Wishing everyone a happy new year 2015 and a big thank you to everyone who donated to us on the Microsoft Youth Sparks Giving Tuesday. Our children had a wonderful Christmas in 2014 and have started off their new year with more medals and prizes. The kids are back to School after the Christmas and New Year Break. Some went back to Unit Tests and others to results of Unit Tests done before the holidays.
Our Nine kids at Brighton brought in 20 medals (6 Gold, 7 Silver,7 Bronze )at the Athletic Meet in School. Prem the Head Boy of Brighton School led the March Past. Sam was the Torch runner. They have also made us Proud!!!(Photo has been attached below). Brighton school had their Annual Day .All the children participated in dances, singing and skit.Prem won the 2nd Prize in the All Rounders Category.Sneha also won a prize for Sports. (Photo has been attached below)
Capstone School had a Special Christmas Program on 20th Dec. Tanu who joined School this year for the first time acted as Joseph in the Christmas Scene and seated close to him with scarved heads are Indra and Shreedevi both first timers at School. They were the Shepherds. All the children took part in dances or skit and put up a Good show considering that many of them were first time on Stage.(Photo has been attached below)
Young Supporters of Bengaluru Football Club
New Home children were delighted to support Bengaluru FC in their match against Pune on 25th Jan. BFC cares sponsored the tickets for our kids. They cheered Bengaluru but Pune won. Our young fans while analysing the debacle are still thrilled that their dream of watching a match at the Stadium came true.(Photo has been attached below)
Twitter Bomb Fundraiser
On the 10th of February, at the sparkling idea of one of our volunteer Emily Parkes along with Jacob Cherian had run a twitter bomb campaign titled '#Homefor500' which aimed at getting the attention of Justin Beiber to watch the video 'As long as you love me' and direct him to fund for building a dream home for our children and also staff many other homeless children. As per the analysis of Talwalker Stats it reached upto 55.1 million viewers in 7 days. As a result of the amazing impact of this campaign website like opnlttr ,giveforgranted , folomojo , homegrown , techtraveleatrepeat and The Hindu Newspaper (Photo has been attached below) featured our campaigns. Not sure if Justin Beiber had viewed the video, but still our wonderful volunteers haven't given up their hopes yet and are still hopeful of the positive results. If you would also like to join in, do visit #homefor500 on twitter and retweet the posts and you can add in your innovations too.
"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work learning from failure.” ~ General Colin Powell.
In the month of January the kids were fully into their books giving their last unit tests for the year as all the academic events have come to an end and kids are busy preparing for the upcoming annual exams. Most of our kids are doing well in their studies, except few for whom special tuitions are being given.
We’ll be continuing with the twitter campaign #Homefor500 to build Home for the kids, as we are in urgent need to build a home for the new home kids with a capacity of accommodating 500 kids, as the proprietor of the place where these kids are currently residing wants it back. Meanwhile the kids are busy preparing for their upcoming exams and are also excited about the upcoming vacations which is the most exciting time for our kids as they anticipate going on tours and outings.
Thank You again from all at Reaching Hand! You are a generous and valued member of our community. If you would like to schedule a visit to see, firsthand, the difference your gift is making, please contact Reaching Hand.Our sincere thanks for your support throughout the years.
Reaching Hand Team
Monisha Reaches Nationals!
We are so very proud of Monisha, who participated in the ICSE National Athletics Meet on 6th and 7th November. Monisha ran the 200m and came 4th in the heats. Back in September Monisha went straight through to competing at National level after taking 1st place against 47 other schools in Karnataka. Narrowly missing out on the finals, Monisha is continuing her training at Kanteerava Stadium three times a week under the guidance of a Personal Coach (an Asian Gold Medallist) and is working hard towards the next competitions!
The Stars at St. Michaels!
23 of our children study at St. Michaels English medium School. On the 15th and 17th November, our children took part in the Annual Sports Day, and once again stunned the Reaching Hand family by bringing home 55 medals! Together, all 23 children won 28 Gold, 12 Silver and 15 Bronze. Also a huge congratulations to Sneha, Leshini and Sigesh who are the new Individual Champions, bringing home 3 Championship Trophies!
