Tag Archives: India

Heartfelt Gratitude from India

Thanks to donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund, our affiliated projects in India are able to provide food and hygiene items to children to take home to their families.

Like many countries around the world, COVID-19 infection cases have risen in India despite a strict lockdown that began in late March and was partially lifted at the end of May. Currently, India is the fourth worst-hit nation in the world behind the United States, Brazil, and Russia — and the worst-hit Asian country to date.

In India, most of our affiliations are group homes for children, in which they live throughout the year. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown, the children and their families are at home and receiving food, hygiene items, clothes, and any other necessities, as they cope with the situation.

We recently heard from our volunteer coordinator at the J. Calvitt Clarke Home in Dornakal, India regarding the support we have provided to children in our program at this time.

“Dear Children Incorporated,

Thanks to donations from our supports, families in India are receiving much-needed food.

The parents of the children [in the Children Incorporated Program] were happy to receive the given items to support their daily bread in the middle of this time. We have distributed items such as rice, oil, onions, and soap to the families, among other food items, and the beneficiaries convey their heartfelt thanks to the organization for the support.”

About India

 From the snowcapped Himalayans to tropical beaches, India is truly a nation of contrasts. It boasts a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years. In fact, the earliest known civilization in South Asia once called India’s fertile Indus Valley home. Today, with the world’s second-largest population, India includes a staggering variety of ethnicities, languages, religions and cultures. Its wealth of natural resources and vibrant cultures, however, belie the abject poverty in which so many of India’s citizens live.

Our affiliated projects

Like many countries around the world, COVID-19 infection cases have risen in India despite a strict lockdown that began in late March and was lifted at the end of May.

Auxilium School
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

 Founded in 1981 and run by members of the Salesian Sisters, Auxilium School provides the poorest children of the Guntur slums — as well as children from surrounding rural areas — with shelter, nutrition and education. As a caring sponsor, you are coming alongside these dedicated Sisters and providing these students with the hope, education and opportunity they need to rise above the difficult socio-economic circumstances from which they come.

Parikrma Home
Bangalore, India

The Parikma Home was founded in 2003 as an extension of the Parikrma Humanity Foundation, a local nonprofit that strives to provide education to over 1000 children from slum neighborhoods across Bangalore. This “end-to-end” program serves children from the youngest ages all the way through to higher education and job placement. The home’s four core areas of focus are Education, Nutrition, Health Care, and Family Care. Its mission is to “unleash the potential of under-served children in urban India, which will provide them with equal opportunities and make them valuable contributing members of society.” Children who stay at the home receive their education at one of the nonprofit’s four “Centers of Learning” schools.

English Medium School and Hostel
Dornakal, Andhra Pradesh, India

Situated within the Cathedral compound in Dornakal, the English Medium School is run by the Church of South India. It offers impoverished children of this region shelter, nutrition and education.

St. Mary’s Girls’ Hostel
Khamman, Telangana, India

The St. Mary’s Girls’ Hostel boarding school was open in 1980 with a mission to address the poverty facing many of the families in this community. The hostel serves as a safe haven where these deserving young women receive immediate, basic needs, a well-rounded education, and the opportunity to reach for a better future.

Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel
Yadagiri, Karnataka, India

The Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel provides boarding, nutrition, and a quality education for area girls who come from impoverished families. Here, these deserving young women receive the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult circumstances they face.

Dornakal Girls’ Hostel
Dornakal, Andhra Pradesh, India

Since its founding in the 1970s, the Dornakal Girls’ Hostel has provided countless girls from surrounding tribal settlements with education, encouragement, and a window into the outside world. Its mission remains to provide for these deserving girls’ immediate needs, while also investing in their future.

Kothagudem Girls’ Home
Kothagudem, Andhra Pradesh, India

Located in Andhra Pradesh, India, the Church of South India established the Kothagudem Girls’ Home to provide underprivileged girls basic needs along with a well-rounded education with the support of Children Incorporated sponsors.

