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.
Aug 27, 2013

Amreen - Proud to contribute to the family

Amreen using machine
Amreen using machine

Amreen is 17 years old, and lives in the village of Kuran, with her mother, father, and 2 brothers in a small house made of mud with a tin roof. Her father, and both of her brothers are wage labourers. Her mother rolls bidi cigars. All of this work together generated a total of 3,000rs a month, which was not enough for basics for the family, such as food and clothes.

A very driven and bright girl, she completed her 9th standard of school despite the background of rural poverty that she comes from. Unfortunately, her family poverty prevented her from completing school before she could finish, as she had to stay at home to help her mother with the housework, and making bidis (Indian cigars) for extra income.

Amreen was determined to become skilled at something, so she could "stand on her own 2 feet" as well as contribute financially to the family. She began attending the 'youth employment training' offered by NISD in her village, learning how to sew, in February of this year. She knew that if she learned to do this, she would be able to earn money due to the strong demand for such a service. After beginning this training, she also began to take an interest in NISD's other activities, which greatly helped to improve her confidence.

Towards the end of her time training, her parents decided to help in buying a sewing machine. Doing work for neighbours, friends, and other villagers, she has been able to make an additional 2,000rs a month for the family. This will increase over time. 

Amreen says "Now I can help my family from the money I earn. This was not possible before. Now I am proud that I can contribute to the family."

With such skills, and generating income through her work, Amreen will also be breaking ideas about the worth and abilities of girls. This will bode well, not only for Amreen's own future, but for all the girls and families who come into contact with her, who will be forced to confront their own assumptions.

Thank you all for funding this life changing work.

Those supporters who give regularly but are not 'regular donors' on Global giving, may be interested to know that any recurring donations initiated before the 30th of August will be matched completely by GlobalGiving (provided they continue for 4 months). If any supporter has considered becoming a 'regular donor', now is the chance for your donation to be worth double. Please do consider it.

Very best wishes,

Keval Shah.

Aug 6, 2013

Kajal goes to school

Kajal and her family
Kajal and her family

Kajal’s situation is a common one among so many of the children in these villages. Her parents and 6 siblings barely survive financially. They make money by collecting and selling branches of the neem tree, which people use to clean their teeth. They have a total monthly income of 2,000 rupees (about £22) and live in a hut which they have constructed themselves.

Kajal desperately wanted to go to school. She saw clearly that following in the footsteps of her parents meant to remain trapped in a life of poverty. However, school enrolment fees of 510 rupees, in addition to the cost of study materials, meant that school was not an option for her. Instead, she spent her time collecting neem tree branches with the rest of her family.  

Last month, during a rally that was taking place in her village, she met some of the project staff. She explained her wish to attend school, but that her family’s poverty meant she could not. After speaking to Kajal’s family, and hearing about the situation from them, the project staff began work. First, they negotiated with the Headmaster of the local school to allow Kajal to attend, in spite of her inability to pay fees. They then arranged educational material and a uniform for Kajal, so that she was equipped to pursue her dreams of studying.

The project staff are in regular contact with the family. There is little change in their living circumstances, but for over a month now Kajal has been happily attending school. She is already talking about completing her education and helping to improve her family’s financial situation.

Kajal is one of many thousands of children which this project is helping. Thank you for supporting this life-changing work. 

Aug 6, 2013

Pratibha - My children will study

Pratibha
Pratibha

Not all of the girls who live in the slums are fortunate enough to benefit from the interventions offered by this project. In fact most are not, and so end up marrying while they are very young and dropping out of school. This was the case for almost all of the girls a few years ago, before project activities began here. Now the situation is slowly changing. 

For the young women who had no opportunity to escape early marriage and domestic servitude, the project provides them with a chance of improving their situation. Many come to project activities, benefitting from an environment of peers (most of the women seldom leave their houses before attending), sharing their stories, and giving assistance and support to the staff and the younger girls. Some take part in the skills development courses to improve their own situations.

Pratibha is 28. She is married with 4 children and lives with her husband and mother in law. They live in the Bhimnagar slums, Vishrantwadi, in a small house of one room with a tin roof. Her husband is a driver and his 6,000rs (£64) a month salary doesn't quite cover the basic needs of the family. 

Prabhita wanted her children to study so they would not have to struggle as they parents do. They saved as much money as they could and the children were going to school, but there was no money for their books, and not enough for oil to cook food.

Then one day Pratibha spoke to a neighbour of hers who had attended sewing classes, Motivated by the wish to educate her children, she was inspired to do the same and started going along. 

She has now been attending classes for 6 months, and has gained a lot of confidence and new experiences through leaving the house and socialising with other women. In terms of income, she can earn up to 120rs a day for sewing things for others, and this 3,000rs or so a month raises the household income by half.

They can now afford both food and books and educational materials for the children. Pratibha says the house is also more peaceful now there is not the pressure of making sure there was enough money every day. The relationship with her mother in law is much improved now that she is able to contribute to the family financially. Furthermore, she has made a lot of new friends, and is confident that with the support of those around her, her business can grow. 

Now Pratibha is happy, her home is peaceful, and her children stand a chance of escaping the poverty which binds their parents.

Thank you, as always, for funding this life changing work.

 
   

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