Sunbeam Viswanathan, Coordinator of Community Services
Welcome to our new blog. My name is Sunbeam Viswanathan, and I am the school’s Director of Admissions and social worker. I love my job, because every day I work with children who have welcomed me into their lives and hearts with warmth and generosity. Our community, in a rural area in Southern India, looks after each other. I have formed special bonds with the families here that I know are unique to this place.
When I joined GPS in 2009, I had just left my job at a nearby orphanage, Families for Children (FFC), and was also working at ChildLine, a hotline that serves vulnerable kids in Chettipalayam. During my time there, I learned about a community not too far from FFC whose children were unable to go to school. The community was living in poverty and isolation. I received many phone calls for support, and came to learn that only a school could provide their children the opportunity to overcome the barriers their parents faced. I had no idea that in just ten years we would have this remarkable school that is a haven for our community today.
At the orphanage, I helped cultivate a home for children who are homeless. Here, I help cultivate a school for children that feels like home - a very special home that can nurture the child’s education, health, and sense of community. This begins by creating a safe place where children can discover the joy of learning. GPS, a masterpiece of love and learning, is where the most vulnerable children are able to thrive.
In my whole career of working with families, I have learned that children are what motivate parents and communities to change for the better. When a child’s spark is ignited, when they begin to grow into empowered adults - these changes communicate the importance of education to a parent, and can inspire parents to grow as well. I have seen this first hand at GPS, including parents who are increasingly involved at school, staying employed, and saving for their families. Children are a community’s greatest resource.
“The beauty of GPS is that we have all joined together to find our solution forward, and take pride at the end of the day knowing we’ve been able to make someone’s life a lot brighter. I am reminded of this whenever I see a smiling child.”
The members of our community face a lot of challenges, and so do we at GPS as we do our best to advocate for their needs. However, despite these challenges, there is so much happiness in their lives and in ours. The beauty of GPS is that we have all joined together to find our solution forward, and take pride at the end of the day knowing we’ve been able to make someone’s life a lot brighter. I am reminded of this whenever I see a smiling child.
I thank you all for being a part of this journey and in making a major difference in each family’s life.