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SPONSORSHIP OF DAVID - (Challa Ramulu)
Almost from the time of our inauguration as the World Service Association in 1996, we were aware of the Mucherla Global School in India, which was initiated by Ruth Schneider to provide very young children in India the opportunity for a broader view on the world, beyond the restrictive caste system that they were growing up in. Mucherla became indeed a global project. From the very beginning the Vision and Mission was based on the principles of Dr. Robert Muller’s International Curriculum of equal opportunity for all. In Mucherla that would mean a non-caste school. In fact Ruth Schneider and Robert Muller, who served as Assistant-Secretary-General for the United Nations, often would challenge each other on how to implement the curriculum from their common vision.
The children were only halfway through school when Ruth Schneider, known to the Mucherla students as “Granny” passed away in 2000. From that day on, her husband Dr Richard Schneider, now becoming “Grandpa” to the students, and who had been a staunch supporter of his wife’s endeavour, took over both the curriculum supervision as well as the guidance of these impressionable and gifted youngsters.
The funding for the Mucherla Global School came from fundraising and the sponsorship of students, which is now organized by The Institute of Global Education and its Embrace Program. For more information, please check out their link on this website. Although the costs to raise tuition fees and day to day living expenses for the students are minimal by western standards, to raise even those fees have proven to be an ongoing challenge.
The World Service Association, whose Vision is ‘A world in which the worth of all individuals is recognized in local and global communities which are socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable’ is very much in accord with the principles of The Institute of Global Education. For that reason and for the heart we carry for these deserving youngsters, the World Service Association has been sponsoring this endeavour through donations and pledges in every way we can.
On the 14th of March of 2008, the first group of young people graduated from a college education, among whom Challa Ramulu, also known as David. Each of the graduates, in their own chosen profession, will become a leader in their communities. These young people face a challenging time ahead, where especially India faces the transition from a traditional caste system towards equality for all citizens. The leadership that David has undertaken and is preparing for, is to take over as the Director in India for IGE, when Dr. Richard Schneider retires from that role. In fact David has already taken on many of its responsibilities.
The World Service Association has worked hard in 2008 and 2009 to give David a taste of the global community of which he is a part, by sponsoring him to come to Canada, while at the same time rounding of some of his education. However, in spite of all our efforts, David was repeatedly denied a Visa for Canada.
In the Fall of 2009 David has entered college in Hyderabad to obtain his Masters Degree in Business Administration. The World Service Association is sponsoring both his tuition for the two year degree program, as well as his living expenses during that time. Tuition for the two year program is US $5300.-; living expenses are US $80.- per month; books and extra college fees are US $175.- per year. The World Service Association welcomes your donations and pledges in any amount. Even a very small monthly pledge will make a big difference in a year.
We will now give David the opportunity to introduce himself. The first item is his very own autobiography, which he wrote some time ago. It does not yet feature his college experiences, but we will ask him to remedy that soon. So please wait for its next instalment. We have made minor changes to correct David’s grammar or spelling errors, to give you, the reader, an appreciation that his young man does not speak in his native language, neither has he been immersed in an English speaking country. From experience we know that his English is clear and articulate.
written by David:
HAD THERE BEEN NO GRANNY THERE WOULD BE NO DAVID
I am Challa Ramulu, also known as David. I was born in Mucherla on February 1, 1987. My mother’s name is Laxmi and my father’s name is Challa Venkanna. I belong to the backward community. Mucherla is a small village which is about 25 kilometers from the main district town of Khammam and with a population of 20,000 people at present. I started going to Mucherla Global School in 1994. That is when a white lady by name Ruth, also known as Granny by all the students, and even the villagers, came to Mucherla to start a new English Medium school. I was about 7 years old when I first started going to school. I was scared when I saw this white lady coming into the gate of Mucherla Global School. I saw her stepping out of the car as she was just arriving from the U.S. I was one of the few students that got an opportunity to put a garland around Granny’s neck.
Granny was the founder, Director and a teacher of Mucherla Global School. There were about 40 students in the school when Granny first started the school. I spoke only Telugu. No one in my family was literate. Granny started teaching English with a lot of new methods and a lot of good examples so that we all could understand the words from her examples. She conducted a lot of sports for the students every weekend that improved our mental and physical health. Granny’s husband, Dr. Richard Schneider, was a great supporter of Granny’s thoughts and implementations at Mucherla Global School. He used to visit Mucherla Global School once or twice a year, whereas, Granny used to spend half of the year in Mucherla. She used to sleep in the church on the floor as there was no other space for her to sleep. Even as a child I was able understand how hard she was working for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden society in Mucherla.
