The Gateway School educates 350 children from around 20 villages near the city of Rajahmundry on the South East coast of India. The area is rural and very poor, with over 80% of the children’s being the first generation in their family to be able to access education.
As the life of Third Day comes to an end, the Awakening Foundation is privileged to oversee fundraising and support for the Gateway School.
Officially approved and regulated by the Indian Govt. (although receiving no Govt. funding), the school opened in 2009 after 4 years of fundraising for land, construction and teaching staff, and scores consistently highly in all state exams and govt. inspections.
The school is the vision of local community leader VSC Prasad and his wife Sunnee, and has been made possible through the involvement of Nigel and Gillian James, and especially through long-term financial support from the band Third Day and their fans as Nigel shared the vision during his time working with the band.
The school is an English language school, rather than simply the local Telugu language, which allows the children access to the skilled workforce market in India, breaking the cycle of poverty and deprivation.
30 of the school children, either orphans or from families who simply are too poor or too sick to look after them, live on site in a specially designed home and are loved and cared for by a husband and wife team. The remainder of the children are collected from local villages by 2 school buses, otherwise many of them would need to walk up to 15 miles a day to get to school.