Sambhali Trust

Sambhali Trust's Goals We, being Sambhali Trust, a grassroots women's empowerment non-profit organization in Jodhpur who works almost exclusively with Dalit women and girls, are teaching our members how to become independent and self sustained. We do not offer pure handouts. This concept is what makes our organization and promotion of women's empowerment successful, which is shown through how Sambhali Trust was only created a few years ago and already is affecting the lives of over three hundred.
May 12, 2014

Sheerni Educational Project Update

Chinu
Chinu's 2 daughters Alfisa and Nosil

Sheerni Educational Project Update

 

In February, Vimlesh Solanki, one of our existing tutors who was teaching the children in our project at Balikah Grah, the government boarding home, was appointed to come to the boarding house to help support the girls with their Hindi and other subjects.  The volunteers help with English and Maths homework on a daily basis when they go to the boarding home for a couple of hours a day and Nirmala the housemother, now needs the assistance of a Hindi speaking tutor with the 20 girls.  A structure was established to do homework all together first, then have a group activity or task related to Maths/English and then they would all go to the park nearby for sports and games.  In March volunteers were taking dance and theater classes and the girls enjoyed these very much.

Gerti, one of the Sambhali volunteers who has returned for a second time, had put together some First Aid boxes with a lot of equipment in them and held a First Aid workshop for the girls and Nirmala. They now have a first aid box and knowledge about what to do in cases of injuries and burns.

In school, the Principal checked the notebooks and homework of the girls and most girls got good marks, but Samta and Vishnu had poor writing and were missing exercises; Rekha also has problems in school. Vimla, Santosh, Priyanka and Kaushalya spent some days in the village because of a wedding.
On 27 February Anne Vincent from the Global Foundation for Humanity visited the boarding house with two other guests to check on the progress of the girls.

In March the girls were preparing for exams.  The volunteers concentrated hard working with the girls in Maths.  All of the girls know written addition and subtraction now. Pankaj shows an ability to solve problems that even girls in class 4,(the class above her), have problems with.  Pankaj has shown to be very bright.

After January (the winter holiday) the girls behaved quite badly, which was beginning to disrupt the group, and so Mrs Manju Metha, Sambhali’s Project Co-ordinator and Mr. Virendra Singh explained to the girls how to behave,  and everything settled down again. They asked that all the staff and volunteers to spend half an hour every day, teaching the girls good behaviour.

Pankaj, Rekha and Vishnu are starting to read English. The girls reading in the 3rd Standard are reading English and are good at Maths. All of the girls have great results at school and have good grades. Asu is one of the best ones reading and drawing. Next year they will put her in 5th Standard class, instead of 4th because she is so good.  Samta is doing her best writing now.

All of the girls have received a follow-up session on Sambhali’s No Bad Touch Workshop by our Sambhali NBT Project team, regarding awareness about Child Sexual Abuse.  On 24 March all the girls had inoculation against hepatitis. The Boarding home have changed the arrangements and so now the girls eat downstairs on a long table, where they have more space.

In April, as the girls had their exams during this month, we did more studying and teaching with them than normal. While Vimlesh has been working a lot with the older girls, the volunteers took more care of the younger ones. Grade 3 and 4 had to learn different passages out of their books: some they had to be able to write, others they had to read well or know by heart.

Apart from this, there have been lessons when the older girls (starting from 5th grade) had been taught and repeated the tenses (with Vimlesh and a volunteer). In addition, Vimlesh taught them spelling of different words and checked if they could remember one day later. They also learned spelling in a game.

Anu was struggling with English, so we had some extra reading and writing lessons and we are encouraging her to speak English as much as possible so she can gain confidence in her abilities. Pushpa is struggling a lot. While she is able to say the necessary things in English, it is really difficult for her to write or read. She needs more help with English and she is motivated to learn. Rekha’s spoken English is good enough to be able to talk to her and have a conversation but needs more help from the volunteers to help her write English. Priya seems to do very well and understands fast, if she gets taught something new. Two girls had a lot of problems reading Hindi, so Vimlesh was helping them and taught them how to read with great success. She also taught them strategies how they can learn best.

Nirmala, the housemother, taught the girls how to pronounce the vowels and helped them in reading Hindi. She also assisted the older girls in social studies and environmental studies as well as in science and moral science. Nirmla explained to them the stories they have read in school and discussed the moral of it.

