As we begin a new year, I would like to thank you all wholeheartedly for your continued support for our work with the most marginalized and poor communities in south India.
We are very excited about our forthcoming visit to Tamil Nadu to review what has been achieved over the past year. I believe that one of the strengths of our organization is the way we have built up close relationships with our partners in India and the people and individuals we help on a daily basis. We shall be renewing that valuable contact in February and we will do our best to keep you up to date with the progress being made.
Help for Dalit girls
At the BCV International School we shall be meeting some of the Dalit children who have had scholarships thanks to your donations. Among them is 12-year-old Jacintha, whose family survives on less than 5 dollars a day. Without the FOI scholarship she would have no chance of an education or a way out of poverty. Our aim this year is to extend the scholarship fund to reach more marginalized and deprived Dalit girls.
Music for the blind
A generous collection from the wonderful Arquebuse Brass Band concert at the Victoria Hall last year has enabled us to buy new musical instruments for the Richard Walsh Music School for the Blind. Members of the Brass Band also donated instruments and we have just heard that we have been given a large container to transport them out to the School. If you have any unwanted musical instruments in good working order, please get in touch with us!
A new kitchen for tribal girls
Last year we were invited to the opening of a water purification system and a new classroom which we funded at a school for tribal children, high in the Jawadu Hills. These children are some of the most deprived and remain isolated from the outside world. At a home for tribal girls, we saw the state of their kitchen shown here! We agreed to try to find funding to renovate it, making it more hygienic as well as healthier for the cooks. We shall be visiting the home this year and hope to support the much-needed renovation.
A haven for HIV/Aids children
Our Friendship home continues to flourish. Children with learning difficulties are getting special help from the teacher we have sponsored since last year. Robert and his sister, shown in the photograph, are Aids orphans who were abandoned on the steps of the home two years ago. We are looking forward to seeing the progress they have made since we last saw them. We would like to fund another minibus for journeys to school and hospital for the home’s 60 children, as well as continuing to fund scholarships for further education for girls.
As we announced at our gala event in May 2017, we have replaced membership fees with a pledge system. We do rely on your pledges to help fund our projects – and this would ideally be through a regular monthly standing order. This would enable us to continue the work with the projects we are now focusing on as we move towards ensuring that they become self-sustaining. May I take this opportunity of wishing you and your families a happy and peaceful new year.
With warmest wishes,
Pam Walsh, President, Friends of India
Please donate to: CCP Account: 17-753012-7 or UBS Switzerland 1260 Nyon, Friends of India Account 240-439931.40D, IBAN CH68 0024 0240 4399 3140 D