Sambhali Trust

Sambhali Trusts' primary objective is to promote self-esteem, economic independence, and the development of educational, vocational and social skills for disadvantaged women and girls within Rajasthani society. We focus our work on women within the Dalit communities, who experience three levels of discrimination based on their caste, their economic situation and their gender. We strongly pursue and encourage the aim of gender equality whilst being sensitive to cultural norms.
Feb 5, 2016

Project Update

Boarding Home girls singing in the Competition
Boarding Home girls singing in the Competition

Firstly we are very happy to have reached our $10,000 target to help support the women in the Sheerni Microcredit Project and improve the lives of the 22 girls in the Boarding Home. On behalf of Sambhali Trust I would like to thank you very much indeed for all your generosity and for making such a difference.  We will now close this project as “funded” but we have a new Project on Global Giving for our SOS Project – helping women suffering from harassment and domestic abuse, as well as helping those in dire need of medical emergencies. You are more than welcome to support this project which desperately needs funding at present. For further news on the Boarding Home and Sheerni Projects, please visit our Facebook page on the Sambhali website www.sambhali-trust.org.

 

Boarding Home

The girls have been enjoying a lot of different activities over the last few months. The volunteers go for 3 hours every evening from 3.30-6.30pm after the girls return home from school. They have been using their Monday evenings during November practising for a local dance competition before the Diwali festival. Eight girls wore heavy robes, make-up and jewellery to take part in both the dancing and singing parts of the competition. They all had a lot of fun and encouraged their self-confidence to perform in public.

During their Story Days, they have been reading out loud in English various fairy tales; one girl will summarise it in Hindi and then they act it out by taking on different parts and making up a dialogue in English. They really enjoy these sessions particularly taking on the more active roles. The girls take it in turns to read it out loud which encourages all of them to participate and the volunteers ask questions and discuss the moral of the tale.

Wednesdays and Fridays are a Sports/yoga day, where the girls were given yoga sessions but mostly prefer the more active running sports given by the volunteers in the local park.

A variety of workshops are held on Thursday afternoons and now as the girls are getting older it has been suggested that the girls are divided into 2 groups…those 7-12 years  and those 13+. Workshops designed more for the older girls have included menstruation and pregnancy, where the girls were very attentive and interested.  They also did group workshops including creating a mandala..looking at self-image, various creative workshops and an “ocean of happiness” workshop.

There is a new tutor now in addition to Vimlesh, called Ranjan, who will help them with their homework, Hindi and Maths as well as developing some computer classes, as the girls are beginning to learn the theory at school, and now they need to practise. Sambhali has some laptops in the computer lab at the main Jodhpur Empowerment Centre, which they can use to practise on.  The girls had exams in December and their results are all very encouraging; all their grades being between 69%-99%, with one girl receiving 55%. They are all different ages so are at different levels, but they have all maintained a steady grade, apart from one girl, whom we need to focus on at present.

They have also been atttending to a lot of their minor health issues, looking at various dermatological problems the girls are suffering from. However the main news is that Pooja is to receive an operation to help her with a better walking pattern. Pooja who suffers from a spinal scoliosis causing her legs to be different legs was taken to see an orthopaedic surgeon to get some corrective shoes for her and a treatment plan has been devised to be able to lengthen her leg to equal the other one by gradually extending the bone over a period of time. Everything has been explained to Pooja’s parents who are happy for the operation to take place, we hope sometime in February. Additional fundraising has been done to enable this operation to happen.  

Educational trips are planned on a monthly basis to enable the girls to relate what they learn at school in the locality and to enable them to see more of what’s going in Jodhpur and inform their curiosity.

 

Sheerni Microcredit Project

The 108 women in the 10 groups are now consistently saving money each month to increase the capital from which they are able to receive loans. Some of the women couldn’t attend in the farming season in September and October, where they had to cut the crops before Diwali in November.

In October, 10000 rupees loan was given to a woman to provide stock for her shop. In December 4 women received loans of 7000 rupees and 3 x 10,000 rupees for stock for her shop, new shop, straw for cow’s food and to purchase 2 goats respectively.

This project has been running since 2009 and has changed over 100 women’s lives in the village of Setrawa, by enabling them to set up their own little businesses and provide an income for their families. Some of their children also attend the Empowerment Centre in Setrawa. With the support of the Manager, Mrs Mehta and the fieldworker, Meera Khatri, it is a integral part of Sambhali Trust and we are sure this project will run for many more years to come.