In Maths, Vimlesh has taught them fractions (how to add and subtract them). Also the smaller girls (1st to 4th grade) were taught how to multiply, divide, add and subtract. All of the girls had to learn tables and a competition was created to check who can learn them the fastest. A few girls were able to do them up to 20 easily. The older girls (6th to 8th grade) were taught areas and parameters of squares and rectangles. The same topics that Vimlesh has been teaching during the afternoon, Nirmla repeated after Vimlesh and the volunteers have left. She practised Addition and Subtraction with the girls.

Just a few days before the end of the month, two new girls joined the boarding home (Alfisa and Nosil). They adapted very well within a few days and seem to be well and comfortable. The other girls take good care of them.

 

 

Group photo with Nirmala
Group photo with Nirmala
Homework tutorial
Homework tutorial
Sangeeta
Sangeeta
Helping with homework
Helping with homework
Studying
Studying
skipping games
skipping games
Mar 24, 2014

Project Update

First Aid workshops
First Aid workshops

We are delighted to say that this Microproject is funded and $5073 was raised to help Sambhali Trust continue running its projects in Jodhpur and Setrawa.  Sambhali Trust is at present running 12 projects, with 3 new empowerment centres in the pipeline to be established in Jodhpur.  One of our projects, the Panaah Shelter Services offers advice and support to those women who have faced in particular, domestic violence and cruelty; Sambhali provides a refuge and a safe space whilst women receive support from the Sambhali team as well as professional medical aid, advocacy and counselling as necessary.  The Shelter service provides a needs-based approach to help these women and over the last few years, Sambhali has provided care, legal and medical aid where possible. In 2012, it was decided the need for individual help was constant throughout the year and so we have developed the Panaah Shelter Services. So far we have helped women in cases related to mental illness (post-natal psychosis), legal issues, health issues, dowry-related cases and we have also provided financial aid to fight women’s rights issues and divorce disputes.  We have had women contacting us from local communities as well as from as far afield as Delhi and Mumbai, showing the need for this type of service in the community.

To give an example of the types of women we have helped, recently we have helped in the following cases: (names have been changed in some cases).

 

  1. Indra’s daughter is suffering from an illness causing problems with her bladder and urine, and Indra is very sad and distressed. She has been borrowing money for her daughter’s treatment for a long time now but as she has little money, the necessary treatment she needs for one year is impossible.   The medicine is not being given and so the illness is getting worse. So they have come to Sambhali so that the daughter can receive treatment. Indra herself is also suffering from a gynaecological disease and she also needs medicines and treatment. Sambhali has now started helping Indra and her daughter and providing them with the medicines they require to get better.
  2. Aarti and Pooja are students at Jodhpur Empowerment Centre. Their mother Prem is suffering from another illness, which requires treatment. The treatment has now started and the medicines and the treatment are given regularly, which will aid a full recovery.
  3. Moona, another student at the Jodhpur Empowerment Centre was able to provide help for her father, Raju, who was in a lot of pain as he was suffering a blood clot in his chest. Sambhali helped to provide him with treatment at the Goyal Hospital in Jodhpur by Dr. Sunil Lehan
  4. Sambhali has provided 40 people in the Ratanada slum area of Jodhpur with 2 necessary hepatitis vaccinations each.  These families live in very poor conditions in very basic living conditions and find it difficult just to provide an existence for themselves. They are from the Scheduled and Dholi castes, which are the lowest castes.
  5. A woman Rani, lives in Jodhpur and is suffering from a disease and she is scared of telling her family, because she is frightened for her famiy’s reputation. Society would see her as ‘untouchable’. If she was able to take the medicine on time, then she would be able to get better.  Sambhali has been helping her to receive the medicines she needs.
  6. Dau is 70 years old and comes from Sojat. Four years ago her husband died and then her brother-in-law set light (torched) to Dau and said that as a widow she should give her whole property to them. She then wanted to go to the law courts to fight this, but the advocate required 50,000 rupees to fight this case, which she could not afford. After this she found out about Sambhali Trust and our staff went with her to the police station and told the inspector that she needed help. He called the inspector from Sojat who said he would help to protect the woman.  After providing a report to the police station, the policeman stopped the family members being cruel to Dau. We have provided help and advice to Dau and told her that Sambhali will fully support her, should her errant family place her in jeopardy again.
  7. Puja is from Jaiselmer and is suffering from kidney failure and requires dialysis treatment every week. As it is difficult to find kidney dialysis machines in the government hospitals, she requires 500 rupees for an expensive treatment in a private hospital.  She belongs to a poor family and her husband has poorly-paid work. She has 2 children.  Sambhali is helping her to receive the treatment she requires at the private hospital on a regular basis.