Leshini and Sneha also took part in an Inter School Relay Competition at St. Charles’ School and came third place, winning the Bronze medal!
Settling in to their new Schools
The children have settled in well at their new schools, Capstone and Brighton Community Schools, both of which are English Medium Schools.
We have 7 children studying at Brighton School, and are delighted that our boy Prem Kumar (7th Standard) has been selected as Head Boy! We are happy to report a very positive response from the teachers, who were very impressed by the children in the first parent and teachers meetings. All the children are doing a fantastic job in their academics and sports, as well as enjoying the extra-curricular activities on offer there, such as Karate. Another 12 students are studying in Capstone Community School, a new school that only recently opened, Capstone offers more individual attention to our children who need it. They offer a host of activities in their lovely campus, such as home sciences, gardening, and music. In November, the Capstone children celebrated Children’s Day by visiting to a local old age home, where they brought small gifts to give the elderly. Esther has especially shone in school, and has been selected as class monitor, as well as extra responsibilities such as organising the Teacher’s Day event!
As Long As You Love Me
Our volunteers have been working hard on creating a special video of some of our children covering their favourite song ‘As Long As You Love Me’ by Justin Bieber. All thanks to the tremendous efforts of Davin Lama (Beatboxer), Shaktiraj Singh Jadeja (Film maker), Smita (Arts and crafts), Low Rhyderz (Hip hop group) and Jacob Cherian (volunteer) who was the creative force behind the whole project. The children clearly connect to the words in the song and made their own version. They had a fabulous time putting together the performance, as can be seen throughout the video! Please do take a look by following the link below.
We even made it to the social news site BuzzFeed in America! Check out our page by following the BuzzFeed link and be sure to share it amongst your friends!
All the funds raised from this video are going towards the building of the children’s permanent home. The New Home will be expanded to house up to 100 children in need and will offer a much bigger living space to our children! The plot of land is slowly being developed and we hope to start constructing soon! Please consider donating on Bonus Day to raise funds for this huge project.
On the 2nd December, we are participating in Microsoft YouthSpark GivingTuesday on GlobalGiving. For 24 hours we will be competing for "most donors" and "most funds raised" bonus prizes. Additionally, all donations made to our project from the U.S or from the U.K will be matched 100% up to $500 (£300) per donor per project while funds remain. Funds will go quickly, so be sure to set your alarm clocks to make your dollar go further to support our cause!
Please do consider making a Christmas donation to our children, while the funds have the potential to be doubled!
We are fast approaching the Festive Season, and can’t believe how quickly 2014 has passed! To celebrate Christmas this year we are planning a fun day for the children and they are very much looking forward to their holidays and are working hard on a Christmas performance with a special ‘Jingle hip-hop’ dance! To keep up to date with the children’s activities, please do follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Wishing you happy holidays during the Christmas Season, and again a huge Thank You from all at Reaching Hand! Please do continue to share our cause and contribute to the lives of our children, YOU and your collective efforts make it all a possibility!
With Warm Regards from the Reaching Hand Team
This quarter we at Reaching Hand have focused on the futures of our children, from ensuring quality education that is built around each of our children's needs, to raising funds and awareness to build them a permanent home. Please read on!
A Shining Start at School
For Tanu, Indra and Shree who recently joined the New Home family, it was School for the first time in June. They are all attending the local Capstone Community School, where they receive the best individual support and attention so they may learn important basics such as English and Maths at their own pace. They are responding in a great way, and have already picked up a great deal of English! It has been a pleasure for all the staff and minders to see how easily they have adapted to their new surroundings, friends and teachers. They simply love school! They have found the teachers are very kind, with few in a class they get undivided attention and even learning is taught in a fun way!
For Shashi and Bhavana (also studying in Capstone Community College) it was a significant shift from a Kannada and Telugu Government school to an English Medium School. In their words - "Now we wait for each day to go to School!" Every morning is met with a brilliant smile.
