One Woman’s Story – Educating Children in the Slums of India

This guest post was written by Leslie Littrell from Sadie Shares.

I sat mesmerized as I listened to a speaker at my son’s Christian school tell the students about an Indian lady who taught school to children living in a slum in New Delhi. Over 25,000 people shared a plot of 5 acres where generation after generation the people lived without hope. 

This woman, affectionately known as Mummy-ji (honored mother in Hindi), held a Ph.D. and taught at a local university, but her heart was to serve the Lord. She prayed day after day asking God to give her His work to do. 

One morning, she answered a knock on her door and found a young boy in ragged clothing asking for food. She fed him, but she also began to teach him that having an education was his only hope of breaking the cycle of generational poverty. The little boy brought his friends to “school” and soon she was teaching over 100 children in the garage of her small apartment! Moms from the slum came begging her to educate their children.

Running out of space, Mummy-ji visited the crowded, dirty slum. She found the slum commissioner and asked if she could put up a tent and teach the children who lived there. Instead, she was given an empty room located in the only public toilet facility for all 25,000 people. Despite the smell and filth, Mummy-ji gave up her university job and began teaching over 600 children in two daily sessions. The children named the school “The Toilet School” and Mummy-ji taught school there for over a decade.

The speaker at my son’s school had just returned from a trip to India where he visited The Toilet School. Astounded at how well the children were learning not only to read and write but also about God’s love, he was determined to spread the news about this amazing school. He challenged the students at my son’s school to pray that God would give the children in India a “real” school. Diligently and expectantly, the students asked God for a school. They also collected coins in milk cartons to help build a school. As they prayed, across the ocean, the Indian children prayed as well asking God to give them a “real” school. 

The Good Samaritan School (GSS) was born out of the prayers of children on both sides of our world. When the school opened in 2005, our family embraced the opportunity to sponsor children and gladly sent in monthly support. We chose a boy our son’s age and a girl our daughter’s age, and they became pen pals throughout their childhood. 

Sponsorship was one way my husband and I could teach our children about extreme poverty and the privilege and responsibility to care for the poor. Contributing to the GSS and developing relationships across the globe gave our family a tangible way to live out the scripture: “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18.)

Both my children are grown and have tender hearts toward those in need. I am forever grateful for the opportunity my children had to connect with the GSS. Out of that gratitude, six years ago I began volunteering for the stateside work that supports the school. 

As I learned more about the school, I began dreaming about a way to connect children at the GSS with children in the U.S. Others began to dream with me and Sadie Shares was born.

Sadie Shares connects kids in the U.S. with kids who attend the GSS so that children on both sides of the world benefit. Here’s how our 3 programs can connect hearts, honor culture, and build global community.

Sadie Shares connects kids in the U.S. with kids who attend the GSS so that children on both sides of the world benefit. Here’s how our 3 programs can connect hearts, honor culture, and build global community.


Exploring India is a four-week program that teaches children in America about the beautiful culture of India, the needs of children who live in the slums, and how students at the GSS are breaking the cycle of generational poverty through education. Integrated into the curriculum is a mission project for kids called Lunchbox Love.

Fundraise for Friends is an easy-to-use 1-week mission project that engages children in compassionate service to improve the lives of children in need. Children in the U.S. are challenged to earn or collect $5+ to raise money for students at the GSS to help buy healthy lunches or provide needed medical care. This program is a great add-on to any curriculum or can be used for VBS offerings.

Sadie and Sunny’s Club is a kid-friendly sponsorship program that connects families with a student at the GSS. Sponsoring families with children ages 4-12 can enroll their child in our FREE club to help them stay engaged with their new sponsored friend. Club members receive a welcome backpack filled with fun activities. Additionally three times a year, children receive a packet with a letter from their sponsored friend and activities to help them learn about India and stay connected.

We believe when children learn early to care for those in need around the world, they will be more likely to grow up to become compassionate, generous adults who can change our world one child at a time.


About Leslie

Leslie Littrell has been married to her husband, Robert, for 36 years. They have two grown children and 2 grandsons. They have sponsored children to attend the Good Samaritan School for 16 years. Robert and Leslie have made 3 trips to India to meet their sponsored students and spend time at the school. Leslie was part of the team that developed Sadie Shares and volunteers her time to support the stateside work as the Program Coordinator. Leslie has attended CPC for the last 3 years to represent Sadie Shares and promote the Good Samaritan Schools.

In the picture, Leslie is with her husband, Robert, and three of the children they sponsor at the Good Samaritan School in India.

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