Dear friends of Lotus Outreach,
In just 30 days, you helped us raise over $27,000, earn a permanent spot on GlobalGiving.com and place first among 167 international organizations, earning us an additional $3,000 bonus grant directly from GlobalGiving!
When we originally set out to raise $4,000 for 200 scholarships, we didnâ€™t hold our breath. Times are tough all over the world -- people are losing their jobs and their homes, political crises are mounting in places such as Sri Lanka and Darfur, and natural disasters continue to strike East and Southeast Asia. But somehow a miracle happened: nearly every one of our supporters stepped up and spread the word, and we managed to not only secure enough funding for 700 scholarships, but we fully funded our LEARN program for the year!
Though the overall success of this campaign is an amazing development for Lotus Outreach, we are even more excited to share that the scholarship program is already underway:
â€¢ 53 of the approximately 700 children benefiting from this initiative have already received their scholarship packages, enrolled in school and started on September 18th, the day the challenge ended. An additional 20 children are committed to enrolling by the end of the month.
â€¢ We have already identified a wholesale supplier of book bags, shoes, uniforms and supplies and the initial order has been placed.
â€¢ Surprisingly, this provider does not manufacture girlsâ€™ uniforms but we have created an exciting opportunity out of this snag: teenage girls in Mewatâ€™s villages will sew the uniforms themselves and in doing so, secure much needed employment and income.
â€¢ The remaining 650 children will be enrolled and provided with scholarship materials as their families return to Mewatâ€™s brick kilns in the coming weeks following the monsoons.
We have attached a few of many photos taken during this initial scholarship drive so you can see your dollars and compassion at work. I also wanted to share a very moving note from our Program Manager, Suraj Kumar, who passionately describes the first scholarship drive:
â€œI cannot explain the joy I saw in the eyes of these children when they lined up to go to school in their new clothes and shoes with a school bag on their shoulders for the first time in their life. Some of them were eligible to go to school even four years ago but were instead forced into child labor. I could clearly see the twinkles in their eyes and the parents could not stop smiling after seeing their children in school uniforms. An old lady who must be above 80 pulled my shirt badly to thank me for this gesture today when I visited one brick kiln to distribute the scholarship materials. All these moments are very, very emotional. The old lady asked me, "Can I also go to school?" I said â€œyes, but I donâ€™t have a school uniform in your size today but I will definitely bring a nice dress for you next time I come here.â€ I have kept a woolen shawl (small thin blanket) which was given to me by school teachers when they felicitated meritorious children a few weeks ago and I am going to gift it to this lady who looks like my mother to me.
It is really becoming emotional while writing this mail and I am not able to hold my tears. THANK YOU SO MUCH ALL OF YOU.â€
We look forward to sharing the many wonderful successes of this initiative over the coming year. Though we will keep you updated via GlobalGiving, we strongly encourage to subscribe to our monthly newsletter at www.lotusoutreach.org or email email@example.com with â€œsubscribeâ€ in the subject line.
We have also posted the first of many new projects to come here: http://www.globalgiving.com/projects/lotuspedals/.
Thank you again for your passion, dedication and generosity. You have helped to transform the lives of thousands of children in Mewat.
Lotus Outreach International
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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