Based on my job I am involved in a lot of social projects in India. In my private time I help women and children to make first steps to become independent and to be able to earn their own lives. Often even a small financial support combined with the right network and skills can lead to a real change. This time I collect money for a children home in Mangalore, a home that goes innovative ways. They try to give these girls a chance by giving them access to the IT world – but there is still a long way to go.
When I visit the children home in Mangalore in April ‘15, I meet Gita, a volunteer, in the orphans’ home. She is an IT employee. In her free time she volunteers in the children home by teaching simple computer skills. “We are producing a children book together– as a very first income source”, she says. The girls are very interested. What they experience here, is a small part of the "big world" outside, a world they don’t have access to. Gita meets the girls on a regular basis. "It is important that the girls know what is happening outside in the world and how they can be part of it. The girls want to know that much and education is key. I work with the children during the early evening. With some old PCs (the software is from 2002!) I want to teach some IT basics, simply programming, design and marketing skills. This could be a basis for income when they have to leave the home at the age of 18," Gita worries - and there is a reason behind, because some of them just need to live on the streets or sleep in the women shelter which has been set up by Hilda who is the leading Prajna Counsel, too.
Then I meet Hilda. She has dedicated her life to the orphans and set up a lot of social support in Mangalore even for women and anti-alcohol info sessions for men. But most of her time she dedicates to the children: "At the moment we have a huge problem, we need undergarment and school bags," says Hilda. "I simply do not know how to finance it. The raining season starts. We have no no school bags. Umbrellas? That would be a luxury… We run three children homes with ca. 450 children. I simply do not know how to manage these needs."
When I ask her how much it costs, she lists:
We need school bags in different sizes:
For the preschool kids, number: 5, á 130 Rupies (2 EUR), that's 10 EUR
For primary school kids, number: 86 á 180 Rupies (2,60 EUR), that's 223,60 EUR)
Bags for higher class children, number: 366 á 210 Rupies (3 EUR), that's 1098 EUR.
Undergarment, for all: ca 4 EUR/per child and year
Who can help?
PS: Many thanks to all of those who made the last tailoring project for tribal women a success. It was incredible to see the tribal women getting sewing machines and the training plan for learning how to tailor. In the meanwhile the first success pictures are available. The women have a chance now to set up their own small biz. Who wants to read more: http://tinyurl.com/pxzfztl