Hope Academy Vizag
BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW:
Anand and Rosie Thandu left solid careers and the “American dream” in the SF Bay Area to uplift
orphaned children in their hometown of Visakhapatnam (aka Vizag), India. For more than fourteen
years, they have been providing life-changing care to some of India’s poorest orphans and street
children through the Children of Faith Missions (COFM) children’s home. But the public and
private schools they hoped would educate their children were unacceptable and left them longing
for more. With no acceptable alternatives in the area, Anand and Rosie started their own innovative
school within the orphanage. . . with demonstrably outstanding outcomes for the children.
Hope Academy—an independent entity also conceived of and led by Anand and Rosie—was
founded to demonstrate a K-10 school could exist that is financially viable, self-sustaining and
provides a high-quality, transformative education for India’s children—including some of its
poorest children. By doing so, Anand and Rosie seek to vastly improve educational outcomes and
employability of these precious and promising (yet incredibly vulnerable) children. Teaming with
hundreds of supporters in the US, Anand and Rosie intend to provide every student—irrespective of
caste or background—with a life-changing education that builds a foundation for them to achieve
their highest potential and discover the joy and fruits of their individual callings.
To sustainably bring transformative, world-class education to ultra-poor children in India.
What problem is being solved?
After 70 years of independence, India remains beset by gravely dysfunctional problems with its
educational system. Modern education in India continues to rely heavily and excessively on rote
memorization rather than on fostering comprehension, critical thinking and problem solving.
Both nationwide and locally, approximately fifty-one percent of children in grade 5 cannot read a
grade-2-level text; fifty percent of students in grade 5 cannot do subtraction. Twenty percent of
children in grade 2 cannot recognize numbers 1 to 9. A preponderance of ultra-poor children drop
out and join the child labor market (including sex trafficking) during elementary school. While
some progress must be acknowledged, girls still face grievously unequal opportunities for
education. The schooling of street children and orphans is—in effect—forgotten.
The literacy rate in Anand and Rosie’s State of Andhra Pradesh is approximately 10 percent below
the national rate. (Census data for AP from the year 2011 shows a male literacy rate of 76% and a
female literacy rate of 60%.)
How are we solving it?
Hope Academy is tapping into an essentially unlimited market of emerging middle-class parents
who are willing to work hard, sacrifice and pay to provide a good education for their children.
Our educational strategy focuses improving educational outcomes and employability within an
Indian context: It includes providing state-of-the-art methods to enhance comprehension, creativity,
critical thinking, problem solving and English language skills while actively measuring student and
• Prepared and validated a solid Business Plan. (see http://www.hopeacademyindia.com/wpcontent/
• Activated people with top skills in education, architecture and engineering, business,
governance, philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility.
• Employed accountable, better-trained, innovative teachers; introduced inquiry-based and
project-based learning; actively monitored academic progress; trained teachers and students
in the use of best-of-class, appropriate educational technologies; delivered adaptive and
personalized learning experiences; provided professional development by experienced
English-speaking master teachers; limited student/teacher ratios to ~25:1 (rather than the
locally commonplace 40:1 to 60:1).
• Orphanage school students have continued an unbroken record of 100 percent graduation
rates, outstanding scores on 10th class CBSE Board Exams, as well as high performance in
pre-University, University, Technical School and workplace environments.
This non-profit school will admit children from all faith groups, ethnicities and Scheduled Castes.
Tuition-paying students will sustainably fund school operations as well as fund scholarships for
children who otherwise would be trapped in poverty. While Hope Academy is organized in
accordance with Christian philosophic assumptions, services and benefits are most assuredly not
contingent on adherence to a particular faith. More to the point, Hope Academy’s purpose is to
educate children, not to indoctrinate or convert them. We firmly believe that freedom of conscience
is owed to children at least as much as it is owed to adults. We hold to historic Christian values,
which gave rise to many of the exemplary principles and practices found in global education today.
Among these we include: love and respect for others (and especially children) regardless of race,
gender, or creed; forgiveness; generosity; responsibility; and ethical behavior. Overall, schools that
have Christian roots are the most highly sought after in India—primarily because they are
recognized as having the finest academics in the land.
Why are we qualified?
We are empowering trustworthy, proven, well-educated, high-capacity, indigenous leaders in India.
(Anand: BS, Chem. E.; MBA CSU East Bay; Rosie: BS Computer Science with Highest Honors,
CSU East Bay; currently enrolled in M Ed program). Hope Academy is a locally driven project that
is run by Indian leaders. Westerners are providing guidance and tools for excellent organizational
governance, accountability and transparency, and are sharing innovative educational methods and
Moreover, we are qualified because we are partnering with individuals and institutions that possess
the required skills that our leadership team lacks, such as:
• Stanford University Graduate School of Education (https://gse-it.stanford.edu/smile)
• Engineering Ministries International (http://www.emi2.org , http://www.emiusa.org)
• The Barnabas Group of the SF Bay Area (http://sf-bay-area.barnabasgroup.org)
• Teach Beyond (http://teachbeyond.org)
• New Horizons Foundation (https://newhorizonsfoundation.com)
What is the urgency?
India needs bold, innovative solutions to its educational crisis. Now. India especially needs
audacious solutions that are at least potentially sustainable and scalable. And India especially needs
solutions that are inclusive of its most disadvantaged children.
We are trying an approach that is bold, innovative, well-conceived and (financially, educationally
and architecturally) peer reviewed . We have an extremely talented and committed leadership team
involved—both in the US and in India. This team has access to the technology, capital, skills and
resources to bring sustainable educational solutions to address one of the biggest social challenges
of our time. The model that we describe in our Business Plan (please see
uploads/2017/04/HopeAcademy_BusinessPlan_Dec_31_2016_V3_opt.pdf ) might apply
to a number of regions of India that have reached a particular threshold stage of economic
By partnering with Hope Academy, you can engage in transforming lives in one of the most
impoverished countries—destined to become the most populous in the world—through giving hope
and a future to its children. It is an investment that will touch families, workplaces, communities
and a nation for generations to come.
Start Date: ---
End Date: 30 April 2019