Dear Friends,Thank you again for supporting our project! We have so much going on here and have some really exciting news to share with you all since our last report!As you must have noticed, GlobalGiving allowed us to increase our project target of sponsoring 75 to 100 girls, have raised $39,387 so far and are only $2,612 shy. Meanwhile let me take this opportunity to update you on what these girls, that you have sponsored, are achieving in their day to day lives and how your donations are changing their lives forever. We are proud to share that this year’s Educational State Board Exams results for 10th Grade were much higher than the previous year. 16 out of 17 students, have passed within the first division, meaning with a percentage higher than 60%. The average of our 10th grade students was 65.72%.Our top two students that achieved the highest score were girls.1. Rajkumari 77%2. Mithilesh 76% Next year, 2013, our first batch of students will graduate and go for further studies to colleges. We are really looking forward to cover that and report to you that how many girls choose education over early marriage. On June 29th our school girl, Pushpa(18 yrs) got an opportunity to go to the UK to visit a school in Stoke on Trent. She was accompanied by two of our staff members and our school boy Pritam. This was under an exchange program with a school "The Discovery Academy" in the UK. Pushpa was extremely happy “My family is very proud of me", she said," this is the first time I have ever gone somewhere abroad!”On the 12th of August 2012, 15 girls from our Sandipani Muni School got an opportunity to meet the current president of India, Mr. Pranab Mukhrjee. Our school girls gave a melodious performance after a two day rehearsal with a team of mucisians from the band of Oscar Winner A.R. Rehmaan. Mr President really enjoyed their performance and expressed his appreciation by presenting the girls with a present. The news was also covered in a national newspaper The Hindustan Times. The girls got an opportunity to stay in the Parliament house for two days before their performance. The girls were so happy and felt confident on the stage during their performance. Mansi (15 yrs) excited after her beautiful performance innocently said, "I never thought I would get a chance to meet the president of India, I had only read His name in the GK Books."
Some of these girls had also performed at World Flute Festival on the 10th of August, which was innaugrated by the ex President of India, Mr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalaam. All this and more has just been possible because of your kind contribution towards the education of these girls. All the opportunities they have got are because they are at the school. These girls, if had got married at a young age, would have never got this chance to make a decision in their lives.Thank you once again, on behalf of Sandipani Muni School Girls.Rupa Raghunath Das
On March 29th, 2012 FFLV's director will be visiting the DC Area. Cook Ross, a business whose owners have supported FFLV for many years, will be hosting a reception for him at their offices at 8630 Fenton Street, #824, in metro-accessible, downtown Silver Spring, Maryland from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. If you're in the area, we'd love for you to join us!
Rupa will give a presentation on FFLV's various programs and provide an update on the great work FFLV is doing with girls in the area around Vrindavan. This will be a great opportunity to meet him, ask questions and learn more about the ways in which your contribution is making a difference for girls in this very poor area of India.
Refreshments will be served.
Please RSVP to 301.565.4035.
Opportunities to Meet Rupa in Other Cities
Rupa will be giving presentations about FFLV in other cities in the US and the UK during March and April. Confirmed events are listed below. If you're in the area, please do join us! More information will be available on FFLV's facebook page as it becomes available ( email@example.com)
March 22nd: San Francisco, CA
Yoga Tree Mission
24 Shotwell Street (at 14th)
San Francisco, CA 94103
March 24th: Ojai, CA
Venue and time to be decided soon,
For more info, please contact Inez at: firstname.lastname@example.org
March 31: Saratoga Spring, NY
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
It's official! Thanks to you and 790 donors like you, Food for Life Vrindavan's project to prevent child marriage in India by sending 75 girls to school finished third among all 54 projects participating in the Challenge! In just a month, you contributed over $23,000 to enable 54 very poor girls from in and around Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, to receive free education for one year and build personal savings accounts for their use upon graduation. On their behalf, we thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for making this possible!
As a challenge winner, FFLV will be one of 12 beneficiaries of the Girl Effect Fund in 2012, which means that we will receive 1/12th of all contributions made to the fund over the coming year. This year, the Fund is pushing to raise $1 Million (they've just crossed the $800K mark). We're hoping that next year will be even better. As you can imagine, the resulting funds and visiblity we'll receive will allow us to do even more for our girls.
In January, we will be sending you our first project progress report, but we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to Mithlesh, one of our students, so you can see how your contribution will impact the lives of others like her.
Radhe Radhe! This is our greeting in Vrindavan.
My name is Mithlesh, I am 14, studying in the 9th standard in Sandipani Muni school, with my two siblings as well.
I was born in Vrindavana, in Sant Colony, a very quiet place.
My father took the renounced order of life (sannyas) because he was too sick to work. I don’t know where is he now. He always travels around.
To feed our family, my mother used to cook for an Ashram. Even though she was very weak and sick, she worked hard for the sake of the family. We were very poor. In my house there were no facilities. There was no water, so we had to get it from a hand pump. There are four of us and we had lived in only one room.
Before, I didn’t have any education because we didn’t have money for it. When some people working at the Sandipani Muni school suggested to my mother to help making uniforms for the children there, she agreed. That’s how we came to know about the school and I got the chance to enter into it. Now life is much better. It’s my second life.
I finally have education, clothes and food. I have a sponsor who helps me and my family. The school has provided a sewing machine to my mother to help her, and she is now working for the school.
I love my school. There are many activities going on here like karate, making designs and sewing. I love to dance, Odissi style, and I study that. I also got the chance to go to UK last year and that helped me learn a lot about the world.
I am happy too, that I can study hard without fear of early marriage. It is very common in India for a girl’s parents to arrange a marriage to a boy or man she has never met -- sometimes, when she is as young as 10, because the younger she is, the lower the dowry price her parents will have to pay.
Even though it is against the law, most people turn their backs on child marriage but SMS has a special “Save the Girls” fund that encourages our families to keep us in school. We get the money when we turn 18. I am lucky also, because my mother is very determined for her daughter to get a good education.
When I finish school, I would like to become a pilot, because I like Physics and Math.
When I was told about this challenge and that almost 800 people donated towards the education for girls like me, I felt so happy. Thank all of you for helping us. You are like angels in our lives!
We hope Mithlesh's story has inspired you. Thank you again for supporting girls like her and helping us win the Challenge!
Rupa and the Sandipani Muni School team
Food for Life Vrindavan
p.s. We look forward to keeping in touch with you about our progress, but we also want to respect your privacy. If you would prefer not to receive future updates, please send a note to (email@example.com) and unsubscribe from the project report email and we will remove you from the mailing list. Thank you!
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Secretary to the Director