Darjeeling, India and Atlanta, Georgia are literally on opposite sides of the world. There are 8,204 miles, the entire Atlantic Ocean, and a seventeen hour flight between the two locations. Here at The Learning Tea, we bring the heart of India to The Big Peach. Located in the Candler Park neighborhood is a quirky little cafe and tea room called Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party.
This cafe, while unique in appearance and known for it's extensive tea selection, is also noteworthy because of its mission to help support young women scholars in Darjeeling, India. Katrell Christie, a co-owner of Dr. Bombay's, visited India in 2009 to work on a service project to help women in Hyderabad, a city in south India, sell handicrafts at the local market. During her trip, she visited an orphanage in Darjeeling and met three young women who were set to age out of their living situation and education program within the next year once they each turned sixteen. Christie felt moved and she vowed to help them in any way that she could. She returned to Atlanta and began to raise money to support the budding scholars.
After six months, Katrell returned with the funds needed to help the ladies rent an apartment and finance the next year of their educations. Since then, her little act of kindness of has grown into The Learning Tea's life scholarship program. The scholarship program currently supports nine scholars in Darjeeling by covering all expenses including school tuition, food, clothing, medical bills, life necessities, music lessons, tutoring, computer classes, extracurricular activities, and student housing in a safe and stable dormitory environment. The scholars are required to maintain high grades, volunteer in the local community for ten hours each month, and live in the programs provided housing. Since The Learning Tea's inception, two of our scholars have successfully graduated from college and seven are currently working towards completing their degrees in fields such as political science and medicine.
The Learning Tea's program is an ongoing effort and we rely on support from our local community to help them thrive. We have several avenues by which people may get involved or donate to the not-for-profit. For starters, we host A Taste of India Dinner on the last Monday of each month at 6:30 pm at Dr.Bombay's. The evening includes a three course Indian meal and and exciting raffle! All proceeds from the evening go back to the scholarship program. Come spend a few hours of your time on Monday night to support a great cause while also having a good time!
Other ways to support The Learning Tea include:
- Stop in to Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party for coffee, tea, snacks, or High Tea. A portion of the proceeds from the shop are reserved for supporting our scholars.
- Purchasing jewelry, t-shirts, Darjeeling tea packs, and the $1 books available in the shop.
- Donating used books
- Donate directly to the program through our online store or at Dr. Bombay's.
Please support our cause at the upcoming A Taste of India dinner, Monday, June 29th at 6:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased in our online store or at Dr. Bombay's. We hope to see you there!
- Mariam Hanna, for The Learning Tea