STEP International humbly began in one of the Northern states of India as a Christian-based (evangelical) non-profit organization. The name STEP originated from a desire to meet the socio-physical and spiritual needs of the people in the region. Specifically, S.T.E.P. has a vision to positively impact the lives of the local Society by bringing positive Transformation, Education, and practical and hopeful means for social mobility and Progress to the region.
STEP was born from an initial two-week summer practical ministry where eight seminary students visited a village in Northern India. While stationed there, the students taught local children songs and told stories containing moral lessons. Additionally, they travelled to 20-30 surrounding isolated tribal villages by foot and bicycle where they discovered staggering needs and were compelled to hold prayer walks throughout the streets
Every year since 2003, Abhijit Nayak, one of the founders, has led a team of students to these villages to continue the work among the destitute and downtrodden.
After much thought, prayer, and the help of indigenous and like-minded leaders, STEP was registered as a non-profit in India.
The STEP office began running out of a mud hut in a remote village in India and began projects such as forming children’s clubs in the remote villages, providing relief work during flooding and natural disasters, and developing medical camps with the help of local people using local resources.
Land was purchased in one of the villages to establish a more permanent home for STEP. A guest house and office building was constructed and the first sewing training center was inaugurated on this campus in November 2012. The first sewing training successfully impacted 35 women.
The East India Native Pastors Network was formed in March 2013 as a grass-roots effort focused on empowering, equipping and providing resources to indigenous Christian workers. About 120 indigenous workers from Odisha, West Bengal and Assam participated in this network.
The first residential program (8 months) was launched in February 2014 to train and aid women victims of violence under the banner “Esther Women’s Network”. Twenty-five women registered in the initial training program.
A formal educational wing was launched in March 2016 to serve and educate less fortunate children from impoverished areas of India. 40 students registered for the first 2016-2017 academic year. To expand individual, church, and organizational partnerships in North America and further the gospel-focused holistic ministries in South Asian countries (India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar), STEP International was registered as a Society (S-0065184) in British Columbia, Canada in 2016 and in the United States of America as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2017.
2018 & Beyond
STEP International focuses to make a positive impact in South Asian countries. The vision for STEP is clearer—and bigger—than ever: to serve the poor and suffering women and children of Northern India in a way that provides hope and healing.
Here are some plans for our future:
- Educate 1000 children from destitute and down trodden communities through formal and non-formal educational programs in South Asia.
- Equip and empower 500 women through life-skills (sewing, computer education) and counselling training programs.
- Train and resource 500 indigenous grass-roots to mobilize unreached places and plant churches in South Asia.
- Provide safe and clean water by drilling 200 pump wells in South Asia.