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Jan 16, 2020

Kiran, aged 5, aims beyond the brick kiln factory

Lining up to taste fresh water for the 1st time
Lining up to taste fresh water for the 1st time

Kiran, aged 5, is one of the youngest in a large family who are part of bonded labour. Migrant workers, they are bonded to a brick kiln to pay off debt accured to pay for food and basic necessities over the coming months. Most children in Kiran's situation start carrying bricks as a way to help their parents work faster and earn the money quicker. Denying children an education, this situation can also create health problems; accidents are common due to the harzardous work environment.

However, Kiran is taking full advantage of a project that provides good education on site. Teachers who are keen to equip children with more options in life by increasing literacy, daily living skills and just as importantly, giving them the space and safety to play as children.

Kiran is becoming literate and at 5 years old can read from 1 to 20, chart the parts of the body, identify flowers and fruits. He attends school regularly and takes an interest in his learning. He has learnt about jobs and roles outside of what had seemed destined to him. Kiran tells staff he wants to become a Doctor. 

Your support goes a long way. Thank you for your donation and for providing children like Kiran the conditions to learn and grow that otherwise would be unavailable to them.

Dec 31, 2019

"I have aspirations now!" - Kaajal, aged 14

Kaajal
Kaajal

Our girls’ hostels work to provide a space that is educational, engaging, safe and fun so that young women have everything they need to focus on becoming who they are, not who they are told to be. 

At the Vishrantwadi hostel in Pune, the staff practice this vision everyday. Providing free room and board throughout the school terms for 100 girls, they care about their students and the women they will one day become. 

Kaajal, 14, knows how difficult life can be. At just 10, she had to help her illiterate father and brothers work in a local quarry breaking rocks in terrible conditions. She would carry rocks through the mine, as she was small enough to fit more easily through its narrow corridors. 

Sadly, during an accident that is an unfortunately routine occurrence, one of her brothers died after a rock fell on his head. Later, her father broke both his legs in a fall at the quarry and she lost another brother to an undiagnosed respiratory illness, very likely the result of the dusty and toxic conditions of the mine. 

Her parents desperately wanted more for Kaajal, and after hearing about the hostel, encouraged her to apply. When she first arrived, she was overwhelmed. “I couldn’t write my own name. I was so scared I couldn’t speak. I had no confidence.”

Now, three years on, she is transformed into a child with hopes, dreams and the knowledge that she can achieve them. She is working hard at her favourite subjects, maths and English, and feels confident about the future. 

I feel I can speak boldly with anyone now,” Kaajal says. “I have aspirations, which I didn’t have before. Now, when my sisters see me, they feel inspired and encouraged to study too.”

Despite her young age, she feels sure she wants to study hard and get involved in social development, providing water, electricity, food and education to those that really need it. 

I want the people around me to have a better life. I don’t want them to have the kind of life my family had.”

All over India, your donations are giving girls like Kaajal the chance to lead a different life than the one they are born into one that they choose for themselves. 

Dec 30, 2019

Shubhu flourishes against the odds

Children learn in safety and warmth at ITBCI
Children learn in safety and warmth at ITBCI

Shubu, 5, a student at the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Institute (ITBCI), is just like any other child that age: curious, energetic and wanting to play. You would never know the extreme domestic situation she experienced in her young life. Thankfully, she is too young to remember and with the support of ITBCI and her mother, Sanjaya, Shubu’s life is looking very different.

Shubu’s father was violent towards Shubu and Sanjaya in a way that left permanent scars and led to his imprisonment. Becoming a single mother in extreme poverty, Sanjaya did not know where to turn. However, when ITBCI heard of her story, they offered a tuition to Shubu once she was old enough for kindergarten, as well as a place to live for her mother and her. Sanjaya was able to find a job as a cleaner in the school and to begin life anew. Things are still hard. But, with tuition and all the necessary stationery paid for, as well as several nutritious meals a day for Shubu. Sanjaya has even begun saving for the future.

“Now I always know she can be safe and happy” says Sanjaya. Seeing Shubu play and learn, her past seems very far away.

Now thanks to your support, Shubu’s future is something to look forward to.

 
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