Village Volunteers

Village Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works in partnership with rural village and capacity-building programs to support the development of sustainable solutions for community survival, education, and growth.
Aug 31, 2016

Bicycle Sales Force for Mukti

Dear Donor,

Its been a busy few months for the women of Mukti (Liberation in Sanskrit). They are enthusiastically making sanitary pads and feeling grateful and excited about their social enterprise. For them, helping women and girls who are in similar situations that they were is a way to feel truly liberated and a valuable member of society. We want to see the women who are part of Mukti feeling confident in earning a dignified income that also supports women and girls. 

As production grows, we are igrateful to donors who buy pads for girls who are from intergenerational prostitution families and who are attending school to break the cycle of sex work.  The struggle is real but Mukti offers hope in an otherwise bleak red light district of Kolkata.

We are working on raising funds to buy bicycles to set women up in business selling the sanitary pads. We will provide them with business training and their social enterprises will be set up like a micro-lending fund. When they pay back the seed money from a portion of their profits, the funds will buy pads for girls in the safe houses. 

Thank you for buying pads from Mukti and supporting women and girls. This could never have happened if not for you and others who believe in this project. 

Shana Greene

Empowering Women Period 

Links:

Aug 26, 2016

What Makes New Light so Extraordinary

 Dear Donor,

Thank you for your support in the past. With all of the NGOs to support, we are honored that you chose New Light.

Why is New Light so extraordinary? In a word, Urmi Basu. Urmi set up a small NGO in 2000 with very little seed money. She called the program New Light because it was a new day and it brough light into the lives of those who lived with abuse and without hope for the future. 

Today, New Light is a comprehensive community development project that provides shelter, education, health care, nutritional support, HIV care and the opportunity to live a life free of abuse, violence and stigma to more than two hundred children of sex workers and more than two thousand women  in the Kalighat red light district. Urmi was featured in the documentary Half the Sky based on the novel by New York Times columnist Nicollas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. Urmi lives in  Kolkata, India and fights for social justice for the marginalized community of sex workers / women in prostitution and survivors of trafficking every day of her life.

All of this activity puts huge strain on fundraising but the success stores are nothing short of little miracles for the children who are studying and are no longer caught up in the cycle of intergenerational prostitution and desparation. For the most part, the community does’t consider that children born in those areas deserve equal opportunities, so Urmi is their champion to provide education and guidance in career building.  

The strain on Urmi is something I've witnessed as her friend and partner and yet her passion for justice is for all of us who witness her work, stunning heroism. 

Please join me in supporting this wonderful program. We are hoping that even a small monthly subscription will add up to give Urmi the support she so desparately needs to create a world of opportunity to so many precious women and children. 

Thank you!

Shana

Jul 27, 2016

Expanding our Moringa Plantings to Help Many More

Women
Women's Group planting moringa trees

What we do know is that Sickle Cell Anemia (SCD) is a debilitating disease that has created the highest rate of childhood mortality in Sub Saharan Africa.  What we also know is that most of the children with SCD also suffer from malnutrition and have extremely painful joints. Like many diseases, nutrition and exercise plays a big role in keeping bodies strong to fight each crisis. In a study in Benin, they have shown that health interventions has dropped the mortality rate of SCD in children to that of other diseases. That to us was enough information to set this project into action with the super food moringa. 

With this knowledge we have formed a holistic program with educational curriculum and also using moringa to provide critical nutritional support. This project also facilitates an income producing opportunity for impoverished families who are dealing with a very vulnerable child who needs medical intervention.  

Peter Kithene Founder of Mama Maria Clinic and Hospital has donated two acres of land around the clinic being made available for moringa planting and harvesting, for the families who have registered as a member of the Sickle Cell Warrior Muhuru Bay Chapter.

As part of the Moringa Tree Project, Asembo Kar Geno’s training under Raphine Muga on using moringa as a food source is training the families and has covered topics such as planting methods (including demonstrations), ideal growing conditions, pruning, harvesting seeds and leaves, processing the powder from leaves, the plant’s nutritional and medicinal benefits, and recipes. Seedlings were given to each of the participants and the trees are being planted as funding will allow around the compound. He is currently working with the clinic director Silas Nguru to prepare land to support another 200 more saplings that we hope to plant.

The planting of the trees and the camaraderie is crucial for families who feel a sense of isolation in a community where disease in the family is seen as a curse, and for whom feeding and nourishing their children is a constant challenge. Our aim is to get families talking so they can share and unload their burdens, plant trees and see their children's health improve.  

Thank you for your continued help with planting this health promoting tree. 

Shana Greene, Village Volunteers

 
   

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