HoPE (Heaven on Planet Earth) is possible.

At Tripura Foundation, we are committed to inspiring and building HoPE for as many lives as we are able to reach, with each generous donation we receive.

This blog was created as a means to give you — our friends, supporters and donors — a more interactive look and feel into our HoPE projects and programs.  A window into how your heartfelt donations are being best used.  We invite you to get to know us and the people we serve on a closer and more personal level.

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A Little Boy With Enormous Heart and Courage

Santhosh is a seventh grader who lives with poor, elderly grandparents because his parents died shortly after he was born. Even though he barely has any food to eat, he has great compassion for his animals, and he aspires to become a police officer so that he can fight the wave of crime that has been occurring within his small rural village.

His grandparents work very hard for daily wages, no matter what the work is, but the food they are able to provide is hardly enough to satisfy three people’s hunger. Santhosh says he cannot bear to eat knowing that his grandparents worked hard for it and need it more than he does to survive.

While he skips meals and says that he is not hungry, he goes out to spend time with his animals. He has a pet cow, a cat, a dog and a hen. He and his grandparents earn a very small amount from milking the cow and selling the milk.  He says that despite being so poor and hungry, he finds food to feed his animals, as they bring him so much happiness and peace during conflicting times. He feels that when he spends time with them he can momentarily forget about being so poor and hungry and all his other worries.

His house is very poorly constructed using tarp and sticks. Even the slightest rain drenches his family, threatening to fall over head. He thanks his fellow HoPE Learning Center students and coordinator for saving up money and helping him construct a better house which protects him and his grandparents against the weather.

He says that HoPE Learning Center was one of the best things that have ever happened to him. He has learned a lot of good habits, which has greatly improved his life. He is thankful for the snacks which have helped him regain his health after long being malnourished.

Santhosh is grateful to his sponsors. He says he will use this wonderful opportunity to grow into a respectable person. He also says he will grow up and become a police officer to protect poor people from becoming victims of crime.

It doesn’t take much to save the life of a child like Santhosh. For only $10 a month, you can sponsor a HoPE Center child all year long. For $350 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center that meets the basic needs of 40 children!

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Rare, Exquisite Gems

In India, even the poorest of poor wear colorful jewelry. Expensive gems are not needed to adorn bodies with flashes of sparkle. What’s needed instead is an eye for beauty, steady hands, and a caring heart.

Mrs. Meena works at a private school, but she also designs jewelry on the side. She gladly accepted Tripura Foundation’s invitation to conduct jewelry-making classes and taught our children how to make colorful, creative designs using combinations of different colored beads with other materials as finishing touches.

She also explained how her passion for the art of jewelry-making helps her earn an additional monthly income of Rs. 5000 to Rs. 8000.

The children enthusiastically absorbed her lessons and proudly displayed their own 100% unique creations of studs, bangles, neck chains, bracelets and terracotta fancy chain items.

At the end of the class, the children all thanked Ms. Meena and said they will also put into practice of teaching other friends what they learned at Hope Center.

At HoPE Learning Centers, our children are our rare, exquisite gems!

It doesn’t take much to create gems of HoPE in the hearts and minds of children.

For only $10 a month, you can sponsor a HoPE Center child all year long, including attendance at summer workshops. For a one-time gift of $30, you can cover the costs of a local child during one of these transformative summer trainings.

Also, read the last few posts to find out about our children learning other skills within their special chosen trade groups!

 

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Sewing Seams and Sowing Seeds…

Tailoring and Science may seem like very different subjects to learn about in school, but we assure you that both can be taught to eager young students harmoniously en tandem.

During our summer workshops, Mrs. Lakshmi and Mrs. Stella trained the children in Tailoring, a skill which will allow many of them financial independence to help provide for their families in the future.

In between lessons about garment measurements, Mr. Nadarajan and Mr. Thiyagarajan of Tamil Nadu Science Forum were invited to give speeches about how the knowledge of science can make life easier when dealing with routine daily challenges.

Our children were doubly enriched with lessons about straight seams, sound waves, hemlines, solar systems, fabric choices, road safety systems, threading bobbins and species within the natural world.

During a special event, guests viewed garments made by our HoPE children and encouraged them wholeheartedly to continue with their lessons. They also praised Tripura Foundation for equipping the children with both lucrative skills and greater knowledge.

It doesn’t take much to sow seeds of HoPE in the hearts and minds of children. For only $10 a month, you can sponsor a HoPE Center child all year long, including attendance at summer workshops. For a one-time gift of $30, you can cover the costs of a local child during one of these transformative summer training opportunities.

Also, keep an eye open for one final story about our jewelry-making class and look back to the last few posts to read about our children learning other skills within their special chosen trade groups!

 

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Basking In The Bounties Of Basketry

Learning how to make something beautiful or useful = learning a skill that can provide essential life income.  And basketry is such a skill.

