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Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India

by Blossom Trust
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India
Provide Care for 30 Vulnerable Children in India

We celebrated Diwali at Dayspring! And festivities abounded. The kids stayed home from school and instead of farm work or homework we all were treated to two days of feasting and fun. On the first day we had a special breakfast on banana leaves-- flavored rice and curries and chutney and sweets for breakfast! And as soon as breakfast finished every kid got a brand new Diwali outfit. The girls got beautiful saris and shawls and the boys got dress shirts and khaki pants or shorts. There was also plenty of bangles and costume jewelry and plaited hair. The kids new finery put us volunteers to shame! There were more sweets before lunch and a mini cricket match. and already in the morning the first firecrackers were set off.

After a special lunch (biryani! chicken curry! more sweets!) we settled into for movie time or else spent time with the staff and friends who visited from the Blossom office. We looked around the farm and found a snake! Some children had parents visiting today.

In the evening, as it got dark, the real festivities began. I had never seen so many kids with so many fireworks. There were handheld sparklers, there were rockets, there were tubes that made a horrible shrieking sound when set off. Then there were cones that let out a huge waterfall of silver sparks, and sometimes had blue and red balls shooting out as well. And the spinning disks that sprayed silver sparks all over everyone's feet. And just when one box seemed to be running out another new type of firecracker would appear from the bottom of someone's bag. If you went on the roof terrace you could see the real large fireworks being set off in villages in all directions. It was the true spirit of Diwali!

The next days the holiday continued. We had a special breakfast of Poori that the girls helped to make. and everyone changed into their new fine clothes for the meal. In addition to being a holiday it was Charles's birthday so along with the special and delicious food we were eating all day there were sweets and cake! We had more movie time and the volunteers and the kids played games before dinner. Some people took care of the animals as well. they need to eat too! In the evening there were big rains and a big storm but we could still play snakes and ladders by torchlight. No one wanted to go to sleep-- but in the morning the kids would get dressed in their finery again and show off their new clothes at school.

It was a great Diwali. so many treats! and so much fun to spend it around the smiling laughing kids.

 

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Danabal immersed into the screen
Danabal immersed into the screen

I arrived at Blossom Trust with two donated laptops, excited to start Dayspring Computer Class to teach the older children at Dayspring Home basic computer skills, so that when they have to leave the home for further education or to work they will be ready.

In the class we are teaching the oldest six children at the home OpenOffice Writer, Calc and Impress (open-source equivalent of MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint) as well as how to use the internet for searches, email and job hunting. We really want to make sure that they can get the most out of their laptops, not just see them as toys!  

There are only two laptops for them to share but as we are having three or four classes each week the children are getting quite a lot of time on the computers. Each class is volunteer run, with one of us conducting the lessons and another two helping the children as they take turns to practise on the computer.

The children are progressing really quickly and are ready for their first project, a one-page profile about themselves using OpenOffice Writer, they love getting the chance to use technology and are really looking forward to when we can get the funds to bring the internet to Dayspring.

We know the children need as much practice as possible with the laptops so we want to give them extra supervised time to learn and many of the younger children are really eager to learn too, so we’re looking at how we can create an extra class. 

Third day of class
Third day of class
"We can still practice typing on the old keyboard"
"We can still practice typing on the old keyboard"
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I arrived at Dayspring Home a month ago. In a few days, I will go back to my country, 12,500 km away westward. As I think back to these past thirty days and I put in my backpack as many things as I can:

I take Makesh’s pertinence, Williams’ curiosity and Walla’s wisdom. I take Haraharan’s patience, Nalaya’s energy and Danapal’s discretion. I take Djenida’s love, Malathi’s games, Elakiya’s gentleness and Santhos’ hugs. I take Jowel’s jokes, Dhanalakshmi’s happiness, and Vaishaili laugh. I take Esaki’s pout, Kudipandi’s amazement, Muenieshwari’ cheekiness and her sister Selvi’s tenderness. I take Ravi’s humor, Shivakumar’s songs, Prakash’s presence and Aiyyer’s vigor. I take Dana’s elegance, Rajarajeshwari’s simplicity, Nanthini and Mahalakshmi’s Tamil lessons. I take Elizabeth’s delicateness, Valarmathi’s kindness, Dhanalakshmi’s shy smile, and Marishwari’ smartness. I wrap them gingerly, to carry them safely through a long journey back to regular life.

I will bring back all of this. Spending this month with these children is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced and this is because of you.

Thank you for your support, and continue to give to these children. They need it, they deserve it, and they will give you back thousand times what you had given to them. 

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Mari showing off her writing talents!
Mari showing off her writing talents!