 

Every month, Sambhali receives cases of individual women needing help and we’ve felt that the $5073 which all of you have so generously donated through Global Giving, should be dedicated to providing funds for this cause specifically. By having a specific fund of money for Panaah Shelter Services, Sambhali will not need to rely on individual donations to help these women and this amount should be able to benefit many women in distress and seeking help.

 

In our Empowerment Centres in Jodhpur, we are very happy that the new women and girls there have learnt how to draft, cut and sew a variety of salwaar kameez and Indian clothes, as well as learning how to make bags, accessories, soft toys, crocheting and knitting items, which are very useful for the cool winter nights. One of the ex-students, Sanju,  is running the Sambhali Boutique on a daily basis and another, Santosh is working in the Graduates Sewing Centre as an assistant there, whilst her sister has left to go and do a government job. Apart from receiving this vocational training the women also receiving tuition in Hindi, English and Maths together with our many volunteers that we have at present who are able to divide the class into small groups and so give the students more individual attention.  Workshops on a variety of general educational topics have been given as well as First Aid, dance and self-defence classes. 

 

Ten students from the ‘Brothers for Sisters’ Empowerment Centre are now working at the Sewing Centre adjacent to the project, which Sambhali established last August.  These 10 women are refining their skills under the guidance of Kavita Bihal, the tutor as well as Arts and Crafts volunteers. These women are also receiving orders that they are able to manage with their existing skills including embroidered rose-smelling pomanders which were then used as gifts for a fundraising ball in the UK in February. These women aid the overflow of orders received by the Graduates Sewing Centres, set up 4 years ago and also provide items for the Sambhali Boutique. The women are very happy now to be earning a fair income.

 

Our latest Project to be established is the “No Bad Touch” Project which was set up in order to educate the community and raise awareness about Child Sexual Abuse in Jodhpur. The goal is to hold 96 preventative workshops for children throughout the coming year and to educate the community on how to teach children about safety from abuse, by providing a further 22 workshops to the parents and families. This includes information about how to see help in case of an abuse. We hope to hold our 2nd Conference on this subject later on in the year for local professional and government departments to work together and be more informed on this subject.

 

With the opening of our new Abhivyakti Empowerment Centre in Jodhpur soon as well another close to our existing ‘Brothers for Sisters’ Centre, Sambhali is growing in the number of projects it is able to achieve every year, with thanks to all our generous donors who have helped to contribute to improving the lives of all these underprivileged women and girls in the Jodhpur and Setrawa districts of Rajasthan. 

Indian history lessons
Indian history lessons
Brothers for Sisters Sewing Centre
Brothers for Sisters Sewing Centre
Ratanada slum area of Jodhpur
Ratanada slum area of Jodhpur
Sambali taking part in local rally
Sambali taking part in local rally
Local children receiving woolly hats..!
Local children receiving woolly hats..!
Sewing machines being distributed
Sewing machines being distributed
Mrs Manju Mehta Manager Panaah Shelter Services
Mrs Manju Mehta Manager Panaah Shelter Services
Workshop in progress
Workshop in progress
Professionals giving talk at Jodhpur Centre
Professionals giving talk at Jodhpur Centre
No Bad Touch Project workshop
No Bad Touch Project workshop
Setrawa participant with her donated jumper
Setrawa participant with her donated jumper

Links:

Feb 10, 2014

Sheerni Self Help Group Project update

Sheerni SHG member with her new goat!
Sheerni SHG member with her new goat!

Sheerni Self Help Group Project

This project has proved very successful since it was established in 2009.  A few of the original women have left the groups and a few new ones have joined a year ago.  There were 8 groups totalling 96 women and in January of this year a 9th group was created with another 11 women, making 107 women.   Mrs Manju Mehta who is the Project Coordinator has explained to them about the work and the rules of the Self-Help Groups. Each woman gave fifty rupees which was deposited with the bank manager in Setrawa and all the documents were given so that a new bank account could be opened. 

