a total transparency
and regular internal and external audits of their operation.
To ensure the trust of the community and donors, the Learning
Centers are run as a responsible business and with a lot
of compassion, careful accountability, and impeccable integrity.
The commitment and passion, "to care, to share, to
make a difference" best defines the wisdom, farsightedness,
and incredible generosity. The idea intrigues and challenges
our spirit and emotions that we too can, and should, serve
with our gifts.
CHRISTEL HOUSE FOUNDER
The driving force behind this brilliant spirit-based (not
faith-based) vision and noble humanitarian endeavor that
"every child deserves an opportunity" is Christel
DeHaan, a celebrated Indiana living legend. Christel is
a successful business- woman, an international leader, philanthropist,
humanitarian, and the founder of the Christel DeHaan Family
Foundation located in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. She represents
another proud and inspiring Indiana connection with the
world through her personal commitment and philanthropic
Christel DeHaan's well-known philanthropy toward the arts,
culture, education, international spirit, and humanity takes
an extraordinary leap with her commitment to offer hope
to children through the Christel House program. For more
information and details about the Christel House Learning
Centers, you can visit www.christelhouse.org.
Children are humanity's common trust and collective treasure.
Making education an equal-opportunity birthright and a universal
responsibility offers an unimagined and liberating promise
Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA