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Dalit Freedom Network

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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

The Dalit Freedom Network does not only give help but trains people to help themselves. They have made an incredible difference in the lives of children by offering a great education which enables them to not only get jobs but also allows them to change their families situations.

Donor

Rating: 5

Solid non-profit that has high goals, but goes at it step by step. They truly have huge hearts for the Dalit.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a regular donor to the Dalit Freedom Network, I firmly stand behind the services this organization offers to Dalits, one of the most oppressed people groups on the globe. I especially enjoy the personal communication with my sponsored children through handwritten letters.

Donor

Rating: 2

I volunteered a few times in the Denver office and have sponsored a child for several years now. I used to be very impressed with this organization, but I've recently heard that things have changed. So at this point, I'm not sure what I think.

Donor

Rating: 5

The DFN has a big vision ... to emancipate the 250M Dalit (untouchables) in India from 3000 years of bondage at the bottom of the caste system. The orgn is well managed by passionate mgmt, staff and volunteers. The vision is for community transformation beginning with the education of the children, women's empowerment, communty health, and economic development. I was part of a DFN medical team that responded to the devastation caused by the December 2004 tsunami and later returned to one of the villages where our community is now in the 4th year of sponsorship of the new school that was built with funds raised in our community. There are now 177 children enrolled in K thru 4 grades. We are committed to the full program of K thru 10 for the school as well as the other phases of community transformation. This is, for us, a long-term commitment! DFN is similarly in it for the long haul. Without the organization and in-country oversight provided through the India Group of OM Ministries, it would be very difficult to carry out such a challenging and visionary program.

Donor

Rating: 5

My family has had the privilege of dealing with the Dalit Freedom Network for several years and have seen the amazing work that they do to help support and educate the Dalit people and children. This non-profit organization is truly making a difference in the lives of thousands of children by providing them with an opportunity to attend a school and get an education that can better their and their families lives. This is an organization that is helping to free the dalit people and children through a quality education. Dave Howard

Donor

Rating: 5

We are sponsoring a child at one of the Dalit Freedom Network schools. We feel so blessed to participate in providing this young boy with a quality education. Our part seems relatively small compared to the dedicated teachers and staff who work with the children each day to teach them. Besides making a positive impact on this young boy, the school also impacts the family of the boy and the local community. The education that Dalit Freedom Network is providing is available to all of the children in the community. Along with the solid education, they are also helping each of the children to see their incredible value as individuals. This is so important in a culture where the Dalit people have been seen as lower than animals for ages. We are pleased to be able to support the work of Dalit Freedom Network. We encourage others to join in this wonderful effort. Bob Orlowski

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a believer in the Dalit Freedom Network since learning of it several years ago. Joseph D'Souza spoke eloquently of a dream to break the centuries old influence of caste on the 200+ million Dalits. He spoke of his work with the Dalit leaders to assure them their voices would be heard. He spoke of a need for education to provide a way up to these precious people. He spoke of their shocking plight. DFN has helped bridged the gap between that spoken dream and reality. DFN has provided a vehicle by which those who wish to help may contribute and see tangible results. Schools are being built across India to offer free high quality English education to Dalit children. I was able to see some of these schools in person and see the hope that education and women empowerment is offering to hundreds of Dalit families. I have found DFN people to be caring, helpful and full of vision. I strongly endorse this organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting three Dalit children for several years. Three years ago I had the privilege of going to India and visiting the school where the children I support attend. I talked with their teachers and the children talked with me in very good English. I met mothers of other children attending the school and saw how proud they are of their children's accomplishments. I am totally in awe of what is being done to educate these children and how they now have hope for a bright future,thereby also giving their parents hope.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have supported 2 Dalit students for over 3 years and enjoy so much hearing from them via letters that we receive from 2-4 times a year. We enjoy the photos that are included so we can watch our students mature. It is especially satisfying to see the growth in these students and to watch their improving educational skills. Any time we have contacted DFN we have gotten responses that are swift and helpful. We are pleased to be a part of this worthy organization that is giving hope and education to so many who have been without hope for so long.

Donor

Rating: 5

I donated money to this cause. The culture and the differences with American Culture make some people frustrated with this Orgaization but I tell you the Heart of this Org. Is sooooo Big and please be patient and make the suggestions in a kind way. the hope that these babies would not be sold off into slavery is a Great cause and we need to make their society and culture at least open tom,the idea. Keep doing your work it is of the God I understand It is in love and peace I see you working!

3

Donor

Rating: 1

DFN has a great concept and potentially powerful mission. Unfortunately, their organization seems to be dysfunctional and from personal experience doesn't particularly care about it's staff/volunteers. I was donating to support one of their staff roles until I learned that most of my donation was going into the general fund for DFN 'earmarked' to eventually be paid to the staff member I was supporting. I tried to get through to senior executives at DFN several times to get the funds released without ever hearing back. I have since stopped donating to DFN and instead sent the money directly to the staff member who needed it to support themselves while they were working for DFN (since DFN wasn't paying a living wage). Quite frustrating to say the least.

Donor

Rating: 5

DFN is a great way to support the Dalit people in India, who are the lowest members in the caste system. By providing for them spiritually, financially and educationally, DFN is working to give the Dalits freedom, justice, and human dignity. This is an amazing organization that continually strives to bring hope and love to the Dalits.

Donor

Rating: 5

We love having part in providing an education and physical support for a needy child! I'm so glad that DFN connects us directly to individuals with needs, putting a name and a face on a problem we wouldn't think about very much otherwise. I have friends who have been to India in person and can attest to the fact that donor money is being used wisely and that lives are being changed through this organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first heard of the Dalit Freedom Network when Dr. Ana Steele spoke at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale's college ministry service, Eikon. After hearing her testimony, I prayed for God to break my heart over India and the Dalits. Since then I have become a partner with the DFN by sponsoring a child and by making scripture cards of encouragement with my church for the children of India that this organization reaches. The Dalit Freedom Network has been a huge blessing and the work that they are doing is truly amazing!

Donor

Rating: 5

The DFN is doing a great work to bring hope and a future to the most underprivileged kids in India. It doesn't cost much to support a child on a monthly basis. We have also initiated through our mission organization an opportunity for people to provide lunches for the children in the schools which might be the only real meal they receive and it is a well rounded, healthy meal. My husband has visited India and a village where Dalits live in discarded huge pipes and seen the kids as they head off to school in their uniforms with smiles on their faces. This is a great charity to support and truly make a difference in someone's life.

Donor

Rating: 5

We support DFN in their mission to battle the suppression of the Dalits in India. We have sponsored a child, Ajay, for years and have seen him grow and learn about how to be a successful person more and more. We receive three to four letters each year and this year we even had a picture of his family! When I contact DFN, I get a quick response and information that I request right away. It is a shame we cannot communicate in the places in India where the Dalits live like we can here in the US. I will continue to support the DFN in their mission because they are doing a great job!

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a great non-profit group that reaches the poorest of children in India that have no education. They provide hope for the Dalit people who are rejected. I sponsor a child to enable him to go to school and get an education that he would otherwise not have. I heard about the Dalit people through a presentaion at our Church. I am thankful I can help in a small way.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful charity addressing a need that churches need to be involved in. Many people do not know about the slavery and discrimination that still exists in India. We have an opportunity to change a child's life thru DFN, especially girls, who are the most mistreated.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Dalit Freedom Network is a pioneer in educating Dalit Children in India. DFN sets up schools for the Dalits who would otherwise receive little or no education, because of their sub-human status in the caste system of India. Not only do these children receive a quality education, but DFN also teaches them they are not worthless, but children for whom our Lord Jesus suffered and died to redeem!