Karuna Trust

Our vision is of a world without prejudice, in which every human being has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background or beliefs. We aim to do this by challenging the ignorance and prejudice that trap people in poverty.
Feb 21, 2017

Visiting the Brick Kilns

Outside classroom
Outside classroom

In late January, I visited our fantastic partner working with the children of brick kiln workers in Thane. It was a deeply inspiring visit, where I could see the impact of the funding on the lives of the young children that the project is working with. There is so much I could say about this visit, so I will be sharing some stories and experiences over the coming few months.

I was particularly delighted to see how engaged all the children were in learning. Our partner has developed an alternative curriculum which uses creative and fun ways to engage the children in education. The children were very keen to demonstrate the different songs and dances that they use to learn English words and Marathi. The teachers really encourage peer-to-peer learning and it was great to see children standing up in front of the class and leading various activities. By doing this, we are helping the children to build confidence, leadership and communication skills which will prepare them for more skilled work.

The harsh reality of life for brick kiln workers was also very apparent. The conditions are very dusty and the parents told me they woke at 2am every day to do the hardest manual labour before the sun rose and it got too hot. I'll be sharing a little bit more about their lives as well over the coming few months.

Even though the project is running 'non-formal education' classes, our partner wants the children to feel like it is "real" school to encourage the children to eventually make the transition to formal education, so you will see in the photos that the children are wearing a special uniform.

Friends studying together
Friends studying together
Enjoying each other
Enjoying each other's company
Creating bricks
Creating bricks
Laboring under the sun
Laboring under the sun
Feb 21, 2017

Beyond the beach life

On the village tour
On the village tour

In January, I visited our project partner in Goa to understand more about the impact that their project is having on the lives of beneficiaries. It was a very positive visit and I have lots of stories and information to share from that trip, so I will be posting several reports over the coming months about the projects, the beneficiaries, staff and my experience of meeting alumni from the project.

As part of my visit, I went to see one of the evening study classes that your money funds. These study classes are situated in the rural eastern side of Goa, which is a very different place to the long sunny and sandy beaches that many of us associate Goa with. Off back roads, these villages are lived in by Dalit communities and the difference in quality of housing and facilities is immediately apparent. In one village of around 300 families, there was no toilet facilities with children and their families forced to use nearby villages to meet this basic human need. The children from the study class took us on a tour of their village as it got dark. They showed us their very basic homes, constructed using mud and with limited access to electricity. The families take their water from a communal well

Our evening study class provides an opportunity for the kids to meet in a well-lit space and receive support with their homework as well as remedial work in basic skills such as literacy and numeracy. The tutor, who has been trained and comes from the local community, uses creative learning methods to engage the children in learning - such as crafts, songs, games and other activities. The children were bright, happy and very enthusiastic to share what they had learnt with us.

Sharing homework
Sharing homework
Practicing the English alphabet
Practicing the English alphabet
Feb 2, 2017

Danashree healthy and happy

Danashree, 13, lives in the area of Ramgarh Kalas.  Prioir to meeting the project team she was anaemic and very unhealthy. She would often be sick and wouldn’t have the energy to leave home. She became very isolated.  

Despite knowing she needed to put on weight and eat more, Danashree didn’t know how to cook. She understood very little about good nutrition, what to eat or how to cook healthy meals.

Danashree enrolled in the projects healthy cooking classes. The classes taught her all about getting the essential nutrients like iron, B vitamins and protein from the food they were eating. She learned how to cook simple and affordable recipes using nutrient dense foods.

Now Danashree is helping to cook cook for her family at home and they are benefiting from the skills she picked up from the project.  She also tells her friends about what she learned, so they are learning about good nutrition as well.

Danashree’s health has improved drastically. She is now able to go to school regularly, instead of being kept at home by weakness and frequent illness. She has changed her habits to eat less junk food and unhealthy snacks, and is instead eating healthy, protein-rich foods. Her whole family has benefited from her new knowledge, as she has shown them that healthy food can be delicious, and can be made cheaply at home.

 
   

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