All five of the children acted in an English skit (short play) on Independence Day.
Sneha won the first prize and Praveena won the second prize in Solo singing in a Competition at St. Michaels School. Jyothi also sang during the Independence Day celebrations at Brighton School.
Taking on the World with His Next Steps...
Our first boy in college, Chuimayo is thoroughly enjoying his time at CMR College, Bangalore. Chuimayo is fascinated by Science, and is currently studying Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Maths and French. He has recently been selected to be a part of his School`s football team, and has already participated in matches against other local colleges!
Toccata – A Musical Extravaganza for Reaching Hand!
Over the last 3 months, the Reaching Hand Team focused on our event ‘NOSTALGIA’, presented by the Toccata Musical Foundation based in Ireland. “Toccata”, a group of professional and semi-professional UK based musicians, features Top West-End soloists and a UN recognised orchestra. United in the mission to use their collective talents to help support charities such as Reaching Hand, Toccata performed for our cause on the 2nd and 3rd August in Chowdiah Memorial Hall.
A huge team of over 70 musicians, singers and dancers came to Bangalore to perform some classic songs from ABBA and Elton John to a traditional Kenyan song – Malika!
The event raised money for the construction of a permanent home for our children at New Home. At present the New Home is situated in rented buildings. It will also allow expansion so that we can care for 50 more children in need.
In their performances, Toccata worked with our children, incorporating them into their performances with the opening and closing acts! A small team of three Toccata performers spent a week working with our children, practising songs and dance and working on their performance. The children were thrilled to be a part of it, as well as watching a brilliant show!
If you would like to help build a permanent place for our children, please donate today!
We are fast approaching Daan Utsav (formerly known as the Joy of Giving Week) which takes place every year in the first week of October. Daan Utsav is India's "festival of giving"! Launched in 2009, the festival is celebrated every year, in the week including Gandhi Jayanti, (October 2-8), and brings together Indians from all walks of life, to celebrate "giving". It is a celebration of people giving their time, money, resources and skills back to society through volunteering, donating and fundraising.
Reaching Hand is taking part in several events and activities during Daan Utsav, including ‘Under the Stars’ on Wednesday the 1st October bring in the festivities! Under the Stars is happening for the second time in India and is an event that invites people to take up the challenge of sleeping rough for a night without shelter in the city. This is in support of, and to raise awareness for those who face homelessness across India.
We are also looking forward to holding our first ever Reach Inter-Corporate Charity Olympics on Saturday the 11th October. After such a great response to our 2 previous ‘Goals to Goodness’ football events, we are now adding an array of sports for participants to take part in, including, football, basketball, cricket, volleyball and throwball!
To be updated regularly on our events and happenings at Reaching Hand, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Once again, a huge thank you to you all for encouraging us and supporting our children at Reaching Hand. We urge you continue carrying that compassion and care for our children in need… together we can make huge changes in their lives and reach out to many more who need it!
It’s been a fun-filled summer for our children at the New Home! From enjoying the beautiful weather in Kerala, to learning fancy tricks and kicks in taekwondo!
Here is what the children have been doing over the last three months…
The first of our children to graduate from 10th Standard! We are so very proud of Chuimayo who received his ICSE results in the 21st May and got an amazing 81% overall, and an astounding 94% in computing and 92% in maths! He also graduated as Football Captain and Head Boy.
A Special Trip to God’s Own Country… Kerala!!!
The highlight of the summer was a one week trip to Kochi in Kerala! As March saw the end of the Annual Exams… early April brought in the results. All the children had worked hard and done well, so deserved a well-earned break. With thanks to all our supporters and well-wishers, the entire trip was sponsored… from travel bags and transport to WonderLa waterpark passes! The children could barely sleep leading up to the trip for all their excitement! Check out the photos here - https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/104312771346486228616/albums/6013141745133935089
After a long, yet comfortable train journey, the children arrived in Kerala for the first time in their lives. "Everything we dreamt of was unfolding before our eyes" said Monisha – one of our girls at New Home.
