Mar 22, 2018

Karm Marg newsletter, October to December 17

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

The highlight of this quarter was our participation in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. This was also our first ever experience of online crowd funding. It coincided with our festive season peak production and sale of Jugaad products. As a result we were crazily busy and super stressed, but a great deal wiser at the end of it. We managed to raise 10 lacs which we believe is very good for a first timer. But more than that it came as a reassurance, that people trust and believe in us. Indeed, our team is getting stronger day by day.

This would not have been possible without the energy, time and effort of many friends and supporters. We are particularly grateful toBrinda Singh, Geetanjali Krishna, Jiten Suchede, Mahima Mehra, Meeta Mastani, Meenakshi Ogra Mukharji, Preeti Agarwal Mehta and Shweta Tandon for supporting and raising funds for Karm Marg.

Success story

Virtha, a young girl joins us in 2015 at the age of 14. She is from Assam, in the eastern part of India and had been trafficked and made to work as a labourer. It soon tuned out that that she was suffering from chronic anemia.After two months of care, hospitalization and blood transfusion, she completely recovered.

In the beginning she was very insecure and afraid to talk to anyone. Her Hindi was also weak, making it more difficult for her to integrate. Very slowly she started talking to the other children and to participate in the activities at Karm Marg. Schooling however remained a problem as she had difficulties adjusting to formal school. We enrolled her in an alternative learning process and she showed an interest and aptitude for stitching. Shabila, the main instructor at the stitching unit has been her main guide and mentor.  In two years we saw a huge positive change in her, she is now a confident, smart and joyful girl who knows how to speak up about her own rights and also to help others.

Donors and Supports

More than 200 people donated to Karm Marg under the Airtel Delhi half marathon fund rising campaign. It is difficult to list the names here but we are so thankful to all of them who trusted and supported us.

A special thanks to Amana Singh, Monika Krishna, Peter Eicher, Simon, Snigadha Shakher and Sonali Singh for helping us financially.

Heartfelt thanks to Albatros Company, Sweden (under CSR project) for helping us and giving gifts to all the staff and children on Christmas time from last four years. This year they helped us to reconstruct one of boundary wall which fell down due to heavy rain.

A big thank you to Anurag Kumar, Himani Sharma, Arjun,  Abhijit,  Manju Sharma and Dr. Sahay for arranging special meals for kids.

 

 

News from Home

Beneficiaries at Karm Marg

No of children staying at thehome – 63 (including 4 children under short stay project)

No of Young adults enrolled in our skill training project – 20 (16 after school training and 4 full time training)

Job placement – 2

Library project - 180

The Airtel Delhi half marathon was held on 19th November at Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium.  Our work up to the event started in the beginning of October as we got active one social media to reach out to potential supporters. At the same time our young adults enrolled themselves to run for KM, three of our special needs youth also ran in the marathon. We were a group of 26 runners, including children, staff and friends run for KM. It was amazing to see the spirit, energy and enthusiasm in every one. Our kids did quite well.  Anmol stood 5th in the 6 km race.

Our dear friend Tanu Singh organised a children’s’ carnival on 9th November.More than 200 children from different NGOs as well aschildren from destitute backgrounds participated in the carnival. There was lots of fun as the children were given the platform to showcase their skills. KM children presented two shows about child labor and how plastic is affecting our day to day life. Also our dancers (who are learning dance under Himani, a Delhi based yoga and dance instructor who voluntarily teaches dance to our children) performed a show which was appreciated by the audience.

Our long term associatesArt Reach organized an exhibition cum workshop to explore various forms of Art at Karm Marg.

A puppet making workshop was organised by Preeti Agarwal Mehta, it was a day long workshop where children learn how to make basic puppets for storytelling.

From the 27th till the 30th December Agastaya international Foundation conducted a science workshop at Karm Marg.

Exposure visits

Teena and Ajay went to Bangalore to attend LSUC (Learning Society Unconference) along with Rihana.  This was organised by Shikshantar an Udaipur based organization to give a platform to meet likeminded people working in different parts of India. It was a unique for self-leaning and to learn from others. People came from many different backgrounds, NGOs as well as, alternative ways of living to share their experience.

