School Sponsorship

“From the very beginning of their school experience, values of equality and deep respect for each other are instilled, regardless of caste or family income.”

Hugo and Anne Maier
Founders of Shanthimalai Trust  

Sponsor a Child's Education​

India has a rich spiritual heritage, a growing economy, and a large middle class. It also has the largest number of illiterate people in the world.

In the district we serve, families are being left behind.


The Need

Children in our district face extreme poverty and family heartbreak on a daily basis. Most parents are illiterate, and the pressures of everyday life can make it challenging for students to finish school. The School Sponsorship Program cultivates good, open communication with the families of sponsored students and works with them in many ways to help them through times of crisis such as illness or unemployment – situations that typically would end schooling for most of the children.

Our Schools

Shanthimalai, our local partner, established two English medium schools where village children can receive a high quality education – conducted in English – while living at home with their families: 

The Sri Ramana Maharshi Matriculation School (SRM) founded in 1991
Grades K-12: Approximately 950 students 

Sri Sundaram & Alagammal Matriculation School (SSA) founded in 2010
Grades K-5: Approximately 250 students

Both schools have excellent reputations and are well respected throughout Tamil Nadu.

Sponsor a Child, Change a Life

  • Lunch (for some their only nutritious meal)
  • Cultural programs and excursions
  • Regular medical checkups, and follow-up care
  • School fees
  • Educational supplies
  • School Uniform

In cases of illness or unemployment at home – situations which typically would end schooling for poor village children – we provide extra support to the family.


The program nurtures traditional Tamil cultural values, while at the same time preparing students to succeed in the modern world. Classes in yoga and Indian music, literature, and dance integrate the students’ cultural and spiritual heritage into their academic life.

Who is chosen?

Sponsorship students are selected on the basis of family commitment, financial need, motivation, and academic aptitude. 

After being accepted at one of our schools, students and their families are carefully screened for 1 year to ensure their success before being matched with their sponsors for full sponsorship. Screening involves home visits, meetings with parents, and observation of classroom performance.

Sponsors who contribute toward this assessment year are usually paired with their students in September. As soon as a student is awarded full sponsorship, his/her sponsor’s donation for the year of screening will be credited toward the education of the sponsored student.

How will I know how my child is doing?

Once a year, you will receive photographs of your child and a brief school report from our program coordinator. Exchanging annual letters and pictures can instill a sense of security in your sponsor child while giving you a chance to encourage his/her development. This is just as important as your financial contribution! It takes a lot of determination for these children to persevere to graduation. When they feel that someone believes in them, they can begin to believe in themselves.

A good education is an essential prerequisite for learning a profession.

In India, students can receive a high school certificate after 10th grade. Students who go on to complete 12th grade receive a high school diploma. Upon graduating at either level, students may apply to the Shanthimalai Skill Development Program (SSDP) for vocational training or, for academically gifted students, for advanced study at a college or university. 



Most of our students graduate from high school and go on to find meaningful employment. One touching indication of the program’s success: more than 10% of our teachers are alumni of the school who completed college degrees in Education and then returned to their villages to help other young people in need.

It provides:

  • school fees
  • educational materials and supplies
  • school uniforms
  • school bus transportation
  • lunch (for some the only nutritious meal of the day)
  • cultural programs and excursions
  • regular medical checkups, and follow-up care

In cases of parental illness or unemployment – situations which typically would end schooling for poor village children – we provide extra support to the family.

For $480/year ($40/month), you can open up a world of new possibility that will change a child’s life.  

You may choose to donate annually or biannually, or divide your support into quarterly or monthly contributions.

Please contact our School Sponsorship Coordinator for more information

Can’t do a whole sponsorship?

Consider a half sponsorship ($240/year) or a monthly donation to the School Fund of $10 or $20 to help support students and teachers.

Emergency News Title Can Go Here