One of the many services that Ann Foundation provides to the children we reach are Personality Development classes. These classes aim to provide disabled children with the confidence, social skills, and conversation skills needed to thrive in this world. One Ann Foundation volunteer, Rahul Srinivasan, has been instrumental in developing and teaching these classes to our students at the Vellore school. Rahul, an electrical engineer from Mubai, gained experience educating underprivileged children during his work with an Indian central government directive called the Shiksha Abhiyaan program. He now brings his expertise to AF in Vellore, teaching children self esteem through song, class discussions, poetry recital and other techniques.
We recently spoke with Rahul who told us that he believes it is important to "think outside the box" in order to make education an engaging and exciting experience. His class, he said "Just does not want class to end. They treat me like a friend and often joke with me". Rahul teaches a variety of lessons, not limited to environmental awareness, the importance of honesty, and speaking with confidence.
Thanks to your help, Rahul and other AF volunteers can continue their mission of assisting these underprivileged children in need, providing them with multi-faceted education in order to prepare them for successful living.
This past winter, Tejaswini, one of our dedicated volunteers at the Ann Foundation visited the IELC School for the Blind near Vellore, India. Until then, Tejaswini had only communicated with our students remotely via Skype. She described the experience as "touching" and "unforgettable'. We spoke with her recently and would like to share some of what she experienced with our donors and potential donors here at Global Giving. Below are some excerpts from our conversations with Tejaswini.
"In December 2010, I visited IELC School for the blind and mentally challenged in Bargur, India. Bargur is a small town near Vellore, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Currently, there are 122 students enrolled at the school aged from 8 to 18 years old. That number includes 46 mentally challenged students and 76 students who are visually challenged. On the day that I visited, the children were busy enjoying Christmas celebrations, so I met with the children after their celebrations and prior to their lunch. The children were excited to meet me in person and I distributed small gifts. They expressed to me how much they enjoy our English classes and their words were touching. I was moved to tears with the love and respect they had towards the teachers at the Ann Foundation. The IELC teachers expressed how grateful they were for the Ann Foundation and the volunteers for their commitment and dedication towards empowering the visually challenged."
"One of the most memorable experiences from my visit was a speech given by a visually impaired alumnus of IELC. He had been invited as a guest speaker to inspire and encourage the students towards success. Following his speech, students participated in a music competition where they displayed their talents and competed for awards. Some students formed an orchestra while others performed a dance and play, an unforgettable experience that will stay with me forever!”
As you can hear from Tejaswini's testimony, the Ann Foundation continues to improve the lives of children in need, thanks to your support. We hope that you will continue to support us in this critical mission.
We at the Ann Foundation would like to thank all our wonderful donors for their tremendous support during 2010! We hope that you please take a look at the pictures to see just ONE of the many ways you have helped us this year. Because of your kind generosity, we were able to procure uniforms and shoes for the children at our Vellore school, allowing the children to continue their education in safety and comfort, a rarity for handicapped children in this part of the world.
As the New Year begins, many of us begin to make resolutions, and some of us think of ways we can give back more to others this year. If this was a resolution of yours, we would love for you to please consider teaming up with the Ann Foundation in 2011 as we continue to expand our classes and begin new projects in Vellore (as well as around the world). There are many children who can use your help! So please continue with your generous donations, and never hesitate to contact us. We are always in need of bright and caring individuals who can volunteer with us. Or perhaps you may have some suggestions. How do you think we can reach more children in 2011?
Again, thanks for your support and lets continue to work together!!
Thanks to donors like yourself along with our dedicated volunteers, classes have begun for our students. Over one hundred disabled students have joined us in Tamil language classes (a local dialect, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_language) taught by our gifted teachers. Our volunteers have spent much time and effort over the last several months designing and developing a curriculum that could be adopted by our international tutors, and we look forward to reaping the rewards of our efforts! The students have been divided into small classes to maximize learning, and our volunteers have been working around the clock preparing new lessons and tending to the youth.
While the classes have been running smoothly, and the enthusiasm of our students is growing, we have noted some additional needs. Currently, we have plans for a fully operational computer center, so that our students can become computer literate. More immediate, though, is the need for comfortable and clean new uniforms and shoes for the students. An education should not be hindered by something as simple as footwear, so the Ann Foundation plans to provide the students with new shoes and clothing. You can help us in this effort by contributing even a small sum. Just $20 is enough to purchase four pairs of new school shoes, and $35 can purchase two sets of uniforms. Please help these children succeed in their education!
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