Lotus Outreach

Lotus Outreach International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the education, health, and safety of at-risk and exploited women and children in the developing world. Lotus Outreach achieves its mission by supporting effective grassroots projects in vulnerable communities.
Apr 7, 2014

Education is Liberation for the Next Generation

IN THE SWELTERING HEAT OF THE INDIAN SUN, brick kiln workers stand ragged, knee-deep in water, bent over and hacking out clay bricks from wet mud. Nearby, kindergarten-age children break apart coal lumps to be loaded into impossibly hot clay kilns. None of the conditions are legal, but they are the status quo for millions of workers indentured to labor almost as slaves.

Kamlesh is the mother of eight children working at such a facility in Hathin, Haryana. Living and working at a brick kiln has not afforded Kamlesh’s family the ability to send their children to school. As a result, her oldest children are mostly uneducated, and will likely repeat the same path of servitude which their parents were forced to pursue. Such is the cycle of poverty.

Lotus Outreach is working to break the cycle of poverty by facilitating the education of hundreds of children of laborers each year! Our students receive a free school uniform, school bags, books, stationery, a free lunch, and safe bus transportation to their local school.  

Transportation, Kamlesh tells us, was the main reason why her eldest children were unable to continue in education. Living at the brick kiln in a shack, the family was much too far from the district school, and the roads on which children must walk to get to school are full of peril. Huge trucks tear down the dirt roads, killing dozens of pedestrians each year. One crash last year killed 30 brick kiln workers, 12 of which were children, when the truck tore into the 2 minivans into which they were packed.

Kamlesh’s own first born son was killed in a road accident. Even if just transportation were not an issue, education would still be far out of reach. The cost of uniforms, materials, food, and the opportunity-cost of losing the pittance of income generated by their children’s labor makes so many families choose not to continue their children in school.

The supportive services of Lotus Outreach are changing all of that! Kamlesh’s three youngest children, two daughters and a son are now enrolled in primary school. She says, “I hope that my son can become a clerk and that my daughters will marry into a decent family, and not have to work from dawn until midnight at the kiln.”

Your donation can emancipate these children from a lifetime of hard labor! Just $40 covers the cost of safe, bus transportation for a student for the entire year!  

So far in this year we have 100 students enrolled and receiving scholarships and support. Some 30 families have already committed to stay in the area through the monsoon season, forgoing the meager temptation of more work in the south so that their children can remain consistently in school and receive the full benefit of the program. This choice would be impossible without the support this vital program.

In 2013 we provided services to 250 brick kiln kids, busing them to the schools, supporting them with materials and even extra tutoring, and persuading their migrant families to remain in one place so their children can pursue education. Escape from poverty without literacy, without basic numeracy is all but impossible. With your support we are paving the way for the next generation to succeed.

Links:

Apr 3, 2014

Knowledge is Contagious! GATEways Grad Luen Becomes a Teacher

Luen is paying forward the gift of education!
Luen is paying forward the gift of education!

When Luen graduated from high school as one of Lotus Outreach’s GATE scholarship students, she wished to continue her education by becoming a teacher in a two-year government program. We were of course proud to continue her progress as one of our GATEways post-secondary scholars!

The road to Luen’s success, however, was not an easy one. Luen’s father abandoned her family when she was only in grade nine, and her mother passed away when she was still finishing high school in grade 12. She went to live with her grandmother, but her grandmother too passed away that same year before Luen had finished the 12th grade. Fortunately, the residential homes at GATE Banteay Meanchey were there to accept her.

Lotus Outreach’s GATEways provides tuition, room and board to impoverished students so they can attain post-secondary education, all for just $1,200 per year! Your contribution of $20 can pay for food support for two students for an entire month!

Luen graduated from high school despite these significant setbacks, and she moved forward into teacher training school in Sisophon. Working hard through the year, she graduated number three in her teaching class, and due to her good grades, had the choice to teach anywhere she wanted. A testament to the tremendous community impact of educating women, Luen chose to return to the rural Row Lueh Commune in the district of Svey Check, right next to her home village!

When we went to visit Luen’s class, 14 of her 17 third grade class were in attendance. Luen tells us that rural life makes high demands of children, and work on their parents’ farms precludes many children from attending school regularly. She says, “Some of the students have to stay home to help their parents process the cassava crop.”

Luen knows the people of her hometown area, and she’s proud to return having completed her education:

“I am so happy to be working in my home village. Here, I can be a role model and will help the children and families here to value education and stay in school as long as they can.”

Luen’s story has a fairytale ending. Luen met a young man while in pedagogy school, and they are now engaged to be married. Her fiancée is teaching at another nearby school.

Just several years ago, this kind of story would have been very unlikely in a country like Cambodia. Thanks to your support, more women like Luen are attending school, and they are paying it forward to the next generation.

"I know the answer!!"
"I know the answer!!"

Links:

Apr 3, 2014

Srey-Pov Overcomes Abuse and Poverty through Education

Srey-Pov
Srey-Pov's wedding day after a difficult journey

Srey-Pov is 26 years old, born in Mittapheap village, Sangkat Russei Keo, Khan Russei Keo, with three brothers. Her journey to complete the Lotus Outreach Non-Formal Education (NFE) program has been long, and she has had to fight every bit of the way.

But this year Srey-Pov completed a skills training in sewing after having taken the NFE literacy course in 2010, and she is finally moving forward into a hopeful new period in her life!

Srey-Pov’s life has not been easy. In the second grade she had to drop out of school to take care of her father who was dying of AIDS. By the time she was 15, her father and her mother had both passed away, her three brothers were scattered to the wind, and Srey-Pov was married and pregnant. After the baby was born, her husband quickly became abusive, there was a difficult custody battle for the child, and a divorce leaving Srey-Pov with nothing.

With no income, no parents, no husband, and no education, Srey-Pov was left with no other option but to find work at the karaoke-parlor brothels endemic to Cambodia.

Srey-Pov quickly became tired of the drunken indignity and powerlessness of karaoke work, and so she signed up for Lotus Outreach’s Non-Formal Education class at the karaoke parlor near where she worked. In the year 2010 at age 23 she learned to read, spent much of her time studying, and finished with excellent grades. After finishing the NFE literacy program, she started to learn sewing through the NFE skills training.

Sewing skills and cosmetology trainings through NFE have the power to transform women’s lives and give an option to escape exploitative sex work. Just $20 covers a month of skills training that can save a woman’s life from tragedy!

It’s not easy to turn your life around overnight. But with effort and a little good luck, Srey-Pov began to see changes happening. In 2013 she landed a job at a garment factory using her sewing skills, and a man fell in love with her. By May she and he were married, and they are moving soon to Sen Sok where she will reunite with her daughter, now age 13. Srey-Pov insists she will keep her daughter enrolled in school until she graduates.

When you start off so far behind, it can take a long time and a lot of hard work to catch up. Taking the NFE literacy class in 2010 was the first step, and it laid the groundwork for her to move forward into a dignified life. Now she is saving her money to buy her own sewing machine so she can work from Sen Sok. With any more luck, her daughter will have a much easier life than Srey-Pov did.

Srey-Pov (2nd from left) graduating NFE in 2010
Srey-Pov (2nd from left) graduating NFE in 2010

Links:

 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $20
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Lotus Outreach

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Lotus Outreach on GreatNonProfits.org.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.