Clifton Shipway – Maxton Strong School, Uttarakhand
An Australian by birth, Clifton Shipway came to India with his family to take care of The Good Shepherd
Agricultural Mission an orphanage which was started by his Grandfather.
He wears a lot of hats here. He is not only the Deputy Director of the GSAM but also the Chairman of the Maxton Strong School and heads up the administration for the entire organization. His background is in computer programming so he also manages the web presence for both orphanage and school.
Talking about his journey of thirteen years he says, “I was only 19 then, and it was a very difficult time. The Mission was in a terrible state; both the children and the property were not being cared for.
”He states that since there was no formal schooling for the children, there was a definite need in the local area for a good English medium school so they got to work.
He fondly mentions, “Over the last thirteen years, I’ve gotten married, had three sons, and have done my best to make this small corner of the world a little bit better every day.”While these activities keep me busy, they are just necessary functions that need doing to support the real work, which is loving the 75 children in our care says Mr Clifton.
“Playing, talking, teaching, parenting are my daily passion and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
When asked about how unique is the model / framework of The Maxton Strong School as an educational institution he says, “The school itself is unique in several ways. For one, in addition to our high-quality English-medium school, we offer it at a reduced fee so all children in the area, regardless of income level, can afford to attend.
These outside fees allow us to provide free education to our orphanage children while also fully funding our teacher salaries and school operating expenses. As a result, the Maxton Strong School is completely self-supporting, helping the overall Mission reach its goal of complete self-sustainability.”
About Indian Orphanage: The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission was founded by Clifton’s grandfather in 1948, shortly after Indian Independence. The primary focus of the Orphanage is the care of orphaned children. Apart from this, they also operate a 60-acre farm, a dairy, welding and carpentry workshops, a leper colony and a sewing centre for local women.
More than just a home that provides shelter, food and clothing for needy kids, they pride themselves on being a family, full of fun and laughter, where childhood is not simply a stage to go through, but a time to enjoy.
He points out, “Whether we’re throwing our annual Summer Games program which fills the summer holiday with 30 days of games and new experiences, or white water rafting, or camping in the jungle, our goal is not simply to raise children, but to fire their imaginations, to inspire them to explore and to see each of them reach their fullest potential.”
He proudly says,”Our success is measured in the success of our kids. And over the past 70 years, we’ve raised quite a large family.
Knowing the hopeless, dangerous situations many of these children began their lives with, it fills us with pride to see them thriving in careers, owning homes, raising happy families, and just being well-adjusted young men and women. In fact, every time a new child arrives and we have the opportunity to lift them up, there is no better feeling in the world! Aside from being a job, it is a great honour to do this work. I consider myself privileged.”
He requests all to get involved with the orphaned children. If not with them, than with any sincere, accountable organization. He states that in India alone, there are an estimated 22 million children categorized as orphans with a further estimated 153 million children worldwide! With this kind or need and crisis, there is enough work for all of us to do.
Please visit www.indianorphanage.com and look around. They always have current projects underway or reach out to him directly with any questions. He affectionately says, “There is always room in our family for one more.”
For more info:
Rev. Clifton Shipway
The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission
Uttarakhand, India 262310