Ms. Karpagam Meenakshi conducted vocational classes on basket making  for Hope Learning Center children. She also taught creative crafts, including bowls made from dry coconut shells, bouquets made from newspapers and dry flowers, and pen stands made from ice cream sticks.

When the classes came to an end, the children thanked her for such useful guidance.

Some children decided to make the baskets and sell them for Rs. 150 in local fancy stores and make a profit of Rs. 100, which will help them pay for their studies and even partially support their families.

It doesn’t take much to fill the life baskets of children with HoPE. For only $10 per month, you can sponsor a HoPE Center child all year long, including attendance at summer workshops. For a onetime gift of $30, you can cover the costs of a local child during one of these transformative summer trainings.

Also, keep an eye open for upcoming stories with photos about our children learning other  skills within their special chosen trade groups!

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As Sweet As Can Be

Q: What could be sweeter than a cake baking class?

A:  A cake baking class teaching children a skill to support themselves and their families held at a HoPE Learning Center in Coimbatore, India.

 

Mrs. Elizabeth came from the Middle East and brought along recipes for many types of cakes.  Her specialty is a cake made with dates.

She demonstrated to the children how to bake the cake using a pressure cooker for times when other ovens might not be readily available.

She also spoke about different types of cakes and how to make them delicious, yet also cost-effective.

Under her guidance, our HoPE Center children enthusiastically baked three types of cakes, which they shared with each other and bundled up in pieces to take home to their parents.

They declared that in the future they will prepare a fine cake for Babaji’s birthday.

It doesn’t take much to fill the lives of children with HoPE and Sweetness. For only $10 a month, you can sponsor a HoPE Center child all year long, including attendance at summer workshops. For a onetime gift of $30, you can cover the costs of a local child during one of these transformative summer trainings.

Keep an eye open for more upcoming stories with photos about our children learning other  skills within their special chosen trade groups!

 

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In The Eye Of The Beholder

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

At a recent summer vocational training class held at a HoPE Learning Center in Coimbatore, children were taught how to recognize inner beauty and how to make everyone more beautiful on the outside as well.

Long-time beautician Mrs. Nithya, taught eager girls and boys how to use readily-available natural resources to beautify the hair, skin and nails of clients. She spoke about how healthy foods and fitness keep bodies and minds youthful and how different kinds of skin and hair require different beauty regimens.

She trained the children in creating different types of hair styles and Mehandi designs.

All of these skills could significantly enhance the incomes of these girls and boys in years to come.

It doesn’t take much to fill the lives of children with wonderment and beauty.

For only $10 a month, you can sponsor a HoPE Center child all year long, including attendance at summer workshops. For a one-time gift of $30, you can cover the costs of a local child during one of these transformative summer trainings.

Keep an eye open for more upcoming stories with photos about our children learning other  skills within their special chosen trade groups!

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Instilling Skills, Transforming Lives

At HoPE Learning Centers, children are taught many things – traditional academics, innovative life lessons, physical fitness, cultural awareness and skills that will possibly improve their abilities to support themselves in life.

During May, at RG Pudur Center, sixty children (40 HoPE Center students and 20 locals) were inaugurated into one of Tripura Foundation’s voc-ed summer training camps, where they welcomed esteemed volunteers, experts in their fields, with hand-made bouquets of flowers.

After initial presentations, like one about how to practice and  improve listening skills, the children were broken up into small groups to learn about basket making, cake making, crafts using waste materials, glass and fabric painting, jewelry making, hair styling and tailoring.

At the end of the program, all of the children were happy that they learned trades that were enjoyable and could spare them from hard futures trying to eke out wages as unskilled laborers.

Unfortunately, despite enormous popularity, we had to limit attendance at these popular workshops.  However, it doesn’t take much to transform the lives of children. For only $10 a month, you can sponsor a HoPE Center child all year long, including attendance at summer workshops. For a one-time gift of $30, you can cover the attendance of a local child during one of these transformative monthly training events.

Also, keep an eye open for upcoming stories with photos about our children learning skills within their specially chosen trade groups!

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HoPE for the Children of the World: How it All Began

About 20 years ago, I began my work in India.  I stayed in a room that had large ceiling-to-floor windows.  Across the street at an apartment complex, there was a young girl who was 8 years old who sat on a pile of dirt all day and opened the gate for all the cars of the residents.   She and her family lived in a tiny tomb-like enclosure in a pillar next to the gate.  Her mother cleaned the apartments and her father did maintenance work there.

The young girl had a very bright, beautiful and lively face.  Since I witnessed her daily life of monotonous work from her station on the pile of dirt, I began to wonder about her future and if she ever dreamt of going to school and creating a different life for herself.  I became attached to her and contemplated how I could sponsor her education.  Our staff invited her to our house, and I asked her about her dreams.  She wanted to be an accountant.  I offered to her and her father that I would pay for any school fees, and even offered that she could stay with us, since we had electricity, for her to study at night and people to tutor her.