Whilst in Kerala, the kids enjoyed a variety of special treats, including boating on the backwaters; visiting Fort Kochi; Kochi Harbour; a cable ride; art gallery; and Boothathankettu (Monster) Dam - The calm lake and the tall mountains provided a perfect setting for a trek through the forests and watching the elephants! The absolute highlight however was cooling off at Kerala’s beaches and splashing around in Wonder La’s many pools! Most of the children had never seen the sea before, and the feeling of sand between their toes was a first!
As well as some much needed rest and relaxation, our children have been keeping busy throughout the summer with numerous activities! A host of volunteers have kept the children busy with sports, films, crafts, dance, and all kinds of entertainment! The children have also been learning the martial art taekwondo three times a week throughout this summer period! These lessons will be continued throughout the year. All the children’s achievements and work were displayed on May 30th – the New Home Annual Day! The children were delighted to show off their talents in front of Reaching Hand Staff, Trustees and guests and performed dance routines, songs, dramatic sketches, and their taekwondo moves!
New Prosthetics for Thanu
Thanu, who was seriously injured in an electrical accident at the age of 4, was delighted to be fitted with his new prosthetic leg on the 22nd May. With great determination, Thanu manages to walk short distances on his own. Now he able to do so with a little more comfort. Thanu was also reunited with his brother, Shashikumar who joined the New Home in April. The brothers are inseparable, and Shashi does a brilliant job caring for his lively and energetic younger brother Thanu!
Sisters Indra and Sreedevi join our family
We also welcomed another pair of siblings to the family of New Home on Monday 26th May. Indra and Sreedevi aged about 7 years and 4 years respectively. They do not have a birth certificate, as their single mother is a casual labourer, working on construction sites. The girls have never been to school, and were without a home until now. They are settling in well, and are very well cared for and tended to by the other children!
Bangalore TCS World 10K Marathon
On the 18th May, Reaching Hand took part in the biggest event of the year, the Bangalore Marathon! We were a strong team of over 150 volunteers who ran in the 10K, Majja run (5.7K) and Kingfisher (fancy dress) competition! A huge thank you to all who participated, including our Care Champions; Derek Dsouza, Patrick Pitchappa, D.V. Krishnan, Ansh Jain and Emily Parkes; our Corporate Cares partner – HUL, all our volunteers who ran on the day, and of course all donors from Global Giving who sponsored a Care Champion, or donated towards the event!
It was a fantastic event and we were able to share it with the older children from New Home, who also participated in the run!
How you can help…
So the children are looking forward to another year of school ahead… but they are always in need of your kind support! Your small contribution can make a huge difference in our lives as we continue to provide the best possible services to our children.
Bonus Day is coming up! On June 25th, through Microsoft YouthSpark, GlobalGiving are matching any donations made to us by 100%! So for every USD donated, we recieve double the amount! Please do take note in your diary, and donate on this day so we can benefit from this great initiative.
We would also like to say a huge thank you to GlobalGiving for giving Reaching Hand Superstar Status!
Don’t forget to like and share our Facebook page for regular updates - www.facebook.com/ReachingHand
We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship.
With Gratitude Reaching Hand Team
Here’s to 2014!
It’s been a fabulous start to the year at Reaching Hand. During the Christmas holidays, our children enjoyed lots of special treats! Some performed a nativity play and sketches, and lots of games, gifts, carols, and food were enjoyed!
Soon it was back to school for all the children, and their achievements this term have already started to roll in - a thrilled Chandana came Home all smiling from School as she had won a prize in the Drawing Competition.
The 7th of February was a particularly proud moment for us all at Reaching Hand. Chuimayo, one of our first boys to join us over 9 years ago graduated from 10th Standard as Football Captain and Head Boy of St. Michaels School. He led the students into the hall, and our New Home staff watched as he passed on the flame to next year’s students… an emotional moment for many! Chuimayo has proved that regardless of your background, past and hardship, you can succeed in life… as we are sure he will as he continues to carry the fire inside him! All the best to Chuimayo, who is now looking forward to college!