In the month of November,  Virtha, Tara and Shama who are enrolled in our skill training project went to the Trade fair  atPragati Maidan with Shabila to expand their knowledge and understand different kinds of handicrafts which can help them to improve their work.

Festivals

Diwali the festival of light and Christmas was celebrated with full enthusiasm.

Volunteer

Gilda, a young volunteer from Netherlands stayed with us for a week. She spent most of her time at the stitching unit and taught some basic design techniques and different kinds of knot making. She also helped usin the production of candles and other products for the Diwali festival.

Jugaad

Like every year, the month ofOctober was dedicated to Diwali preparation, designing, production and marketing.  Diwali related products such as bamboo candles, coconut candles, planters, garden flags, torans and many more product were made and sold. It was  heartening to see the positive response from the buyers.

This quarter we plan to expand our skill training and income generation programs to include  one more village. We went there on a filed visit where after field visit and found that they can benefit from our program. We trained 15 women and who are now ready and participating fully in the production process. This is a great opportunity for them to earn some money and strengthen their family lives.

Jugaad also conducted a jewellery making workshop for three weeks for a group of 20 young girls from a remote village near Mathura. This was a part of the income generation program in collaboration with Kadam Haat.

Success story
Success story
Volunteer
Volunteer
Celebrating Diwali Festival
Celebrating Diwali Festival
Showcasing Jugaad product at different Exhibition
Showcasing Jugaad product at different Exhibition
Dec 22, 2017

Karm Marg, Newsletter July to September 2017

Success Story, Manish & Sapna
Success Story, Manish & Sapna

In 2017-18, Karm Marg faced a big financial crisis due to various reasons, especially for salaries and maintenance which are imperative to run an organisation. In the last few years, we've seen our regular funding go down from different sources as most of it was under a contract period. In the last year, we've lost out on the amount of total funding from abroad due to the fluctuating rate of exchange. We have a lot of friends in India and abroad who give us regular funding, but unfortunately the rising salaries and infrastructural costs are way much more than what we are receiving.
We explored various options to raise funds and finally decided to raise funds through crowd funding and sending proposals to various CSR projects for long term sustainability grants.
 
For our current needs, we applied to the Team India Cares for online crowd funding while participating at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2017. It was a new experience for all of us but as time progressed, we became more proficient at connecting with people and raising funds. The last date for fund raising is 30th of November 2017 and marathon will take place on the 19th of November 2017. We will update you soon on our experience and the success we had in raising funds from the marathon.

Success story
Manish and Sapna from Market Xcel have dedicated every Saturday from their busy schedule for the past three months, to spend time with the Karm Marg children. Manish, the director at Market Xcel, started teaching computer classes to all the young adults and Sapna teaches spoken and written English.

 They are extremely dedicated and in their own words, and love teaching the KM kids. And they have endeared themselves to the children so much, that all the children wait for them with great anticipation every Saturday.

 Thanks a lot Sapna and Manish for choosing our organization and helping the children.

Donors
“Bindaas” lit up the life of our children, by giving 17 pieces of solar lanterns. Now studies are more fun at night and the children can utilise the evenings for studying, since we’ve always had long power cuts and children have not been able to study in the evenings. Thanks a lot Meeta, for giving a big smile on our children’s faces.

Thanks to Preeti, Ritika, Sonia and Dev Kumar, for donating the beautiful clothes and shoes. They will be of great help as winter is approaching now.

Thanks to Naniji, Kopal Rohtagi Bansal, Chetan Kumar, Deepak Kumar and Ritika for sponsoring the “Special Meals” on their special days.

And thanks to Sonu, our dance teacher and friend, who has gifted us a music system for the children on his birthday.

Thank you Sabah Hamid and Priya for donating dvd players and movie dvds to KM. By choice we don’t have a TV Connection to watch regular tv shows, so the children are happy to see new movies on the new dvd players every Saturday.

Thanks to all who’ve helped us on the financial front…Sunny Narang, Aditi Aggarwal, Kopal Rohtagi Bansal and many more friends and supporters.