I still remember the days before the years of new millennium, 2000. I know I was a child but I never forgot the incidents or my past experiences at the school. I felt very happy when I first started communicating with Granny with the little English I learned. Granny conducted a lot of tests on English and she built our vocabularies. I was able to develop with good mentality and spirit from the teachings of Granny. She taught us the values of life. We had a lot of activities at the school like gardening. Gardening helped us a lot to build our vocabularies and not only that we were able to take vegetables home to our families. Granny’s husband Richard, also known as Grandpa, now taught a lot of things, to the children at the school that enabled the children to develop into fine individuals. We were all take on a field trip to Hyderabad when I was in grade 3. We went to a lot of places in Hyderabad like, Lumbuni park, Zoo, Golconda fort, Museum, temples etc. It was an unforgettable trip in my life. That was my first trip outside on my native place and Khammam district. That was a great and my first adventure in my life.
Granny and Grandpa had planned to take us to the U.S. to a peace conference at Virginia Beach. They selected three students, and I was one of them. Granny went to the U.S. embassy in Chennai along with us and our parents when we applied for the visa to the U.S. Unfortunately we were unable to get a visa to the U.S. That was a great setback for me because I had many dreams of going to the U.S. for the peace conference. Granny and Grandpa spent a lot of time and money on it. I was in grade seven at the time. That was my first trip outside of Andhra Pradesh. We were all disappointed for not getting a visa to the U.S. but we always hoped for the best. So I continued my studies later on hoping that I would get to the U.S. someday in future.
Unfortunately, Granny left her last breath at beginning of the new millennium. That changed everything and many situations. Granny groomed me like her own grandson but she did not have the opportunity see me graduate from Mucherla Global School from tenth level. She could have had a lot happiness and cheerfulness if she was alive at the time of my graduation. I had a very deep connection with Granny. I almost spent my childhood with her and I still hold her in my heart now and forever. My mother gave me birth but Granny gave me a new life by providing me the education and values of life. She moulded me into a very good human being since my childhood. I was a piece of clay when I first started school and she moulded that into a fine human being.
I was given an opportunity to deliver an eulogy at the memorial service of Granny. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I was only twelve years old delivering a speech in front of a large gathering. There were tears in all the eyes of the gathering. I had tears in my eyes and my heart kept tugging with my memories with Granny. Granny made a remarkable impression in my heart and in the hearts of most people in Mucherla and around the world. I knew she was never going to come back but her memories will be carried in my heart for the rest of my life. Each and every memory was a life giving memory to me. She taught me how to transform a destructive memory into a life giving memory. Granny’s leaving this world was a great setback in my life but her values of life will transform me into a fine young man and a human being. She taught me the meaning of life, attitude and gratitude. I hold Granny’s memories, teachings, her effort, her affection in the depth of my heart, soul and mind.
She is physically far away from me but spiritually she is always in my heart, mind and soul. She left a note to Grandpa at the time of leaving this world which said “take care of David and walk beside him.” That meant how much she loved me and cared about me. That’s why I say “HAD THERE BEEN NO GRANNY THERE WOULD NO DAVID” today. I chose a new name, David about a year before Granny died. I would still be Ch. Ramulu, who would be a common field worker making 60 rupees a day. She continues to be a great role model in my life. I love Granny and miss her very much. Her NINE RULES OF LIFE are: Be Kind, Be courteous, Do your best, Be honest, Respect yourself, Be happy, Accept responsibility, Thank God and Dream big. These rules help us remember Granny’s values of life and her intention to develop the poor and downtrodden.
Grandpa carried on with Granny’s aims and objectives for the school and children of Mucherla Global School. Grandpa followed the path of Granny and started educating a lot of students in Institute of Global Education. Now IGE has produced a lot of graduates in different branches of education. I am one of the graduates in the IGE program. I am the first one in my family to go on to university and get educated. My family is proud of me and thankful to grandpa and supporters of IGE. They are also thankful to Granny. I am the seed that was sown by Granny. My family members are very happy to see me grow into a good human being with good education.