Grace Aaron Childcare Center
Burgampahad, India

 Founded by the Church of South India, the Grace Aaron Childcare Center provides shelter, nutrition and educational support for girls from the region’s poorest families. In this way — and with your support — the  Grace Aaron Childcare Center offers these deserving young women the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances.

Thanks to donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund, our affiliated projects in India are able to provide food and hygiene items to children to take home to their families.

Chandrakal Boarding Home
Chandrakal, Telangana, India

Founded in 1950 by American missionary Lillian Woodbridge, the Chandrakal Boarding Home has provided education for thousands of impoverished children, many of whom have since made valuable contributions to their towns and villages in the fields of education, medicine and commerce. Due to the severe poverty in this area, most of the children’s parents are unable to pay tuition each month. Knowing that contributing to their child’s education gives the parents a great sense of pride, the home accepts whatever the parents can afford, and sponsorship helps to cover the rest, along with other basic needs.

J. Calvitt Clarke Home
Dornakal, Telangana, India

Named in honor of the father of Children Incorporated-founder Jeanne Clarke Wood, the J. Calvitt Clarke Home serves impoverished children in this region by providing for their basic, immediate needs while also investing in their futures by way of a well-rounded education.

 Durgi Home
Durgi, Andhra Pradesh, India

 Originally established by the Catholic Diocese of Guntur in 1982, the Durgi Home began as a health center; ten years later, it expanded to include a boarding home, which provides area children with a place to stay while attending local schools. In 1998, brothers and sisters of the Order of the Sacred Heart opened a school nearby to further benefit the children of this community.

Stambalagaruvu Boys’ Home
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Founded in 2010, the Stambalagaruvu Boys’ Home provides the poorest children of the Guntur slums and children from surrounding rural areas with shelter, nutrition, and education.

***

Emerging on the Other Side

We recently heard from our affiliated project, the Parikrma Home, in India, wanting to let us know how grateful they are for the support from our sponsors and donors. Recently sent funds to the project are being used to purchase food for children and families in need who otherwise would go hungry during this challenging time. The Parikrma Home is also providing school assignments for children to do at home so they can keep up with their studies during school closures.

Today we hear from Anuradha Roy Chowdhury, Head of Operations of the Parikrma Home, about their work in India during the COVID-19 crisis.

Hope for the future in India

Today we hear from Anuradha Roy Chowdhury, Head of Operations of the Parikrma Home, about their work in India during the COVID-19 crisis:

“In the middle of this bizarre COVID pandemic, I have found much to be thankful for. Over the last three weeks, our donors have overwhelmed us – not just with the generosity of their contributions, but also with the faith that they have reposed in us. It is this faith and trust that keeps us going in our objective of ensuring that our badly hit communities are somehow able to survive this time and emerge on the other side, to take up their lives as best as possible. Beyond the financial support, many of our donors have even reached out to us with their time – offering to help us with the actual distribution of the dry rations in the schools, despite knowing the real possibility of being infected. We are very grateful.

Our alumni have been a revelation in the enthusiasm of their response to our call for help. They have reached out to us, some through financial donations and some through their unstinting work in the schools during the weekly distribution of the rations. Our alumni validate all our efforts over the years and make it all worthwhile.

Bags of food that have been packed for distribution.

As of April 20, 2020, we have distributed food rations and basic sanitation to over 1,802 children from 1,050 families and will be reaching out to our families residing in over 70 slums in Bengaluru. We have now started giving out lesson plans, worksheets, and storybooks to our children every time we do distribution of rations to the families. Our teachers have gone virtual too – working out strategies and means to reach out to our children in the slums.

Our donors and our alumni are our proverbial silver lining. The biggest THANK YOU is insufficient, but we would like to say it anyway.”

A note from the Founder

Shukla Bose, Founder of the Parikrma Home, shares her observations during this crisis.

“In spite of all our personal introspection, mindfulness, and self-awareness practices, it’s during moments of deep crisis that self-realization takes on a different dimension.”

READ THE FULL NEWSLETTER

***

How do I sponsor a child in India?

You can sponsor a child in India in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in India that is available for sponsorship.