 Every Thursday in of each month, a group discussion takes place involving all the groups on a rotational basis with Mrs Mehta. They explained to the women in the group how to take loans and Mrs Mehta would give them tips on how to start a business or how to make the business work better.   Savings have been increasing well in the groups, and the women now have the confidence and are interested in taking out large loans of up to 10000 rupees.

 All members of the groups have been attending well except the members from the small hamlet of Solankiyatala who have found it difficult to attend the meetings.  So the Director of Sambhali Trust, Govind Singh Rathore went to meet the women to discuss their problems.  He said he wanted to be able to donate a sewing machine, flour machine and 2 goats from Sambhali Trust to 4 women who were in need of substantial help to try and start their own small businesses.  These donations have been able to come directly out of Global Giving Funding. In November three loans were given to 3 women of 8000 rupees to Markyari and 10000 rupees each to Bhanwari and Lila, to enable them to start small businesses, by purchasing animals and machines.

 In November the group monthly meeting improved in size and there were 99% of the group members present. Before that the women where very busy in their fields cutting crops until Diwali festival, when they finished.  All the women expressed interest in the need for help from Sambhali Trust for their daughters’ education. It is from these families that the 20 girls in the Sheerni Educational Project have come from. The women see the success of their daughters being educated in Jodhpur over the last 18 months and view it as something that they would like all their children to be able to do. 

The distribution of loans for the women November was as follows:

Group 1 Puspa / Shop Rs 13 000

Group 2 Sayra / Shop  Rs   5 000

Group 4 Bhawri Reni / 2 Goat / 10 000 Rs

Group 6 Fulla Deni / 2 Goat / Rs 14 000

Group 7 Champa / one Goat / Rs 5 000

 In December several more donations were made all to the thanks of the donations received through Global Giving:

Sua received Rs 6 000 to buy a goat
Samda received Rs 6 000 to buy a goat
Mima received Rs 15 000 to buy equipment for the construction of her house
Mawa received Rs 10 000 to start her own shop
Bhumi received Rs 10 000 to buy a cow

Govind Singh Rathore visited Setrawa again this month and spoke to the women about their problems and assured them for help. A woman named Tipu was provided assistance to pay off outstanding electricity bills for three months.

 No loans were distributed this month to any group as there are three to four active loans in every group. There is a need to maintain sufficient cash balance in the bank. Also the women are requesting significant sums as a loan, but loan disbursement will resume only after some of the outstanding loans have been repaid.

 

 

Sheerni Educational Project

The girls have had the results of their practical exams; 9 of the girls received 80% and above with Lelita achieving 100%!  We are delighted with the results and overall a very pleasing set of marks. The girls are now getting into a new routine with the volunteers to include jogging and different sports activities for the girls to get regular daily exercise, after they have finished their homework. They have been visited by Mrs Jacqueline de Chollet who helped initiate this project and regularly reviews the progress of the girls as well as by the Department of Women and Child Development . The weights of the girls are taken every 3 months and it’s good to note that some of the new young girls who arrived 4 months ago are gradually eating more nutritious food and putting on weight. Some more school exams were held in December, followed by a holiday when the girls returned to their home village of Setrawa until 14 January.

A medical camp was also held in December where the girls were given blood tests for haemoglobin and all tests showed normal results, except for one girl whose result was low and she was given treatment. The volunteers go into the boarding home 5 days a week, to help the children with their homework and preparation for exams, sports activities and lessons in geography and general knowledge.  Also they encourage singing and dancing in their free time. For a week the girls spent time at the Sambhali headquarters where they were able to use the neighbouring playground and sports complex.  The volunteers also gave a workshop on the geography of Rajasthan and India and teaching them to do some crocheting.  Sonja one of the volunteers was also able to give a follow-up talk to them as part of Sambhali’s  “No Bad Touch” Programme.

SHG member with her new sewing machine..
SHG member with her new sewing machine..
SHG member with another goat..
SHG member with another goat..
SHG member with her flour machine
SHG member with her flour machine
Sheerni SHG member with her goat
Sheerni SHG member with her goat
SHG member with construction for her new shop
SHG member with construction for her new shop
Another SHG woman with another new enterprise..
Another SHG woman with another new enterprise..
Sheerni Educational Project girls with Xmas gifts
Sheerni Educational Project girls with Xmas gifts

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