Our congregation has provided financial sponsorship support each year since 2003 for the Annie Margaret Barr Secondary School in the Khasi Hills of Northeast India. This is a Unitarian-run rural school in the poor tribal state of Meghalaya, where there is little access to public education. This school is able to serve nearly 300 secondary students, having more than doubled in size since our support began.
India Pilgrimage: Five members of our congregation have visited the Khasi Hills with the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council over the year. Consider joining the annual pilgrimage for a life changing experience: http://uupcc.org
Pen Friends: Members of our congregation exchange letters with students of our school about twice yearly to for cultural exchange and to encourage staying in school.
Activities: The committee has hosts a special social hour for DeWali, the Hindu Festival of Lights and Indian cooking classes. We have also hosted guests from Khasi Hills India multiple times.
Build-a-School Project: This is our recent 4-5 year effort raising funds for the building and teachers of a Higher Secondary School (grades 11 and 12) so students can complete high school locally without traveling to the state capital. The Higher Secondary School Inauguration and ribbon cutting was held on June 10, 2016. Since our new school opened, both of our schools are short staffed since many on the small team are essentially working more than one job.
The pressing need and goal for the 2017-2018 church year is to raise at least $4800 to continue to fund our new teacher, Altresha Marbaniang! We hope to fund a teacher for approximately three years until the Higher Secondary school is accredited and government funding kicks in. Last year we almost completely funded a second teacher that they expressed the need for mid-year. We really make a difference!
The typical donation over the years has been $50. More needed from some. Give what you can. This is a one year commitment, but we hope you will consider yearly support. Please make the check payable to the First Unitarian Church and note Khasi Hills on the memo line. If mailing your check, please send them to Karen Litzinger, 1709 Miriam St, Swissvale, PA 15218.
The Khasi Hills Partnership Committee organizes and coordinates our support of these activities. Learn more about the Unitarian Union of Northeast India.
Khasi Hills Partnership Committee Members
Karen Litzinger (chair), Lois Hurt, Mary Pat Mengato, Chris Milcarek, Maureen Porter, Shelley Ross, and Carol Washburn.
For information, contact Karen at 412-242-7045.