A New Kitchen for the Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel in India

In many developing countries, food is often cooked over open fires in poorly ventilated kitchens. It is estimated that 3 billion people worldwide cook over an open flame, which releases toxic smoke that is dangerous to health and safety.

The new kitchen is safer for both children and staff members.

At one of our affiliated project, the Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel in India, the cooks prepared meals for the students in a small, dark one-room kitchen with only one small window that was continuously filled with thick smoke. The kitchen was badly in need of updating, but the administration did not have the necessary funds.

Thanks to our donors – just like you – Children Incorporated was able to renovate Lou Ann Long’s kitchen. New gas stoves with proper ventilation systems were installed, and modern sinks and updated windows and floors now provide more space, a cleaner environment, and natural light for the kitchen staff.

Thank you for all that you do to support projects like this in India and around the world!

***

How do I sponsor a child in India?

You can sponsor a child in India in one of three ways – call our office and speak with one of our sponsorship specialists at 1-800-538-5381, email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org, or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in India that is available for sponsorship.

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT CHILDREN INCORPORATED’S WORK IN INDIA?

From snowcapped Himalayans to tropical beaches, India is truly a nation of contrasts. It boasts a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years; the earliest known civilization in South Asia once called its fertile Indus Valley home. Today, with the world’s second-largest population, India comprises a staggering variety of ethnicities, languages, religions, and cultures. India’s wealth of natural resources and vibrant culture, however, belie the abject poverty in which so many of its citizens live.

HOW LONG CAN I SPONSOR A CHILD IN INDIA?

We hope that you will assist your sponsored child until he or she leaves our program. This may occur when a child graduates from high school, moves out of our service area, or for a variety of other reasons. Due to the transient state of many families and the difficult circumstances of the regions where they reside, we cannot predict or guarantee how long a child will remain enrolled in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, although we make every effort to provide services to children for as long as possible.

Thank you for all that you do to support projects like this in India and around the world!

When a child leaves our program, it is our policy to select another, equally needy child for you to sponsor, in the hope that you will accept sponsorship of the new child and continue to partner with us in changing lives. Unfortunately, we usually lose contact with children once they leave the sponsorship program (as we do not maintain personal addresses or contact information for any of the children). Even so, the positive impact of your generosity – both upon the individual child and upon his or her community – endures!

WILL I RECEIVE UPDATED INFORMATION FROM MY SPONSORED CHILD IN INDIA?

Yes. We will send you updated information and an updated photo about once a year, although the frequency may vary depending upon the child’s location. The typical progress report includes information about the child’s grade level in school, hobbies, and interests.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Our Mosquito Net Fund

In countries where Children Incorporated works, such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and India, children need mosquito nets to protect them from mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and dengue, so that they will be healthy enough to attend school.

Malaria infects around 250 million people worldwide each year – most of whom are children in Africa.

What is a mosquito net?

 A mosquito net is a mesh curtain that is draped over a bed or a sleeping area to offer protection against bites and stings from mosquitos, flies, and other pest insects, and the diseases they carry. Examples of such preventable insect-borne diseases include malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Zika virus and West Nile virus. Research has shown mosquito nets to be an extremely effective method of malaria prevention, averting approximately 663 million cases of malaria over the period 2000–2015.

To be effective, the mesh of the mosquito’s net must be fine enough to prevent insects from entering while still allowing visibility and ventilation. Mosquito netting can be hung over beds from the ceiling or a frame, built into tents, or installed in windows and doors. When hung over beds, however, rectangular nets provide more room for sleeping without the danger of the netting contacting skin, and allowing mosquitos to bite through the netting.

To further protect against mosquito bites, many nets, including those that Children Incorporated provides to children in our program, are pretreated with an appropriate insecticide or insect repellent. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been proven to reduce illness, severe complications, and death due to malaria.

Facts about Mosquito-borne illnesses:

– Malaria infects around 250 million people worldwide each year – most of whom are children in Africa.

– Malaria and dengue can result in death, unless detected and treated promptly.

– The most effective means of preventing malaria is to sleep under a mosquito net.

