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