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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The Dalit Freedom Network (DFN) is a human rights, non-government organization that partners with the Dalit people in India. We represent a vast network of justice-minded, modern-day abolitionists committed to bringing freedom to history’s longest standing oppressed people group. We believe that we can end Dalit injustices, such as human trafficking and child labor, and make slavery history in India. Our major partners are Operation Mercy Charitable Company (OMCC), Operation Mercy India Foundation (OMIF), and the All-India Confederation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Organizations (SC-ST Confederation).

Results: Currently we have established 100 schools, with nearly 25,000 children enrolled.

Target demographics: The Dalit Freedom Network partners with the Dalit people of India, also known by demeaning labels such as "untouchables," "outcastes," and recently "slumdogs." The Dalits constitute 25% of India's 1.2 biliion population---250 million people---nearly the population of the United States.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Our 5-year goal is to establish 1,000 schools and educate 500,000 of India's precious Dalit children

Geographic areas served: India

Programs: The cornerstone of our Community Transformation Model is Education. We believe that education changes a nation and that education is the issue that solves all other issues. Our Healthcare, Economic Development, and Social Justice work throughout India are launched from our schools, called Dalit Education Centers (DECs).

Community Stories

67 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sponsoring a child through this network for several years now, and there is no reason to stop! It is appalling that the caste system should judge a person worthy of an education or not. The Dalit are the lowest of the low- with no real name for their kind. They are not given adequate jobs to support families, and with not enough money for food, these children are destined to a life without education and a repeat of this cycle. Through the Dalit Freedom Network, these children are given an opportunity to gain an education and be valued in a society that otherwise does not give them either. It only takes one to change, and this network is the start.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I support two boys in a rural school in Uttar Pradesh. We have sponsored them for several years. We get regular updates and letters from the two boys as well as the school. We have followed up to get independent verification of the state of the school. We have a very high opinion of the transparency and authenticity of the organization. We highly recommend them and their vision for the Dalits of India.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am able to fund 3 the education of 3 Dalit children, who are learning the message that they are valuable creations and not sub-human because of their caste. They are being given life through this message and also through their education, which will give them possibilities of jobs and careers. Without this education, there is no hope for them. I receive photos and biographical data of each child, as well as periodic postings of their grades and graduations. For less than $30.00 per month, I am able to do this for each child that I sponsor. I am horrified by the continuing effects of the caste system, but glad to be able to enable positive change for some of its victims.

Donor

Rating: 5

I sponsor a young girl in India. Because of my contribution she is able to get schooling. It is such a blessing knowing that she has this opportunity, when normally in her circumstances she wouldn't have it. I know she has a hard life; her family is struggling. I love to receive letters and drawing from her, but even more I am thankful that I can support her and write words of encouragement to her.

Donor

Rating: 5

I sponsor a girl who attends school in India, and it is such a joy and pleasure to get her letters. She also send pictures. I have written her back, and it's great to see her growing up.
I think it is so important to educate these impoverished children who are looked down and treated as lower-class simply because of their birth. Education is such a vital step in these childrens' lives to change society. I'm so glad I can part of it.

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm a proud donor to Dalit Freedom Network, and have had my expectations exceeded with the thorough nature of this charity's work and communication regarding my donations.

Donor

Rating: 5

Dalit Freedom Network is a wonderful and trustworthy organization that I'm blessed to be a part of. They are making a difference in the lives of children every day by breaking the cycle of abuse and poverty. They are a true "voice" for the children and are giving them a second chance at life. I have been a child sponsor for three years now and find it very rewarding and life changing. I really enjoy getting to know my sponsor child through letter writing and know that my involvement is having a significant impact on her life!

Donor

Rating: 5

In October 2009, I visited some of the schools in India financed by DFN and was extremely pleased with the strategic approach implemented to help the Dalit people. There is a huge need and there are limited resources. How to proceed? Schools are truly a long-term, impactful and effective approach by which precious children are educated enabling them with tremendous opportunities that they would never have otherwise. A team of faithful locals are efficiently driving these projects with an inspirational vision. Dalits are so despised in most of India society, that people don’t let the shade of a Dalit person touch them in order not be cursed thereafter. I had the opportunity to shake the little hands of hundreds of children and it was amazing to see their faces instantly illuminated with bright eyes and beautiful wide smiles.

Donor

Rating: 5

I became aware of the Dalit people group a few years ago when a team of women from our church went to India to minister to the Dalit. As a prayer token, I received a small, rough clay cup. It is a sample of what the Dalits are given when they ask for a drink in India. The Dalit are considered sub-human and thought to be filthy, so they are not given a glass like you or I would receive. They are given a clay cup, which is immediately broken after they use it so that no "human" will use it and be "contaminated". This single glimpse into the abuse of the Dalit people broke my heart, and I have prayed for them ever since. A year later, at a church conference I learned of many, many more abuses the Dalits suffer, especially the children, who are often kidnapped or sold into prostitution. I also learned about what the Dalit Freedom Network is doing to alleviate Dalit suffering and to bring them to their rightful place in humanity. It's more than an honor to give to DFN and to know that my dollars are carefully guarded, wisely spent, and will affect the destiny and eternity of a people whose time has come. I have nothing but the greatest respect for Dr. Ana Steele, with whom I was associated through my employer, OneHope. She is one strong woman, and her dogged determination to free the Dalits is inspiring many of us to answer the call to DO something!

Donor

Rating: 5

It means a lot to me to be able to enrich the lives of some of the poorest of the poor. DFN provides hope for those who would have none. I love getting letters from the children I support and hearing how they are doing.