Lotus Outreach

Lotus Outreach International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the education, health, and safety of at-risk and exploited women and children in the developing world. Lotus Outreach achieves its mission by supporting effective grassroots projects in vulnerable communities.
Dec 15, 2014

Nai Lee's Counseling and Reintegration

Lee reunited with her family!
Lee reunited with her family!

Gender-based violence is prevalent throughout Cambodia. Widespread rape is a reality that many Cambodian women must confront and often without emotional, psychological or legal support. Our program, Counseling and Reintegration, executed by our local partner CWCC, serves to counsel and reintegrate survivors in addition to raising social awareness regarding such gender-based violence in order prevent further assaults.

The following story demonstrates the beneficial work this program can accomplish with your further support!

Nai Lee* aged 14 from Banteay Meanchey, often had to stay with her mother’s cousin at the border area, because her mother worked as a laborer along the Cambodian-Thailand border. During one stay, a strange man Lee did not know sexually raped her. Although Lee did not tell her mother after the rape, Lee did tell a neighbor who soon after told her mother.

Hearing about the incident, Lee’s mother skipped work and immediately took Lee to the police station to file out a complaint to pursue the rapist. Lee’s case was then taken to Banteay Meanchey provincial police station for legal proceedings. Through interviews, the crime division was able to identify the suspect and later arrest the man.

Lee was referred by the crime division to stay at CWCC’s safe shelter and receive program services. Although Lee received good medical care by the shelter staff including accommodation, meals and clothing, she suffered deep mental fear. Lee still hated men. She could not relax. She spoke in a very loud voice when meeting with the counselors and the shelter staff. She had arguments with other clients in the shelter as well.

Our team supported Lee through this difficult period and provided her with individual and group counseling sessions. She also underwent art therapy techniques such as drawing and painting. Lee was excited about such art therapy and ultimately reduced arguments with other clients, while our staff witnessed significant improvements in her mental health.

After this period of counseling, the CWCC’s reintegration team met her to discuss her plan to return to her regular life based on her request to reunite with her family. Through family and community assessment, the CWCC’s reintegration team supported Lee with a life start-up grant including sleeping and kitchen materials, groceries, and a stipend from funding provided by Lotus Outreach.

In return, Lee’s mother stated: “I am happy for the quick actions by authorities and CWCC’s support… my daughter's case has gone through the legal process and the perpetrator was arrested and is being prosecuted for his crime.”

Since this statement, Lee’s perpetrator has been sentenced to 7 years in jail and Lee was awarded financial compensation. In addition, CWCC’s reintegration team has been conducting ongoing visits to see Lee’s progress and to provide ongoing counseling and support as needed. Although Lee has not fully healed up till this point and still faces significant distress, this program has allowed Lee to make huge strides in her healing process and also in reintegrating her back into her regular life.

Support Lotus Outreach and our partner, CWCC, to help so many other girls like Lee that are in profound need of such important aid!

*Nai Lee’s name has been changed to protect her identity

Links:

Dec 9, 2014

A Principal's Gratitude and Inspiration

Principal Satender Pal in Class!
Principal Satender Pal in Class!

The Blossom Bus program has been operating in Mewat since 2008. Currently, the program supports 300 girls attending middle school and high school to continue their studies. This report serves to highlight the success and impact of the program from a unique vantage point— that of a school principal!

Lotus Outreach’s team met the principal of Girls High School Ahervan, where Blossom Bus safely and consistently transports many disadvantaged girls to and from school. In Ahervan, there are girls studying in grades 6 through 10 coming from a total of eight different rural villages. Out team came to Ahervan to talk with Mr. Satender Pal, the school’s principal, to hear his views on these girls’ education.

Mr. Satender Pal joined the high school in March 2014 and has improved the infrastructure substantially. The old and damaged rooms were repaired with support from the villagers, as the government does not give sufficient funds towards school repairs. Two new rooms are currently being constructed so that students can sit properly and fully engage in the their studies.

Mr. Satender Pal is passionate towards the education of girls and sensitive to the many negative stereotypes regarding their education. He mentioned during informal interactions that he was reluctant to join duty at this school in Mewat, fearing little cooperation and support from the local villagers. Mewat ranks among the most regressive districts in terms of girls’ education in all of India. The scarcity of schools combined with conservative local attitudes toward female mobility creates terrible obstacles to girls’ education.

After further conversations with Mr. Satender Pal, our team discovered he was very happy to discover transportation through Blossom Bus that supports these girl students coming from distant villages. Likewise, he made clear that he was very pleased the girls were traveling safely and were very happy.

He went to explain that it was very encouraging to see the generosity of people who are living thousands of miles away from these villages, but are still willing to support girl’s education. In fact, this gave him so much encouragement he said, that he worked the entire month of his summer vacation to build and further repair rooms for these girls with help from other staff and villagers.

Mr. Satender Pal thanks Lotus Outreach on behalf of girls traveling on Blossom Bus and the staff of Girls High School Aharvan and wishes our supporters a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Satender Pal, Teacher, and many Blossom Bus Riders
Satender Pal, Teacher, and many Blossom Bus Riders

Links:

Oct 7, 2014

Keep Children Out of Brick Kilns and in School!

Jaiveer with his two daughters at school!
Jaiveer with his two daughters at school!

Many migrant child laborers in rural India are forced to work in brick kilns and fail to receive basic education. Lotus Outreach believes that education is not only a fundamental right, but the most powerful catalyst for human development. Fund this program to bring transportation, uniforms and tuition stipends to such families in need and take part in the universal gift of education!

Jaiveer’s story shows a migrant family that is both benefiting from our program and continually working hard to ensure education comes first above all else.

Jaiveer lived in the village Kothia near Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh with his wife and four daughters. He had no land or regular job and desperately needed income for his family. A contractor approached him and offered him work at a brick kiln in the Palwal district. Jaiveer was desperate for work to feed his family, but also concerned about his eldest daughter, Sonia, who was six years old and studying in first grade. He wanted to ensure his daughter not be deprived of school in a new, unknown place.

When he expressed his concern to the contractor, he was surprised at what he heard. He was told that Sonia would be enrolled in a government school and free and safe transport would also be provided by our program through the White Lotus Trust to attend school!

Jaiveer was thrilled to hear this and migrated to Palwal with his family two years ago. His daughter Sonia enrolled in the Bhanguri village government school. Sonia travels between home and school in a safe mini bus called Blossom Bus that our program provides and monitors.

Sonia in now in third grade and her younger sister Rachna also accompanies Sonia to school in the Blossom Bus to study in first grade. Sonia is an excellent student and has made many new friends at school. Although most girls in the area work at brick kilns after coming home from school, Jaiveer is working hard to ensure that Sonia, Rachna and his other daughters stay out of the kilns and study.

Jaiveer is happy and thanks White Lotus Trust and Blossom Bus donors for their big support without which his children could never have continued their studies. According to Jaiveer, his children would have inevitably entered the brick kilns to work as child laborers without such support.

Please support Scholarships for Child Laborers program! Just $20 is enough to cover a student’s fees for the whole year. Help many more families like Jaiveer’s avoid child labor and receive basic educational needs. Donate today!

Sonia in class
Sonia in class

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