Grandpa is one of the closest persons in my life with whom I discuss my personal feelings and sorrows. He understands me very well and always stands beside me. Later on Grandpa started educating me with the best education I could get in Vijayawada. Vijayawada is a well known place for good education. Grandpa made arrangements for me to go Vijayawada to pursue my plus one and two of intermediate at Annapurna Memorial Modern Academy College.
Vijayawada is a city that is about 150 kilometers from Mucherla. Modern Academy is a well know college in sought India for commerce. There were 60 students in my class. All of my friends were very kind to me. They respected students coming from faraway places. We had five subjects they were Commerce, Economics, Civics, Sanskrit and English. I was very good all the subjects. My favourite subjects were Commerce and Civics. I was extremely good in Commerce and Civics and I was good at other languages too. I successfully completed my intermediate with 80 percentage marks in 2004-06. Later on Grandpa helped me to pursue my Bachelor Degree in Commerce from Nagarjuna University. We had 120 students in our class. So our class was always crowded with a lot of students. I had a lot of problem with solving income tax problems. Three years of my Bachelor degree went on like 3 days. I had a great time at the college. I was successful in getting a Bachelor Degree in Commerce in 2008.
I am the first graduate in my entire family. No one in my family ever went to school except me and my brother. My brother is three years younger than me and has the same opportunity for an education that I had. This is a great and a successful adventure for my family. They do not understand what I have studied but they can understand that I got better education. Grandpa made me successful in my studies who gave respect to the values of Granny.
Grandpa sent me to a peace conference in Jaipur on November 9, 2008. Grandpa said I may have to fly to Jaipur and Mom Eleanor said the same. I started feeling excited and very nervous. I finally got on the plane in Hyderabad. I felt very nervous until the plane took off. It was the most wonderful experience in my life. It was my first flight experience on a plane. I thank Grandpa and Mom Eleanor for making this happen. I also thank my family members for being supportive. It was a successful trip to Jaipur. I got an opportunity to deliver a speech at the conference. I was very nervous and was sweating before I gave the speech. I delivered a two minute speech at the gathering on nonviolence. I basically said that we should not harm other living creatures, either mentally or physically.
I went on to Delhi on my way back home. I visited lots of places in Delhi. The cost of living in Delhi is very high. I learned about different cultures and different places. The trip gave me a lot of experience and I got an opportunity to think broadly about the world. This was a great experience for me to compare the place where I was born to the place I have been. Grandpa made it possible for me to go to the conference and experience different things across India. Grandpa introduced a lot of good people to me like Mom Eleanor, Uncle Peter, Dorothy Grandma, Alida Amamma, Vera, Guadelupe and others.
Mom Eleanor was known to me as Eleanor first. Later I saw a special insight in her that transformed me to call her as Mom. Mom Eleanor helped me when I was up North. She is a wonderful person that Grandpa introduced to me. I have a special place for her in my heart. She is special to me in many ways. I was very happy to see Mom Eleanor and Uncle Peter in India. My family members felt happy to see them visit our home. I feel bonded with their love and affection. I love my mother and father for their support on their behalf.
I thank Grandpa very much for introducing me a lot of extraordinary good people around the world. I lived with Grandpa for most of my life. I lived with Grandpa for 13 years. I spent many more years with Grandpa than my family. The World Service Association in Canada tried to get me to Canada but unfortunately my visa application was denied. Alida Amamma, Dorothy Grandma, Vera, Guadelupe and others put a lot of effort into it but it was in vain at least for now. We were all disappointed but I know that is not the end of life. There is a lot to do and lot to experience. Everyone gave me moral support not to worry about the past event and they all encouraged me for better future. We have not given up the idea we are exploring other visa possibilities including Canada.
While the waiting is going on and future plans are being developed, I am working full time as Grandpa’s assistant and director of the scholarship program. (Written in December 08)
The second speech David gave was as a participant in the 2009 international AGM telephone conference of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Global Education. David has the natural ability to present himself articulately to an audience. As a grieving 12 year old he delivered a moving eulogy, which no one was allowed to see beforehand, at the funeral services for his beloved Granny. Now here is David, who stole our hearts.
David’s Presentation at the AGM of the Institute of Global Education
(the meeting was conducted by international tele-conference)
This is David, aka Ramulu. I thank Grandpa for giving me an opportunity to be a part of annual IGE board meeting. Granny would be very happy to know that I am in the board meeting. She is a role model in my life. I would not be in the meeting if she had not been there and supported me. I am thankful to Granny and I pray that Granny continues to shower her blessings from above.
