Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District

by Village Volunteers
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Urmi and Children
Urmi and Children
Dear Donor,
Educating and sheltering children is a difficult subject matter and yet these stories need to be told to understand how your support to New Light has helped.
The Story of One Young Woman
Lata was eight years old when her family came to India from Bangladesh in search of a better life away from extreme rural poverty. A few years later her father passed away suddenly for want of medical care, Lata's mother was left alone to raise three children with almost no support from anywhere.  She started a small roadside stall selling tea while trying to keep her children at school. Life got harder for young Lata as her mother remarried and the children had to deal with an abusive step father. The siblings stopped attending school regularly as they had to supplement family income helping their mother either at the shop or attending to the chores of family living. With increasing resentment both the sisters began to look for an escape.
During this time they came to know of a woman in the neighbourhood who often went away to Kolkata for work. One day the woman approached them and offered to take them to the big city for work. Little did they know about the woman's true intention or their impeding future.
Before they could realise what was happening the woman sold both Lata and her elder sister to a woman trafficker who in turn sold them to a trafficker in Bihar. The girls were bested, abused and threatened with dire consequences if they did not comply to the command of the trafficker. They had to dress up as grown women and dance at gathering lewd men who threw money at them and asked for sexual favours. Their dream of living an independent life away from domestic violence and abuse turned to a nightmare of everyday suffering and sexual violence. ( Lata is a survivor of multiple rape as a young girl). During this time Lata was regularly injected with growth hormone so that her breasts would develop faster. 
After a few months the traffickers had a falling out among themselves and the woman were brought to Kolkata, to Kalighat red light district, specifically to resell the girls. Once in Kalighat the woman trafficker was certain that she had already broken the will of the girls and they would not escape.
Fortunately while  in Kalighat, they came to hear about New Light and were also told by some other women to seek refuge there. Initially, Lata was hesitant to do that as she thought it was just another place where her suffering would increase. However after a few weeks of watching her sister having a safe life, she came and asked to be enrolled at New Light. It was during the same period that Soma Memorial girls home was set up. Both Lata and her sister were subsequently reconnected with their mother but continued to stay and be educated at Soma Home. Twelve years her sister is employed at a nice restaurant and Lata is studying at the International Institute of Hotel Management in Kolkata pursuing  her training in hospitality management.
Lata is a woman of exceptional courage and resilience whose greatest quality is empathy and kindness. Having surmounted extreme conditions, both physical and emotional, Lata has shown what is possible to achieve for an individual through diligence and fortitude. 
Note : New Light needs $1,500 annually to support Lata through her education for the next two years. All donations support girls like Lata who given a chance, are able to break free from slavory with the help of New Light. 
Please continue to help us break the chain of sexual slavry.  
Thank you for your support. 
Urmi Basu and Shana Greene
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Opening of new boys home
Opening of new boys home

Dear friends of New Light,

In order to explain how donations are being used, we feel it important to reiterate the history and current work at New Light. New light is is a registered public charitable trust operating from the terrace of a temple deep inside the red-light district of Kalighat, Kolkata that offers comprehensive community development services. 

The shelter project provides the children of sex workers a safe haven,particularly in the evening hours when streets are the most dangerous and the mothers are working. Initiated by caring for 9 children in the year 2000, the programs of New Light today serves more than 250 children of various age groups.

The services offered by New Light includes education, healthcare, nutritional support, recreational facility, HIV/AIDS care, income generation opportunities for the women and residential care for many of the young children from the community. Legal aid and advocacy against gender based violence are other thrust areas of New Light`s operation.  

Over the years New Light has set up multiple facilities to cater to the needs of children and young adults at risk. New Light Shelter for children not only from the red light district but from the Dalit community with the children of municipal crematorium and sanitation workers who have traditionally been treated as untouchables. All of these children live in equally precarious circumstances, exposed to violence and subjected to discrimination and sociial stigman. In New Light, the children receive support to continue formal education, remideial education, nutrition and healthcare. 

The residentail facility, the Soma Memorial Girls Home is located un the southern fringe of the city to protect adolescent girls at rish. Thrity-seven girls from 6-18 years reside and are cared for by dedicated staff recruited within the community. There is a boys home set up in 2014 with the same dedication to boys who were vulnerable in the influences of the red light district. Outstanding performances in school and in the arts is normal for children from challenging backgrounds who are given a chance their parents didn't have in life. There is also an adult home for students taking their education to the next level. 