 

$10 provides a mosquito net for one child.

What we do

Each year, we purchase thousands of nets which we distribute to our sponsored and unsponsored children and their families, thanks to donations to our Mosquito Net Fund.

How to help

It is simple and very inexpensive to provide a child and his or her family members with life-saving mosquito nets. For as little as $10, you can purchase a mosquito net that will protect an impoverished child from mosquito-borne illnesses.

How can I donate to the Mosquito Net Fund?

You can contribute to our Mosquito Net Fund in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and donate to our Mosquito Net Fund.

MOSQUITO NET FUND

 

Involving Parents in Education in India

From snowcapped Himalayans to tropical beaches, India is truly a nation of contrasts. It boasts a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years. In fact, the earliest known civilization in South Asia once called India’s fertile Indus Valley home. Today, with the world’s second-largest population, India comprises a staggering variety of ethnicities, languages, religions, and cultures. India’s wealth of natural resources and vibrant cultures, however, belie the abject poverty in which so many of its citizens live.

We are very proud of the teachers, administrators, parents, and students at the Auxilium School, as well as of all of our affiliated projects that prioritize parental involvement.

About the Auxilium School

The city of Guntur in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is no exception to these maladies. Within this rice-producing region, susceptible to crop-destroying flooding and droughts, thousands of field laborers earn very low wages.  Due to widespread poverty, few parents are able to send their children to school.  For these reasons, the Auxilium School, located in the outskirts of the city of Guntur, is critical in offering children an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.

Founded in 1981 and run by members of the Salesian Sisters of Saint John Bosco, the Auxilium School provides the poorest children of the Guntur slums – as well as children from the surrounding rural areas – with shelter, nutrition, and an education. In addition to equipping young children there with a well-rounded curriculum, our volunteer coordinator and the school’s administration also host parent meetings at the beginning of each school year. This way, parents and guardians have an opportunity to meet teachers and ask any questions they may have about the upcoming academic year, which the school feels is a critical element in student achievement.

Many reasons to participate

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes parental involvement as “parents and school staff working together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children and adolescents. Parent engagement in schools is a shared responsibility in which schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage parents in meaningful ways, and parents are committed to actively supporting their children’s and adolescents’ learning and development. This relationship between schools and parents cuts across and reinforces children’s health and learning in multiple settings – at home, in school, in out-of-school programs, and in the community.”

Why is it important for parents to become and stay actively involved in their children’s schooling? According to the National Education Association (NEA), family engagement in school improves achievement, reduces absenteeism, and restores parents’ confidence in their children’s academics. Parental involvement is also linked to better student behavior and enhanced social skills, while also making it more likely that children will avoid unhealthy behaviors such as using tobacco, abusing alcohol or drugs, or resorting to violence.

We are very proud of the teachers, administrators, parents, and students at the Auxilium School, as well as of all of our affiliated projects that prioritize parental involvement. Along with help from our sponsorship program, we feel confident that impoverished children in India are being uplifted through the support they receive from sponsors and their parents, giving them the best possible chance to have bright futures.

***

HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN INDIA?

You can sponsor a child in India in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in India who is available for sponsorship.

A Decade of Sponsorship – Half a Century of Gratitude

The children in our program not only have the opportunity to obtain an education and experience the hope that lies therein – they also witness firsthand the transformative impact of giving in their lives. This culture of benevolence often perpetuates itself, and those who have received give back when they are able. Such is the case of a humble and sincere gentleman who visited the Children Incorporated headquarters in North Chesterfield, Virginia over the summer to tell us his story.

Reverend Solomon belonged to the first generation of Children Incorporated kids at our affiliated project the J. Calvitt Clarke Home, named after our founder’s father, in Dornakal, Telangana in India. From 1967 to 1976, Reverend Solomon’s sponsor – an individual to whom he attributes the enriched life he leads today – helped to support his education. He went on to graduate from high school and college, and returned to the same organization that manages the home that offered him invaluable assistance throughout his childhood, working as an accountant from 1980 to 1982. Dedicating his studies to theology, he became a pastor about a decade later, and started working with Word and Deed India, an organization that provides rehabilitation and treatment to those suffering from leprosy, as well as runs schools and hostels for underprivileged children.