Republic Day Celebrations!
On the 26th January, India celebrated Republic Day! This day commemorates the date and moment when the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950. We at Reaching Hand joined the nation celebrating this important event in colourful and exciting ways! Early on the Sunday morning our schools were enjoying the celebrations, with the children dancing and performing, singing the National Anthem, and speeches being made, finished off with the hoisting of the flag, a great time that exhibits our National pride, rich history and vibrant culture!
Welcoming many Special Guests!
This quarter, the New Home has had many special visitors, from Father Christmas to volunteers from all over the world! Between January and February Pallavi, Payal (Management & Engineering Student of XIME-Cochi), and Beth (UK) came to intern for 3 -4 weeks at Reaching Hand. They spent time volunteering for all our projects at Reaching Hand, but time with the New Home children was what they enjoyed the most! We also had a huge group of volunteers from all over the world visit the New Home in January! Many fun activities were had, organised by the group, and the children blew them away with beat boxing and football! Over the last three months, we have engaged 5 different corporates with over 200 of their employees in our regular programs!
A New member of the Reaching Hand family
On 11th Feb, the New Home welcomed into its arms Thanu who is six years old, after spending the last two years in Wenlock`s Hospital in Mangalore. Thanu suffered a great tragedy two years ago, when his mother was electrocuted with Thanu in her arms. She died on the spot, whilst Thanu suffered 40% burns and lost his left leg. His right leg is also affected by the burns and he has an artificial left leg, however they are not strong enough to take his body weight. He is unable to walk more than 10 to 15 feet. He can drag himself in a seated position on the ground.
Thanu is a bright and brilliant boy, and is always smiling, regardless. All that Thanu wants is to go to School, and is eager for the new term to start in June! He loves technology, mobile games and watching cartoons.
Thanu will be reunited with his older brother, Shashi in April once Shashi has finished his year end exams in 4th Standard at his current school. Shashi currently visits every weekend, and is very much looking forward to being back with his beloved brother.
Come June Thanu will be off to School to start his future. Of course his disability hinders his movement, and he will have to be carried everywhere, however we know how much he has fought his way this far and we are sure with his grit and determination he will make it through School in flying colours.
So the end of another school year will come for our children, and they are working hard towards their end of year exams! However they are very much looking forward to a well – deserved long Summer Holiday, where they will be free to enjoy summer camps, sports, and special days out.
The next big date in Reaching Hand’s diary is 18th May. The time has come around to our biggest fundraising event of the year, the TCS World 10K Marathon, Bangalore! You can encourage us by donating towards the event… but why not go a step further and join with your friends, family, colleagues and organise a mini marathon in aid of Reaching Hand! Be a part of the action! You can create a fundraiser on Global Giving and share away to get your sponsorship!
Another great incentive run by Global Giving is YouthSpark, a reoccurring donation campaign where Microsoft will match any donations made! Your Funds will be matched on April 16th by 50% for donations up to $500.
For donors in the UK, Global Giving, for one week only will be giving away a bonus of one pound for every two pounds you raise - up to a maximum of £600 per donation! This is taking place from 3rd March until the 9th! This makes a huge difference to any contribution made, so please do consider making a donation this week!
Thank you once again for your continued support, and watch out for more of our projects that will be uploaded onto Global Giving soon! We are diversifying our projects this year to reach out to more of the needy, through the following new programs -
1. Steer to Change - An all-woman taxi service, run by women, for women.
2. Future Connect Technology Training Center (FCTTC) - A hub for youths in slum communities, based near each of our Government schools that offers a safe space to learn and enjoy new activities and skills, as well as discover career opportunities.
3. Girl’s Glory – (a sanitary hygiene project for girls) - Working with all our girls in our Government schools who are going through puberty to provide them with hygiene advice and sanitary wear in order for them to live healthily and maintain high attendance at school.
Don’t forget, you can like us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ReachingHand for all the regular updates and activities! Please share with your friends!
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