Beneficiaries at Karm Marg
Total number of children stayed at home during this quarter – 54
Children stayed at home for short period – 4
Total number of young adult enrolled in skill training – 19
Local community children enrolled in Library project – 180
Youth above 18 start living independently after getting Job - 5

Update from home
During the summer holidays, in June, all the children participated in dance, theatre and other various in-house activities. We called all the close friends and supporters on July 10th and children performed a dance and theatre play in front of this small gathering.

After finishing school, Babli started teaching yoga to all the children at KM, with the help of Teena. Both of them are very good in yoga. Babli went for two months to learn yoga at “Space for Nurturing Creativity”, Uttarakhand, a home schooling project.

Rihana, our special needs care taker, who is learning computer form Manish ji, started taking computer classes for the special needs young adults. Children love painting and typing on the computer. It is so much fun for them.

Our dance group of 8 children presented two shows, one at the India Habitat Centre and second at Taj Vivanta hotel under the tutelage of Himani, who runs the “Sutra Studio” in Faridabad.

“Pravah” (A Delhi based NGO) tied up with us for a local community visit for Bluebells School, a Delhi based private school. Students were shown village life and the basic infrastructure of a village. They visited the local government schools, the government hospital and Karm Marg.

Our favourite story teller, Tanushree took storytelling session, with the theme to make your own story.

Our children actively participated at their school functions. They presented a play which was a combination of the issue of air pollution, dance and yoga. All the teachers and guests really liked the show and appreciated their talent.

Festivals
Independence Day, Flag Ceremony at KM  

“Rakhi” (kind of wrist band which is tie by sisters on their brother hand) a festival of brothers and sisters was celebrated at KM with great fanfare, where the children made their own rakhis for their loved ones. We don’t celebrate this festival as a sister and brother one, we tie rakhis to all the ones we love and care about.

Dussera also known as Vijayadashami is an important festival in India. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. Children constructed Ravan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad as evil symbols and burnt them in the evening.  

After the Monsoon, we had start sowing veggies and fruits for winter season. Now we have almost grown all veggies in our vegetable garden through natural way without using any outside fertilizer or chemical.

Jugaad – skill training and income generation program
This quarterwe started meeting our old buyers and some new ones to talk about how they can engage with the Jugaad project, to get more work for the youth and women’s group we work with. As a result, we got some good orders and donations of the raw materials, we can use.

We have also been busy with making new samples for the upcoming season, especially for the festivals of Rakhi and Diwali. Till August, we have mainly been busy with the Rakhi production and almost sold it for worth Rupees Fifty thousand. After that, we started Diwali gifting product sampling and production.

As festive session started from September onward, we start planning and approaching different platform to showcase and sell our product to help and give job to more rural women and youth from Karm Marg.

Around 40 rural women and 4 youth and three specially abled youth from Karm Marg are involved in the production.
19 young adults have been participating in on-going skill training program.

Four young girls from Karm Marg have started full time production, designing and supervision work at Jugaad after finishing their training. Shama and Ruksaar have start designing and producing Rakhi and Jewellery out of waste cloth and also become a trainer at Jugaad.  Tara is looking after stitching unit, her main job is to look after the raw material stock and women payment account. Vertha is doing cloth bags production.

Three of our special need youth are finished their training and enrolled in production under observation and guidance in paper and screen printing unit.

Specially need girl for short stay at Karm Marg
Specially need girl for short stay at Karm Marg
Solar Lamp donated by Bindaas
Solar Lamp donated by Bindaas
Babli teaching Yoga
Babli teaching Yoga
Special need youth working at Jugaad
Special need youth working at Jugaad
Dancers after performance
Dancers after performance
Sep 27, 2017

Quarterly Project Report April-July 2017

Organic Farming: Bananas
Organic Farming: Bananas

This quarter was a busy one, with many activities, exposure visits, workshops and community outreach programs.

Success Story 

*Chutki, our newest resident is a 4 year old fun loving girl who likes to dance and laugh. She also has Down syndrome. She has won everyone’s heart with her charm and her unbarred display of affection. But she was not like this when she was brought to us 3 months ago, along with her elder sister. She was sad, withdrawn and cried often. She barely spoke, smiled or responded. She always needed assistance for her personal work. It took us almost one month to get her to open her up. With positive reinforcement and unconditional love form everyone around, she soon got comfortable at KM. She’s developed a lovely bond with Raju, our older young adult with Down syndrome. Always smiling, dancing and ready to throw flying kisses at you, she communicates whatever she wants easily. She has become the heart throb of our home.

