How do you see Ark of the Rainbow making a difference?
The area that we work in India, there are no other quality education options. We have very long waiting lists for our services. And we know that families really appreciate the high-quality education that we’re able to provide, in addition to the fact that our school teaches in three languages, but one of them is English, which really opens up a lot of doors that would not otherwise be open for these children. I think the other thing is, we do a lot of prevention and awareness on human trafficking. And we’ve seen that play out in multiple situations where our student population has been able to protect themselves, or we’ve been able to rescue and retrieve students who have actually been trafficked and kidnapped because of being able to be aware of the situation early and being trained and know what to do. Also, we do provide college scholarships to students that continue with their studies. And we’ve seen children come from uneducated families, go through our program, and then come back as teachers in our school one day. They’re changing the lives of the next generation of students and their community.
Who is on the ground, running the nonprofit?
We employ local people who have grown up in these communities. People have believed in them and sent them on for education. And so now, they’re turning around and trying to help their own communities. They’re very well-trusted and really understand the needs of the people.
What else have you done this year?
We’ve had to do a lot of emergency food and medicine for families who just can’t afford it. We’ll feed a family if they don’t have food, and sometimes their families are divided, because they have to send their children away because they can’t feed them. And that brings the family back together. We’ve paid for kidney transplants for people or whatever comes up, and so we know that we’re saving lives every day.
Interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.