Last but not least is Operation Starfish. They meet the growing demands to strenghten care for toddlers who needs are laregly neglected. The preschool follows traditional as well as Montessori system of teaching and accommodates around 50 children up to five years of age to stimulate and nuture. 

Explaining the important work of New Light is our way of saying thank you and to demonstrate the ongoing need to break the chain of oppression by providing children a way forward.  

Thank you,

Shana Greene

Urmi Basu Founder and Director
Urmi Basu Founder and Director

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meditation at New Light
meditation at New Light

Dear Donor,

It is every child’s right to grow up in a world that’s safe and nurturing in every aspect, a right that is often snatched away at an early age. In Kolkata’s red light district in Kalighat, where New Light is based, the needs of children of sex workers are largely neglected. And for New Light, the needs in Kalighat are urgent. Since its inception, New Light has championed programs that extend safety, shelter and education for the most vulnerable children on the streets of Kolkata.

New Light’s child shelter programs provides comprehensive welfare to children of women in prostitution.  They work with the mothers to assist them to strengthen support for their infants and children whose needs are often neglected. The Jhinuk shelter, for example, doubles as a Montessori preschool in the morning hours in keeping with the shelter’s aim of preparing the children for mainstream schools when the time is right.

What is equally important is that several of New Light’s shelters address the health needs of these children through nutritious, meals, regular health check-ups and vaccinations.

In 2012, the compelling Half the Sky movement awarded funds to New Light to start another shelter, Operation Starfish, that provides safe shelter, preschool, health, nutrition and loving care for vulnerable children between the ages of 3-6 years. 

Your help is always so appreciated. If you could also tell friends and family about New Light, we would be very grateful

Best regards,

Shana

Opening of the boys home!
Opening of the boys home!
Alley in the red light district
Alley in the red light district
Girls at safe home. Education and a chance at life
Girls at safe home. Education and a chance at life

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Girls at New Light
Girls at New Light

Dear donors,

Thank you for donating to support the education and shelter of the children of the red light district in Kolkata. The New Light shelter is a busy place where volunteers come and go and are always inspired. We love being able to celebrate the successes. The children of sex workers who had been trafficked themsleves, are vulnerable to being sold themsleves. To cut the chain of sex work, it takes education and a safe place to grow. New Light is one of those havens that shines brightly in a sea of darkness. 

Lata and Supriya were admitted into New Light on 3rd October 2006 and 12th March 2007 respectively and there was no looking back. On April 1st, both girls were sent to Soma Home, a safe home where they can study and be away from the red light district and the fear of being sold.  Eventually they graduated from secondary school and became part of Sonar Tori, a home for the girls in continuing education. 

Good humoured, considerate and intelligent Lata is a good student and she loves to be among her friends. Intelligent and studious Supriya enjoys her studies. Supriya likes to act in plays and has won numerous medals for debates and recitations too. She is also training to be a Kathak dancer.

Today, the two have started their training at The International Institute of Hotel Management Kolkata and have added one more feather to their caps. We are so proud of you Lata Mondal and Supriya Majhi!

Thanks for your ongoing support.

Shana Greene, Village Volunteers 

 

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girls at New light
girls at New light
Dear Supporter, 

 

The girls have run the course and passed their exams! There is no secret to their success. It was the result of preparation, hard work and the opportunity that you provide them through your support. Applauds go to Lata Supriya and Mamoni. Lata scored an impressive 87% marks in Accountancy in her High School Examinations. Two of the girls are ready to get a university education in Accountancy and Hospitality Management.

The gift of receiving an education for these lovely girls thrills us. The fate of these girls would have been sealed by their proximity and relationship to the Red Light District where their mothers have been enslaved since they were very young. Education is the most significant socio-economic factor that influences and determines the development of any society. India as a nation has been struggling to create a uniform system of education. Despite many efforts, the country is stratified by caste, class and economic position and it remains unable to create an inclusive system for all. Communities as marginalized and challenged as those in the red light districts are the most vulnerable and are left out of the most important tool in empowering the socially challenged. 

At New Light, all children in the various safe shelter programs of New Light attend formal schools. Extensive remedial support by dedicated teachers for preschool and all grades is provided with an emphasis on mathematics, science and language skills. With each student their individual victories provide a miraculous opportunity to change the tides for the children of the red light district.

Thank you for you support. 

Shana Greene

Executive Director

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Organization Information

Village Volunteers

Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Shana greene
Seattle, Washington United States
$14,686 raised of $20,000 goal
 
285 donations
$5,314 to go
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