Tag Archives: India

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

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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 Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

» more of Shelley's stories

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!

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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

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

 

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

In India, our volunteer coordinators work to involve parents in their children’s education.

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.

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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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

» more of Shelley's stories

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 trip, 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.

Mr. Solomon holding a younger photo of himself

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.

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.

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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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

written by Children Incorporated

We provide children living in poverty with education, hope and opportunity so they have the chance for a brighter future. Thanks to past and current supporters around the globe, we work with 235 affiliated sites in 20 countries to offer basic needs, emergency relief, and community support to thousands of children and their families each year.

» more of Children's stories

After spending two weeks visiting eleven of our affiliated projects in India and Sri Lanka, knowing that the St. Mary’s Girls’ Hostel in Khammam was the last home I would be seeing on my trip left me with a bittersweet feeling. India and Sri Lanka are both full of beauty, diverse cultures, and wonderful people who face extreme hardship every day. Sri Lanka has suffered greatly from natural disasters and decades of civil war; India suffers from overpopulation and dire poverty caused by gender inequality and disparities in income.

Despite how difficult it was to see so many people living in desperate conditions there, I had grown fond of both countries. I learned so much about what our amazing volunteer coordinators are doing to educate our sponsored children, and to give them a better chance at living successful lives.

A home for the disabled

The St. Mary’s Girls’ Hostel is located in South India in the rice-producing state of Telangana. The Church of South India opened the hostel in the small city of Khammam in 1980 to address the poverty that working-class families in the community faced. The thousands of field workers who plant and harvest rice are paid so little that they live in a state of continuous economic struggle. When the rice crops fail, as they often do during and after periods of drought or flooding, the situation for workers and their families becomes even more desperate. Even in the best of times, the rice workers are often unable to afford to send their children to school.

It was great to see Mr. Rao take so much initiative to provide skill training for the girls so that they will have better employment opportunities later in life.

When we arrived at the home, we were greeted by our Volunteer Coordinator, Mr. Rao, who explained to us that St. Mary’s was once a home for the physically disabled, including blind and deaf students. Unlike so much of India and the developing world, the home was built to accommodate people in wheelchairs. The matron of St. Mary’s, who is wheelchair-bound herself, has no difficulty navigating the walkways between the girls’ dorms, the kitchen, and the recreation rooms, thanks to the original design of the home.

As he showed us around the buildings, Mr. Rao told us that not only do the girls go to school every day, but they also are learning to make bracelets, books, and brooms — all of which are sold to the community to generate additional income to support the home and the girls. Additionally, the home offers computer and clothes-making classes and training for older girls and women who do not live there. In total, there are 27 staff members who teach all of the courses offered, which I thought was quite impressive. It was great to see Mr. Rao take so much initiative to provide skill training for the girls so that they will have better employment opportunities later in life.

Always in need of more funds

The home itself is a lovely facility — the grounds are full of lush, green tropical plants, and there is plenty of room for the girls to play. The hallways are covered with large, colorful pictures and posters of the special people, both Indians and foreigners alike, who have helped fund the work of the St. Mary’s Girls’ Hostel over the years — all of which contributed to the bright and festive atmosphere at the home.

Of the 47 girls between the ages of six and nineteen who are living in the home, forty of them are currently sponsored. Mr. Rao said that there is room for additional children, but they don’t currently have funding to enroll more young women. I realized then, one day before I was to return home, that I had heard this from each of our projects in Sri Lanka and India over the past couple of weeks — I was told by each and every one of them that they could reach even more kids with additional funding.

It was hard to hear that there are children missing out on going to school because of money — something we don’t worry about as much in the United States; but instead of focusing on the negative in my last few hours in this unique part of the world, I thought about how grateful I am for our sponsors, who send thousands of children around the globe to school every year, because they believe as much as we at Children Incorporated do that every child deserves an education.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN INDIA or SRI LANKA?

You can sponsor a child in India or Sri Lanka 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 or Sri Lanka that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD