Businesswoman, philanthropist, and Founder and CEO of Christel House International, Christel DeHaan, was honored with the inaugural “Indiana Ratna” (Jewel of Indiana) award at the 1st annual “Indiana India Celebrating Our Impact Gala”. Hundreds of guests, including current and past mayors of Indianapolis, the Governor of Indiana, business leaders and friends, and family attended the event.
Christel DeHaan receives the “Indiana Ratna” for her efforts with Slum Children in India
Speaking about the honorary award Mr. Raju Chinthala, Founder & President of the Indiana India Business Council says, “Christel DeHaan has been a trailblazer in creating a bridge between Indiana and India. She has shown leadership during her business career, her support of the arts, and her philanthropic vision of helping impoverished children through Christel House, transforming their lives and breaking the cycle of poverty. She is the perfect recipient for the very first Indiana Ratna award.”
Christel House, India is currently educating over 1,700 children through their Bengaluru and Naya-Raipur Learning Centers. Over 500 students have successfully graduated from Christel House India and are now either pursuing higher education with Christel House’s financial support or are employed at reputed organizations, across the world.
Commenting on receiving this prestigious award, Christel DeHaan, Founder and CEO, of Christel House International said, “The children of India have a very special place in my heart. The country and its people hold extraordinary promise and both Christel House and the IIBC contribute in unleashing their potential. Our two organizations work to foster mutual understanding. I am honored to be recognized with the Indiana Ratna award, and proud that Christel House has been part of nurturing this relationship between India and Indiana.”
“It is wonderful to see the connections being formed between India and Indiana. And IIBC could not have picked a better recipient for the Indiana Ratna Award than Christel DeHaan – a philanthropist from Indiana who is changing the lives of several hundreds of impoverished children in India, giving wings to their dreams and its multiplying impact will benefit generations to come.” said Jasion C. Mathew, CEO, Christel House India.
Christel House India, a secular Not-for-Profit, strives to help underprivileged children break the vicious cycle of poverty through high quality education, nutrition and healthcare model. Through this initiative, they are not only transforming the lives of the impoverished children, but also creating a multiplier effect by helping them uplift the whole family and the community at large, ensuring upward Social Mobility.
About Christel House
Christel House was established in 1998 with a mission to transform the lives of impoverished children, breaking the cycle of poverty to build self-sufficient, contributing members of society. The organization was founded by Christel DeHaan, a businesswoman, philanthropist and supporter of the arts. Christel House has learning centers around the world with two schools in India – Bangalore and Naya Raipur; one school in Mexico City; one in Cape Town – South Africa; and four schools in Indianapolis, Indiana. A ninth school will open in Jamaica in 2019. The Christel House model focuses on the “whole child”, providing rigorous K -12 education, strong character development, health care and nutrition, family assistance, and guidance & financial support through College & Careers for University education. The Christel House model works. 98% of Christel House students pass graduation exams and 94% of graduates continue studying or are gainfully employed. Christel House graduates have the skills and competencies necessary to compete successfully in complex 21st Century society. Christel House graduates are sought-after employees, successfully employed by local and international companies.
About Indiana India Business Council
The Indiana India Business Council (IIBC) is a leading Indiana business organization promoting trade and investments between Indiana and India.
For more information, please visit www.myiibc.org/.