I would like to share some of my past experience at Mucherla Global School. I was a student of Granny for nearly seven years. One of the important social factors that Granny tried to abolish was difference between students belonging to upper castes and lower castes. She was very successful in helping all the students treat each other with love and courtesy. The sad part is Granny reached the Lord in the new millennium. I cannot digest the fact that next January it will be ten years since her death. I believe that her love will be always with us. She is in my heart and in my activities.
The problem of caste still continues in the village and other parts of India. We really had a very good environment at the school where we treated each other like brothers and sisters. We were never influenced by any kind of social factors like the caste, color, or gender. I belong to a backward caste. I still face some problems outside of my caste but never did when I was in school. The atmosphere that we were provided at the school was peaceful and helpful to every student. I thank Granny for teaching us the best ideals of life. I spoke no other language than my mother tongue Telugu. Today I can speak three different languages. That is one of the big differences in my life.
I thank Grandpa for his support to Granny and the school. I have seen Grandpa carrying the work ahead for all these years with your support. Grandpa saw me grow as a child to an adult and he will see me grow into a fine young man working for good. I have lived with Grandpa longer than with my parents or my family. I am treated as his own grandson. I always treat him as my grandfather.
I would like to share my experiences in Jaipur and Delhi with you all. Grandpa got an invitation from the Anuvrath Global Organization (ANUVIBHA) in association with Jain Vishva Bharat Ladnum inviting him to attend the 7th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action.
Grandpa had been invited to the conference as a keynote speaker but thought it would be interesting and beneficial for me to attend instead of him and give me more experience and develop my leadership qualities. So he asked me to attend the meeting which was going to be held in Jaipur which is the capital city of Rajasthan. Jaipur is also known as the pink city because most of the buildings are pink. I took a flight from Hyderabad to Jaipur. This was the very first flight in my life. It was really exciting and made me very nervous at the beginning. Grandpa, my brothers, and some of the boys from scholarship program saw me off at the airport. It was really nice to be seen off as it was my first flight trip.
I attended the three day conference called International Dialogue on Evolving a New Model of Nonviolent Lifestyle for Universal Peace and Sustainability from 10th to12th of November. The special guest for the first meeting was HE SK Singh, the governor of Rajasthan. Acharya Mahapragya is a Jain and was one of the important persons at the meeting. He was one of those who are trying to promote global peace. The governor presided over Global Vision of Sustainable Development Youth as a Role Model for Nonviolent Lifestyle. He delivered a very good speech on nonviolent actions. In fact, he said the change starts from one person and that will lead to the change to many other people. Many VIP's delivered their valuable speeches on nonviolence. This went on for two and half days.
The former president, Mr. A.P. Abdul Kalam, attended the meeting of the 13th. I was really waiting for this day so that I can see a great scientist and great personality. Mr. Kalam came inside the conference around 3.30 p.m. He gave a great speech on peace and nonviolence action. He said “If you can reduce the pain of one person in one month then we can automatically transform this world into a peaceful world”. At the end, I shook his hand and there were a lot of people pushing around to see him. The former President of India helped make the conference successful. A lot of people were inspired by his speech.
I made a short speech to the conference. I said that I respect all the religions equally. I spoke about nonviolence against all living creatures. It was my first speech before a large group of people and I was very nervous at first. After I began speaking, I was okay and my nervousness vanished. The conference was a great success and it helped me to think more broadly and follow nonviolence. Grandpa and Mom Eleanor helped through all the processes. On my way back home, I flew to Delhi and visited a lot of places in Delhi.
I was a little disappointed that I was unable to meet Uncle Peter’s cousin in Delhi. I was very disappointed that I did not get a visa to Canada. Everyone in Canada and Grandpa put a lot of effort and a lot of resources into this but in vain. Grandpa gave me training and a lot of support here in India. I will never lose hope and see myself in Canada someday for further training.
Working for IGE is a wonderful opportunity for me. This is what I wanted to do and have been preparing to do for a very long time. Now is the time for me to work for IGE. Grandpa taught me a lot of leadership qualities, right behavior, and good administrative techniques. Grandpa taught me accounting, which is very important to keep track of the money, and too keep close records of IGE. I earned the degree Bachelor of Commerce. IGE has achieved great success in educating students, including me, and instilling good moral values.