Henna designing
Henna designing
Creative workshop with the girls
Creative workshop with the girls
more rag-doll making ....
more rag-doll making ....
Paper craft workshop
Paper craft workshop
Celebrating Xmas time with the girls
Celebrating Xmas time with the girls
Nov 5, 2015

Project Update

Herpayar Khatri with her shop
Herpayar Khatri with her shop

Sheerni Microcredit Project

In August and September many of the women are also working in the fields because of harvest time, which are 10-15km away from their houses and so were unable to make the monthly meetings this time. However, there have been 2 loans for 10,000 rupees and 15,000 rupees made to Sua Devi and Kesar Devi respectively, who both bought cows. Unfortunately, this month all the women in the self-help group in Solankiyatala, (a very small hamlet about 5km away from Setrawa) agreed to close this group as they weren’t able to keep it functioning. However, Mrs Mehta the Project Manager hopes that she will be able to form another group of 10 women in the area to take over from Solyankiyatala.

On 6 September the government minister who is in charge of government factories, Mr. Gajendra Singh Khivsar went to Setrawa and talked with the group of women and appreciated the work that they were doing. 

Some short stories of the women from the Sheerni Project:

Herpeyar Khatri

Herpeyar has received 10000 Rs in 2013. With this money she opened a shop in Setrawa. She now sells household goods like washing powder, sweets and cosmetics. She is very happy that she can earn her own income and make a living.

 Samda Devi

Samda received 15,000 Rs in 2013 and then again another 10,000 Rs in 2015; both amounts for her grocery shop. In her shop she sells biscuits, sweets, cold drinks and some other products. Before she got the loan for her shop, she worked at home and had no financial income. Now, she is very happy to earn her own money.

 Chandu Devi

Chandu lives with her mother in law, who is a micro-finance member as well, in a simple house in Setrawa. Before they joined the Sheerni Microcredit Project they both worked as labourers in the construction and local building projects. This as we can imagine was a very tough job particularly when they also had to do the household chores and take care of the children.

Chandu was given a loan, in 2014. She invested 10,000 Rupees in a flour-mill machine. People can come to her house with their grains and Chandu will grind it for them. Now she and her mother-in- law earn money at home and can take care of the children as well. Chandu is very happy about the income and the help and support Sambhali Trust gave her.

 Champa Devi

Champa Devi, who was given a loan over 10 000 INR by Sambhali Trust. She invested the money into two goats. She earns a living through selling goat milk. Moreover every six months she can sell the goat’s new-borns. Before Sambhali Trust’s help, the family worked hard as construction workers. Now Champa Devi can work from home. Sambhali Trust has changed Champa Devi’s life remarkably and she’s very grateful.

 

Sheerni Educational Project

 In August the volunteers have established a weekly plan for the afternoon programme for one hour after the children have finished their homework.

Monday is the Music and Dancing day. They downloaded some Indian songs, usually Bollywood songs that the girls knew from the radio. They printed the lyrics in Hindi and English, so the girls could understand the text and then they danced to their favourite songs.

Tuesday is Story day; the girls read a story together and after they understood the plot, the volunteers ask them several comprehension questions. Finally, the girls should act out the story. Afterwards they discuss it and watch a little video in Hindi that sums up the fairy tale.

On Wednesdays, they prepared a yoga lesson, so that the girls could get some exercise. The girls had fun and enjoyed showing the volunteers their own exercises that they didn't know.

Thursday is Workshop day. In the first week, they did some dip-dye with them on the roof of the Boarding Home. It was quite difficult to handle all the girls trying to be the first one to dip-dye their own fabric, but finally, they managed it! In the second week, Wednesday was Grant's last day (one of the volunteers), so he brought some cookies and they watched the first half of Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban. All the girls loved to watch the movie except Neeru who was a little bit afraid, so another volunteer decided to play outside with her. They also had workshops on origami and making bracelets.

On Fridays, they go to the local temple park and the younger girils love to do rope- skipping and to play catch.

Before we start with our afternoon program we help the girls with their homework. Alfisha makes progress in mental arithmetic concerning small addition and subtraction. Manisha however has some difficulties in Maths, but with the help of Vimlesh and the volunteers, she can correct it herself. In the beginning of August, the girls in the 6th and 7th classes talked about the divisibility rules at school. They all had some problems with it, so Vimlesh explained it to them again and we prepared worksheets for them to practise this topic. Nisha was the only one who understood everything and she helped the other girls, especially Pooja. Another problem was that some of the girls copy and share their homework from each other, so the volunteers are helping them to improve on their weaknesses. In general, the all the girls are better speaking English than in writing and comprehension. All the girls went together with Renate (President Sambhali Germany), Nirmala (Housemother) and Vimlesh (tutor) to the cinema and watched the movie Bajrangi Bhaijan. That was much fun for the girls and they told us that they had an amazing evening. In the last week of August, all the girls except Vishnu, Samta, Alfisha, Noshin and Pooja, left the Boarding Home for four days to spend the festival with their families.

