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GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers put smiles on the faces of hurting children, as well as good food in their bellies.

‘She Always Has a Smile on Her Face’

Dyuti stood alert by the side of a busy road, a young mother hen with a small flock of younger children about her. Though only in 7th grade, Dyuti was their guide to the neighboring village. She daily led the youngsters to a GFA-supported Bridge of Hope center, the place where her own life had turned around forever.

Judging by the smile Dyuti wore and the joy she carried with her, few would guess the hardship the young girl had faced in her life.

Father Sends Children to Orphanage

Dyuti lives in a tiny shelter made of plastic tarps. Her home has no electricity, no running water and no other facilities. When Dyuti was 3 years old, her mother succumbed to an illness and passed away. Her father remarried, and he and his new wife found work as daily laborers. Although they made enough to feed Dyuti and her older brother, Bibek, her dad spent most of his earnings on alcohol instead. Life was difficult for the little girl, and even more so when her father sent her and her brother to an orphanage.

Dyuti and Bibek didn’t like life at the orphanage. Maybe they missed their stepmother and the kindness and love she gave them. Maybe it was having to adjust to a new way of life. Whatever it was, Dyuti and Bibek couldn’t take it. They ran away from the orphanage and walked the 15-mile journey home.

Unsupplied for School

After the children’s return, Dyuti’s father didn’t send them away, but he still neglected their needs. The family struggled financially, and it didn’t help that little Dyuti had a dream her parents couldn’t hope to fulfil on their own.

Even though Dyuti had no notebook, no pens and no schoolbag to aid her—not even a pair of shoes—she wanted an education. Her parents couldn’t afford the supplies, nor could they help her with her studies because they were both illiterate.

But then some GFA-supported Bridge of Hope workers found out about Dyuti’s family situation. They invited the young, eager girl to enrol in the center in the neighboring village, where she would receive tutoring, nutritious meals and essential school supplies to help her in her studies.

Dyuti was overjoyed, and her joy was contagious.

Leading the Flock

At the center, Dyuti quickly gained a beautiful reputation as God sparked a new hope in the young girl.

“She always has a smile on her face,” shares a GFA-supported worker, “and [she] makes others smile by her words. She is very helpful to the needy at any time.”

This is Dyuti standing in front of her home. Without the opportunities given to her through Bridge of Hope and the prayers of her sponsor, it is likely she will never have a home more solid than this tent.

Dyuti’s gentle and kind spirit, eagerness to help and ability to make people smile won her the love of the staff and the trust of many villagers. Soon, many parents entrusted Dyuti with their most precious possessions: their children.

Along with Dyuti, about 35 other children from her village had been invited to attend the same Bridge of Hope center, but most of their parents were nervous about sending their children on the 1-mile trek because of the traffic. Knowing Dyuti would take care of them changed their minds.

Now, every school day, Dyuti leads dozens of children to the Bridge of Hope center and safely home at the end of the day.

Many people have noticed a positive transformation in Dyuti’s life through the GFA-supported Bridge of Hope center, but perhaps no one more than her parents.

Some 82,000 children like Dyuti are currently enrolled in GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers scattered throughout Asia, while thousands more have graduated and now face the future with transformed lives.

“Bridge of Hope has really been a blessing to our family and our village children,” they shared. “We are grateful for the free education, food, clothes, school bag, books and the love offering gifts, which our family received. Also, we are thankful for the love, concern and the words of encouragement from the staff. We are thankful to God for all the blessings we have received through the Bridge of Hope center.”