Working for IGE is a great pleasure and responsibility for me. Granny’s nine rules and Grandpa’s hard work helps the students to mould their lives. You have given me a wonderful education and a wonderful life. I thank Grandpa for his continuing care, support and direction for me. I know very well the chance for a good and rich life that you have given me. Just as there would be no David without Granny there would be no future for David without Grandpa and you. I hold the future in my hands because of your love, support, guidance and caring. I look forward to serving others as you have served me so I can to give back that which I have been given. I hold in my heart the love and trust that has been given to me. I offer my love and service in return.
INSTITUTE OF GLOBAL EDUCATION
13402 Cypress Lane, Athens AL 35613
The goal of the Institute of Global Education is to educate those who desire to participate in a world where peace is a way of life. Individuals will be empowered to cultivate an attitude of world citizenship where international thinking is the norm. We live in a world of abundance in which we need to improve our skills for accomplishing the changes needed to correct inequities and shortages. Students and participants will develop the abilities to promote food sufficiency, reverse environmental degradation, mentor social justice, and maximize self realization within the global community.
The Institute for Global Education incorporated December 12, 1980. Non profit status was granted March 1, 1984 under USA 501(c)(3) regulations. Radio For Peace International was created November 2, 1985. The Institute nurtured the international shortwave radio station, broadcasting from Costa Rica, until it became an independent corporation on April 9, 1992.
The Institute of Global Education was granted status at the United Nations in 1998 as an “NGO in Special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations”. The Institute has permanent Representatives at United Nations Headquarters in New York and in Geneva. Efforts are made to strengthen and empower the United Nations to fulfill its global mission.
Since June 2004, concentration has been on the College Scholarship Fund. Through donations and sponsorships this fund assures education for those deserving and financially-in-need students tenth level and beyond who would otherwise be unable to go to college. Many are from families where they are the first to go to college. For these students education is their only access to a real future.
The Institute also conducts courses (credits may be granted through cooperating universities) through the Department of Integrated Ecopsychology. Dr. Michael Cohen, Director, holds workshops throughout the USA and has interactive classes on the internet as part of distance learning. His work is widely recognized.
The Institute has published several significant books including the award winning Connecting with Nature: Creating Moments that Let Nature Teach, Well Mind Well Earth, Reconnecting with Nature, and Einstein’s World all by Dr. Michael Cohen. Dr. Richard Schneider wrote In Search of Rainbows and In Search of Rainbows II and III, which have been translated into Telugu, and most recently (2006) The Collected Works: In Search of Rainbows.
The Institute held several Peace and the Planet Symposiums including Native Wisdom, Natives Rights and Mother Earth and Belonging to Mother Earth: Indigenous Wisdom and Healing that brought together indigenous leaders and lay people from around the world.
DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
The Institute of Global Education has created a learning experience that is global, experiential, Holistic and sustainable. So as to provide accessibility to all peoples, a pragmatic, individualized approach is used for determining prerequisites for study.
Through the World Core Curriculum the Institute offers a dynamic quality to education in a universal sense. Training and leadership are provided to those with interest but without the means or resources to access leading theory and strategies of emerging global unity.
Students become teachers and teachers become students. The Institute has created a cooperative process that emphasizes the nurturing of relationships, both inner-personal and inter-personal. Opportunities are provided for one-on-one situations and for the integration of skills on a collective, global level. A variety of internships are available for on-site experience. Attention is placed on learning effective skills for empowered global citizenship through local community activity.
The values that the Institute of Global Education teaches and the issues which its organizational format addresses are summarized in these words of Dr. Schneider, “Education is a potent force in shaping values and in harmonizing the forces of tradition and innovation. Educational efforts must be on a global basis and we must all come to think and act as world citizens.”
The Institute of Global Education aids in the development of thinkers, prepared as world citizens, to make constructive and peaceful contributions to the betterment of the planet and the human condition. Today, the future of the planet and life as we know it depends on the transformation of current thinking and behavior. Developing higher consciousness as the core foundation is an effective way to create the changes needed. The entire process is non-discriminatory, inclusive and eclectic.
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
Dr. F. Richard Schneider has served the Institute of Global Education since its inception in 1980. Previously, he served and/or directed government agencies and private social service organizations in many settings. Dr. Schneider initiated innovative and far reaching programs for children and youth and nurtured development of global projects with indigenous peoples. He has taught at the university level and has extensive experience in curriculum development and program management. He has developed and directed numerous symposiums and international conferences. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute.
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