A short interview with one of the girls at the Boarding Home:

Pooja 13 years old (in the group photo, she is middle row, far right next to the door).

Pooja's family lives in Solankiyatala, a small hamlet near Setrawa and has a scoliosis of her spine, but has received exercises from the physio to help her and now although her mobility is limited it does not hinder her daily activities. When she was born she had  two legs of different length, and was known as the "disabled" or the "sin" in her village. Living in the Boarding home, where everyone loves her how she is, is a blessing for her.  Her family live in a hut, consisting of two rooms, where her parents,  2 sisters and 3 brothers live. They have no electricity or running water in their home. Pooja's mother is called Sua and works in the house all day and her smallest son Dinesh tries to support her. Mendar is her second oldest son and he works as a herder outside the whole day. She has two older sisters, Kamla and Madhu who are both married already and Ramu, the oldest brother works together with his father Lalaram as a quarry labourer. Pooja's father is addicted to alcohol.

Pooja came to the Boarding Home in 2012 when the project started.

During the last three years, Pooja has learnt how to read Hindi and English books. Since most of the volunteers do not understand Hindi she has to talk a lot in English which is why she can speak English very well now. She joins in with all the activities that the volunteers put on and has worked hard with her school work and has got very good grades.

The goals in her life and her wishes for the future:

First of all, Pooja wants to finish school and college. After that, she would like to go back to Solyankiyatala to live together with her family. She wants to find good work to support her family but she is still not sure about the kind of job she wants to do. Pooja does not want to marry. But she knows that her father will probably arrange a marriage for her and that she will have to follow his plans for her.

What does she appreciate relating to the Boarding Home?

What Pooja likes most about her life in the Boarding Home is, that she can go to school every day. She loves all subjects (except maths) and enjoys learning so many new things. Her hobby is reading books.

She is also very happy about the new space in the Boarding Home thanks to the new rooms that were built a few months ago. Pooja likes to live together with so many other girls and she appreciates the different activities organized by the volunteers during the week. The Music-day is her favourite day of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samda Devi with her new shop
Samda Devi with her new shop
Chandu Devi with her flour-grinding mill
Chandu Devi with her flour-grinding mill
Champa Devi with her goat
Champa Devi with her goat
Group photo of the Boarding Home girls
Group photo of the Boarding Home girls
The girls after one of their creative workshops
The girls after one of their creative workshops
The girls
The girls' new bedroom area
Doing homework!
Doing homework!
hanging out the washing!
hanging out the washing!
another new area of their home for studying
another new area of their home for studying
Aug 7, 2015

Project Update

En route to Mount Abu!
En route to Mount Abu!

Sheerni Educational Project

After the girls finished their summer exams they all went on a trip to Mount Abu in Rajasthan - a 4-hour journey from Jodhpur. Nirmala, Virendra, Vimlesh together with the volunteers working at the Boarding Home, escorted the girls for the 4 day trip. As 20 of the girls come from the rural village of Setrawa and 2 girls from Jodhpur, it was the first time they had left their home town and ventured further afield. Mount Abu is a well-known tourist spot in Southern Rajasthan, having a lake, hills, wildlife as well as home to the international spiritual centre of Brahma Kumaris. The girls enjoyed visiting the Nakki Lake, Dilwara Jain temple, the nearby wildlife sanctuary and completed a hike up Guru Shikar (the highest point!). 

New build construction has been completed in the Boarding Home, which has a new room built on what was the terraced area on the first floor. It now has room for 18 girls sleeping in there with new beds, whilst the other areas have tables and benches in now, used for meals and studying.

All the girls have been working hard at school and have done well in their summer exams. All but 3 of the girls finished with more than 75% with Neeru getting 96%. The girls then went back to their homes for their summer holiday for the month of June and have all now started in a new class at school. Volunteers go in regularly to help them with their English tuition and provide workshops; whilst Vimlesh, their Sambhali tutor helps with extra tuition.

 

Sheerni MicroCredit Project

This month’s meeting of all the groups took place. Delhi Doordarshan TV went to Setrawa and made a documentary on the Self-Help Group Project and stayed in Setrawa for two days. They asked women from the 10 groups what changes they have experienced since they joined this Project. They also made a film on how they could start their business after taking a loan from the Group. They knew it was going to be shown on television and cast light on the importance of MicroCredit and Self-Help Groups and initiated a discussion on its successful running and monitoring.

 

 

 

Boat trip on Nakki lake, Mount Abu
Boat trip on Nakki lake, Mount Abu
Eating out in Mt Abu
Eating out in Mt Abu
At the top of Guru Shikar, Mount Abu
At the top of Guru Shikar, Mount Abu
 
   

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