Dec 30, 2020

Our own COVID hero continues to transform lives

Mr Donald, a beneficiary of Mrs Victoria's work
Mr Donald, a beneficiary of Mrs Victoria's work

Despite having herself contracted COVID-19, Mrs. Victoria, our coordinator of activities for the People with Disabities (PwD), has continued to be dedicated to improving their lives throughout the pandemic.  Last month, she took seven mentally challenged individuals to hospital for treatment, and she has begun training PwD in income-generating activities like candle making and threadwork design.  She was also the chief guest at an event organized to share information about how PwD can collect the government-related benefits available to them.  

And thanks to her help, we are able to report another success story:

Mr. Donald was stricken by polio when he was 4 and his right leg was permanently affected.  He used a walking stick to attend school and was able to complete his 12th standard in.  But was not able to study further due to the circumstances in his family's straitened circumstances and his difficulty using public transport. His parents were worried about whether he would ever be able t support himself.  

Through the Mobility India Scheme, Mrs. Victoria was able to get him an artificial leg, and gave him the assistance he needed to complete a Computer Science course in Open University.  Today, he works in a computer centre in Thillai Nagar and earns enough to not only support himself but help his parents and sister.

Your donations have helped fund Victoria's work, and we are deeply grateful for your support.

Nov 14, 2020

Growing a brighter future

Our project to support women’s agricultural enterprise has managed to continue despite the pandemic! On October 21, 28 women joined us in a workshop on using organic practices and creating value-added, commercial goods from their produce.

We began by explaining the importance of using organic practices and how it could increase the bounty and nutritiousness of their harvest.  We also distributed tomato, brinjal (eggplant) and chile saplings to all attendees to help them get started, along with a detailed explanation of how to nurture them.

Next, we discussed converting their produce into value-added products that would last longer and produce more income than the raw vegetable. Staff encouraged participants to share their own recipes and techniques as we explained how to make jam, juice, and pickles from tomatoes, vathal from brinjal, and chili powder and sauces.

Participants were enthusiastic about what they had learned and were eager to know when we would hold our next workshop. In the meantime, we are developing grant proposals to purchase the food carts and explore online marketing, to help the women market their wares more effectively.

At a time when everyone is struggling, we were so happy to be able to offer these women hope, through the generous donations of our supporters.

Nov 2, 2020

Remaining Hopeful and Doing What We Can

Although our progress toward empowering differently abled children has been limited by a lack of funding,  Voice Trust remains hopeful as we continue to leverage our talented staff to improve the lives of people with disabilities in Tamil Nadu.  

New Grant Application to Ensure Livelihoods

In connection with prior initiatives, Voice Trust has successfully trained over 50 differently abled adults to create in-demand products.  However, people with disabilities—who often face mobility limitations—are frequently unable to sell their wares, and therefore unable to support themselves.  Voice Trust staff have been hard at work completing a grant application that would enable these previously trained individuals to sell goods online, integrating them into the supply chain via internet marketplaces.  If the grant application is successful, a full-time program manager will oversee the initiative, helping to ensure a stable livelihood for this vulnerable group.

Care Coordination and Community Advocacy

Voice Trust field staff member Victoria has continued her unrelenting commitment to support differently abled people in Tamil Nadu.  She coordinates medical care for the mentally ill, and personally escorts patients to hospitals and appointments.  She has continued this important work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, save for a few weeks where she herself was ill with coronavirus.  Victoria also continues to make monthly visits to the District Differently Abled Welfare Office in Trichy.  She communicates with officials to get the most up to date information regarding government programs for people with disabilities, and then travels around to smaller villages in the district to share any helpful information.  Through Victoria’s efforts, thousands of people with disabilities have gained access to benefits they may never have learned about, but for her tireless community advocacy.

In Tamil Nadu, the differently abled and their families face a constant struggle.  Kids with disabilities that might be easily accommodated in wealthier places remain without wheelchairs, crutches, and hearing aids.  These devices could open the door to educational opportunities, and provide housebound, reliant young people with independence and dignity they have never known.  Voice Trust has knowledgeable staff on the ground, ready to put your donations toward doing the greatest  possible good.  If you are unable to make an additional gift to support this project, if you could share this giving opportunity on social media with anyone who might be able to help, it could transform a child’s life forever.

Warmly,

Janet Preethi

 
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