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Shanti Bhavan, India

Prevent trafficking of poor children/orphans and re-integrate them into school by covering tuition fees

Shanti Bhavan is a top-class boarding school in India for ~300 children from the most under underprivileged families giving them free access to excellent education and holistic personal development. First graduates look into a bright future and have started supporting their families and other children in need.  

How the initiative makes a difference

Convinced by the idea that leaders are not born but developed, Shanti Bhavan’s mission is to develop children of deprived backgrounds into leaders and change agents of society through excellent education and holistic personal development. Located in Tamil Nadu, an hour drive from Bangalore, India, Shanti Bhavan is a home and an exceptional school for 300 children, 95% from low-caste backgrounds (60% from villages, 40% from urban slums).

It provides top-level education, from age 4 in pre-school to college graduation. Founded in 1997, the first batches of students have graduated from college in 2013. They have taken jobs in large companies and also obtained full scholarships at American colleges. Each college graduate earns more in 5 years of work at a top multinational company than what their parents will earn in a lifetime. Every single Shanti Bhavan graduate now gives back 10% of their salaries to Shanti Bhavan and 10-30% of their salary to their families, communities and other children in need.

How we engage

McKinsey for Children has been supporting the organization since 2012 covering the yearly cost for 10-20 children living in Shanti Bhavan. Lea Weinkötter, a McK consultant at the time, spent three months as a volunteer at Shanti Bhavan in 2016.

Why it matters

Though India is a fast growing economy with a fast growing middle class, 42% of India’s 1.25 billion population lives below the World Bank’s defined international poverty line of $1.25 per person and day. Life for “low-caste” villagers is a vicious cycle of repression kept in motion by illiteracy and lack of education or opportunity.