Coming into Blossom Dayspring with an educator’s perspective I was ready to insert myself into this newfound community as a teacher and spread my passion of language learning. Upon deducing it was summer break, and most of the children would be off with various family members, I was unsure of the purpose of my presence in only four, young lives.

Whenever I find myself in a new environment I dedicate a set of time to observe my new surroundings. The power of observation is such a beautiful thing and allows for reflective thought as well as the ability to engulf yourself in silence, to fully hear what is transpiring around you. Unfortunately, my time here at Blossom Dayspring is limited and my observation process only allowed for a week; today marks the end of that week. From an educational standpoint, the first thing I observed was the vastly different learning context of this experience.

The balance between curiosity and intrigue allowed for close bonds to form instantly. Me, learning how to properly eat Indian cuisine, while educating the children in language development through interactive games and new technologies. But as we exchanged cultural and linguistic differences, I began to note the rare opportunity I was granted in having such a small amount of children. What I was first concerned for soon became my biggest asset; having daily, individualized learning time with a child does not happen often in any teaching context.

The knowledge that each of these children are here over the summer because they do not have another family outlet to go to was, and still remains to be the biggest struggle in living here. However, the normalcy of this fact, and the way in which each member of Dayspring works as a family is overwhelming to me. There is still a place to sleep, delicious food to be eaten, fun to be had, and love to be shared, only one difference - a new western face. Each morning, I have my tea and breakfast with the children, while practicing English vocabulary as much as we can. Marishwari, the youngest here for the summer, has self-appointed herself as my personal hairdresser and goes the work taming my locks. Her attention to detail in everything she does gives me an idea as to how to best reach her linguistically.

Through writing practice, which she instantly loved because of her meticulous nature, we are able to practice new vocabulary in the contexts of writing, reading, pronunciation, listening and conversation. The expression on her face when I let her know she has done a good job, or that she read an entire sentence in English is unlike any other teaching experience I have ever encountered, Blossom allowed this to happen. The consistency of having a home with unconditional love and support is how children grow, not only in an academic sense, but as a whole person. I am very thankful to have been just a small piece of this family for such short period of time and for what I will take away from it and carry with me to my next teaching experience.

With love from Blossom Family,

Tessa Gonzales

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Vaishali,Sharing her treats
Vaishali,Sharing her treats

A safe haven where 27 children have a place to call “home”. A place which has grown very strong in the last 10 years and is still developing to the better. The gate to Dayspring Home is well known by all the locals in the area and when entering you will be welcomed by many curious faces. When arriving they will proudly show you the facility, such as the classroom, library and kitchen. In the backyard, you will find the children’s vegetable farm, where they learn to plant and manage crops. In front of the house, next to the swings, is the big farm which is managed by the farmers. Besides nutritious vegetables and fruit you will find the well, which provides water to both the farm and Dayspring Home. And through the water purification system which was lately installed, the kids have clean drinking water at all time to stay dehydrated. In a place like India and especially the South, this is essential as we are getting closer to the hot dry season.

Pongal is a four day harvest festival celebrated particularly in Tamil Nadu in mid January, by showing gratefulness to the agriculture such as farm and cattle. The children participated decorating the garden cow and afterwards enjoyed a special meal including pongal rice, sugar cane and thakali on a banana leaf. The ground outside Dayspring Home was covered in colorful paintings (kolam) and the children wore their finest clothing. A couple of weeks before, Christmas was celebrated at Dayspring Home. Santa Claus came and the children were bouncing off the walls with excitement when they were about to received their presents. Who wouldn’t?

The children are performing outstanding in school and are hopefully looking towards a bright future. Education as you might now is quite costly and every year requires new items for the children. New school bags are essential as many of them are worn out and the older children need bigger ones. All stationeries, such as pencils, scales and rubbers are needed as well and new water bottles for every child to bring to school.

These kids appreciate every little act of kindness. To put up shelves and hooks in the bathrooms would make showering a lot easier, less wet towels on the floor and somewhere to put the shampoo bottles. Also, buying new trunks for their personal belongings and putting up hangers in their bedroom for their clothes.

Other than that, the kitchen is in need of a couple of cleaning tools to maintain sanitary and tidy. This is where breakfast, lunch, dinner and washing is made and is therefore a priority.

Dayspring Home is depending entirely on your generous donations and will with your help secure the future for these 27 lovely children. By continuously donating, this place will hopefully remain a home for many vulnerable children both now and in the future.

Thank you for your support, thank you for making a difference.

Best regards from the children, staff and volunteers at Dayspring Home.

Pongal Celebration
Pongal Celebration
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Organization Information

Blossom Trust

Location: VIRUDHUNAGAR, TAMILNADU - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
MERCY ANNAPOORNI
Virudhunagar District, Tamil Nadu India
$44,762 raised of $80,000 goal
 
960 donations
$35,238 to go
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