Her father refused my offer, and said she needed to continue with her work as the gate-keeper.  The years passed by and she grew to be a young lady, and daily she still sat on a pile of dirt and opened the gate for the residents.  I wondered at her inner life- how did she face each day knowing that it would be a day of grinding poverty and monotonous chores, and that her dreams were hopeless to achieve without education?  What was it like to live in a tiny tomb in a pillar with 4 people, and see life from a station on a pile of dirt?  How many other children were living the same desperate lives, unseen and unheard and no opportunity in sight?  I could have been that young girl, instead of growing up in the US with everything I needed to be anyone I wanted to be.

I vowed to do what I could to bring transformational education to as many poor children in India as possible, and give them the opportunity to learn how to dream of a new life, and take steps in every way to make that dream a reality.  We began our educational programs first in a tutoring center in a slum for the children of fishermen, and then by partnering with the Rotary Club to provide alternative education on the weekends for their Boystown.  Today we have 101 of our own after-school centers throughout India for 4040 of the poorest children living in broken families in remote villages, and we deliver our educational programs in 40 schools for 16,000 underprivileged children in US, Mexico and India- and expanding to more children every day.

What happened to the beautiful girl, my neighbor?  Eventually we moved, and I never saw her ever again.  However, her memory is etched on my heart forever.  Likely she grew up to be a maid like her mother- illiterate and married to an illiterate husband, with children of her own.  She probably stopped hoping and dreaming, and just lived.

Every day there are children all over the world living through hopeless situations that are like a mini-prison- growing up to live in a permanent prison of poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of jobs, lack of money, lack of everything.  At Tripura Foundation, we are dedicated to bringing these children the HoPE of transformational education that empowers their brain, lights up their soul, brightens their faces and inspires inner dreams that blossom into new lives of achievement and fulfillment, and service to their family and communities.

And HoPE is happening every day- we invite you to join our mission to bring HoPE to the world.  To us, HoPE means Heaven on Planet Earth- a world of peace, love and prosperity for all.

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Chinnaka Sings Songs of HoPE

Looking back with tears in her eyes, Chinnaka described the day when she first heard the news that her son and daughter-in-law died in a motor vehicle accident in which they were traveling.

It was the day that she gave up singing due to sorrow and stress.

Chinnaka was suddenly the full-time guardian of her two grandchildren, a boy and a girl, who were too young to support themselves. She met all of their needs until they were taken into a hostel because Chinnaka was too old to work. She has a government pension, but it is too meager to pay for enough food to even feed herself.

Chinnaka just about lost all hope until she was selected for our HoPE for the Elderly program after being identified by a group of HoPE Learning Center students.

Thanks to our compassionate children for identifying this need, and our generous sponsors, Chinnaka and 75 other destitute elders receive monthly groceries and toiletries (including rice, Toor dal, sunflower oil, chili powder, pepper, cumin seeds, mustard, pickle bottle, bath soap, washing soap, shampoo, tooth powder, coconut oil, cough syrup, and pain relieving gel) to help keep them fed, groomed an in less pain. They also receive occasional items of clothing. More importantly, they know that they are cared for and not completely forsaken by humanity.

Most importantly, Chinnaka again has a smiling face and once again sings plenty of happy folk songs.

For only $30 a month, you can feed, clothe, comfort and restore dignity to a poor elderly person like Chinnaka. You could be the one to restore a HoPEful song or save a precious life!

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From Trauma to Triumph – Bharathi Thrives Again!

Traumatic events can happen at any time. The more frightened and helpless someone feels, the more likely s/he is to be traumatized. Victims may experience upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or senses of constant danger. Or, they might feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again, especially if the victim or loved one of a victim is a child.

Bharathi is in 7th grade and attends her local HoPE Learning Center after school. According to her teachers, she is a bright and bold student, but Bharathi’s abilities to focus on studies and excel in school were significantly impacted when her father met with an accident which led to the amputation of his right leg.

This was a terrible blow to Bharathi and her mother, who works at a construction site as a laborer. Not only did the family suffer major losses of income, but Bharathi became fearful and stressed. She lost sleep due to nightmares. She was no longer cheerful, and she lost interest in pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher.

Seeing her plight, our HoPE mentors consoled and counseled her. Other students were coached on how to support her with friendship and kindness.

Because of the support she received from her HoPE Learning Center, Bharathi overcame the effects of this sudden, traumatic experience. She recently reported that she is no longer having nightmares and is again thriving in school just before final exams.

Reach out NOW to help us help another child like Bharathi. For only $10 a month, this kind act will also cleanse away layers of your karmic trauma!

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