Reverend Solomon in Dornakal as young man

Through the years, Reverend Solomon has thought of his sponsor often, and continues to do so to this very day. He treasures what a gift his sponsorship was, as it meant better lives for him and his family – and ultimately, better lives for so many more children in India. Reverend Solomon went on to found the nonprofit organization Oikonomos Ministries India with his wife Naomi in his home state in 2001. It began with 63 kids, and currently serves 610 orphaned and impoverished kids in the area.

“I didn’t hear from my sponsor, but I knew they were there for me,” Reverend Solomon told us. He is there for the Oikonomos children in the same way his sponsor was there for him, ensuring they receive basic necessities. He also pastors at Beth-EL Baptist Church and ministers locally, offering spiritual care and counseling as well as career guidance to the young adults of Oikonomos who are pursuing university studies.

“You must make use of this opportunity”

On this, his first trip to the United States for a pastoral training conference, Reverend Solomon made it a priority to stop by the Children Incorporated headquarters to tell us – and you – how sponsorship positioned him and seven other kids from his village on a marked path to success. “I remember hearing in school that Children Incorporated was in Richmond, Virginia,” he said. So when he discovered that he would be traveling to Virginia, he made the decision to pay us a visit.

Through the years, Reverend Solomon has thought of his sponsor often, and continues to do so to this very day.

Reverend Solomon proudly showed us photographs of other former sponsored children who had become bank managers, top-ranking police officers, and other successful professionals. “Poverty drove us to study well,” he said. “We thought, ‘You must make use of this opportunity and succeed in life.’” He told us of the extreme poverty from which his family suffered greatly, and he recounted to us an incredibly touching story:

When he would leave for the J. Calvitt Clarke Home as a boy, his family would give him enough money to travel to and from the home – and if they had it, a bit more for spending money while he was away. On one occasion, upon arriving to his house from the home, Reverend Solomon found that his mother was not there. When he asked his father where she was, he was told that she had gone out looking for some change for rice, because she wanted to be able to feed her child while he was visiting from school. Reverend Solomon felt awful about this, and upon his mother’s return, gave her the money she had given him months before; he had managed to save it, because his sponsorship covered all of his needs while he was away. His family was able to eat that night.

Years later, married with two daughters, and the executive director of a nonprofit organization, Reverend Solomon finished his story with tears in his eyes, and with such a grace that can only reverberate from raw gratitude. The cracking of his voice as he became emotional and the earnest air about him revealed the kindness that resides in his heart as a result of the compassion shown to him as a little boy.

Our common mission comes full circle

Reverend Solomon closed his visit by telling us about a question he had asked himself on his way here: “What can I do for Children Incorporated, because Children Incorporated has done so much for me?” Both our work and his is made possible by sponsors and donors. So it didn’t take him long to come to the conclusion that he would thank us by sponsoring a child in India himself. While his organization transforms hundreds of young lives there, he wishes to transform the life of a child through the same organization that linked his sponsor to him so many years ago.

From one sponsor having made a difference in the life of just one child, hundreds of people – children and communities alike – are now benefitting. Reverend Solomon takes great pride is how instrumental his own life has been in lifting up his village, as he is a living example of what its people’s lives can become when they are presented with possibility. Little could Reverend Solomon’s sponsor ever have imagined: the support that began fifty years ago and lasted for a decade is now a driving force pushing an entire community forward in Telangana, India.

***

HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN INDIA?

You can sponsor a child in India in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in India that is available for sponsorship.

written by Children Incorporated

Together, we provide children with the hope, opportunity, and education that will allow them to grow and contribute to their own communities. Thanks to past and current supporters around the globe, we now have over 300 projects in 23 countries which serve over 20,000 children annually. To date, over 250,000 children have been provided opportunities for growth and education and experienced the support and encouragement our programs provide.

» more of Children's stories