Global Pathways School: Then & Now

In 2005, students from The York School in Toronto took their first service-learning trip to an orphanage in rural Chettipalayam, India. Educators saw an opportunity to play an even more impactful role in the development of the community through the engine of education. Shortly after, Global Pathways School was born! 

Since then, educators and philanthropists in Canada have built lasting connections with teachers, students and their parents in Chettipalayam. 

Explore the history of GPS through the eyes of community members who have helped our community grow.

Jim | Former School Principal

The first campus of GPS school was a former match factory with a leaky roof. 

“On my first day on my job as the school principal, it was pouring rain, puddles everywhere from the rain dripping through the roof. One of the teachers came to me and said ‘Showers of good fortune, Jim sir!’. We started with very humble beginnings but we were always confident that with time, we would get into our new campus.”

Today, thanks to the support of donors and corporate partners l, a three acre campus equipped with technology , a science lab, art studio and fully stocked library and canteen. 

Dhanam | GPS Caretaker

Dhanam works as a caretaker at GPS where she prepares and serves meals to students.

“In 2009 we received information that a school is going to be started with help of Canadian donors. They said we will give you a good education to your kids and will help them grow. My children who got educated at GPS speak very good English and they have made good on their promise!

After GPS came here, I started dreaming of my children's future. That is when I got confident that even my children can get an education, even my children can go to work. GPS has made me dream. GPS has taught me that all five kids have something different from each other.”

Every student at GPS has access to a world-class education and career training. We now have 561 students who attend school every day, and over 3000 people in the village who benefit from healthcare, jobs and opportunities because of their relationship to GPS. The community development taking place in the settlement has helped to increase daily family income by 161%.

Manjula | GPS alumnus, 2020

Manjula began her studies at GPS in 2014 well before the new campus was built. Throughout her studies at GPS she persevered, rising to the challenges she faced. After her graduation in 2020, she enrolled in university and is now working toward a Bachelor of Commerce in Banking and Insurance. 

“GPS is the best part of my life and I enjoyed every moment at school. My family members are happy because I’m the first one to graduate in my family. I faced many struggles in my life for my studies. For college I don’t have money to buy notes and proper dresses, so I got a part-time job to help overcome that. If there is a chance to go to my younger self, I’d say: be strong in any situation that you face, and don’t give-up hope. Hard work is the best thing for success!” 

Education is essential to overcoming poverty, but it is only part of our work together. We are grateful to our GPS community of supporters both near and far. Each has played a role in creating this dynamic and successful school. Students, camp counsellors, parents, donors, teachers, doctors, nurses, cooks and caretakers have worked to change the lives of thousands of people, through education.

It costs roughly $2000 per year, or $170 per month, for each of our 561 students to receive their education. If you’re interested in supporting a child, you can learn more by visiting our website.

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