Here are the highlights of this quarter: 

Exposure visit and workshop

Visit to Swaraj University, Udaipur was organised for our young adults. Swaraj University’s focus is self-designed learning and social entrepreneurship, including programmes to strengthen local culture and ecology. They do not have any course or syllabus. Each student is given an opportunity to design a course and syllabus for himself. Our youngsters spent a whole week there exploring and understanding the program structure and the process of applying to it.          

   Feedback: They found it an amazing place to learn because they learnt through    self exploration and from nature. Even the location was beautifully situated amidst hills.

Our older children were taken to Ranikhet (uttarakhand) to participate in a fun camp organized by Pravah for 5 days. It was a workshop based fun camp along with 5 other NGOs, where children were made aware on issues like leadership, gender and life skills. They also organized adventure activities for kids like river crossing, village visit and trekking. 

Feedback: Kids had a lot of fun and learnt a variety of things because   there was no pressure to learn all the time.

On 3 and 4th May, Volunteer Sidhartha(self-taught artist) from the NGO Manzil and Deepak, our KM alumni conducted an Art workshop at the Primary Government School in Khedi village as part of our library project. Approximately 200 children participated and had a lot of fun.

Two-day Life Skills workshop was held at the Government Senior Secondary School for class 9thChildren. 80 children participated in this workshop which was a joint program by our partners Modicare and us. The workshop was to raise awareness and give tips for handling issues of life skills, peer pressure, gender, HIV/AIDS.

    Feedback: In the past one year we have done 5 to 6 workshop in this school with different classes. Slowly but steadily our aim to sensitise children regarding these issues seems to be bearing fruit. Children are quite aware now and it has brought about a positive change as reported by their teachersWe need to work on boys more because they tend to pay much less attention towards these issues.

 

Ajay attended a one month documentary making workshop during summer vacation at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi. He also received a certificate of participation.  During this workshop he learnt camera operation, editing and photography.

 

On 16th and 17th June , our young adults with special needs, attended an art workshop at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi. They had lots of fun during the workshop and received certificate of participation.

 

Abdul our 14 year old was sent to Shikshantar in Udaipur for training.He hated school and showed a lot of interest in repairing electrical things and other creative pursuits. Shikshantar runs a Resource Center for homeschooling, un-schooling, Gap Year, Walkouts and Self-Designed Learners. Abdul is very happy there and has been exploring many options. Abdul’s mentors are very happy with his ideas and progress.

 

News from our Beautiful Home

In this quarter we took a decision that every Sunday we will sit together with kids and have a discussion on various topics like current affairs, social issues or other issues that the children want to talk about. This will help raise awareness and they can improve their communication skills too.

We harvested a lot of fruit this time. Banana, Mango, Cheeku and Mulberry. There’s nothing better than eating home-grown fruits. The children had so much fun plucking them from trees and eating them. The taste and freshness of these organically grown fruits also helped them understand the harmful effects of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and additives. They also observed the whole process of the growing of fruits, how to take care of the trees and recipes to make things like jam etc from extra or overripe fruits.

During the summer vacation children attended a Theatre Workshop conducted by Srikant. Srikant is an 18 year old aspiring theatre professional from the NGO Manzil. He shared his skills and prepared a play with beautiful props and use of music etc. A dance workshop was also conducted in-house by Rihana & Sonu at KM.  Both, the Skit and Dance were performed in the month of July for the children and the board members who really appreciated the talent and effort.

On 29th June, the younger kids went to a Water Park near Ballabhgarh to beat  the summer heat. It was an unforgettable day full of fun, food and ride.

Chutki-New kid on the block
Chutki-New kid on the block
Summer Theatre Workshop Performance
Summer Theatre Workshop Performance
Community Outreach Project
Community Outreach Project
Fun at the water park
Fun at the water park
 
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