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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Rathisha Thrives

Rathisha is a typical fifth grader from Karaikalmedu. She has five best friends. She most enjoys playing volleyball and carom between studies. Her favorite color is ocean blue.

She excels in most academic subjects, especially English, but this hasn’t always been the case.

When Rathisha first came to our HoPE Learning Center, she was shy, withdrawn and an average student at best. Her teacher and mentor, Ms. Revathi, noticed that she had a tough time concentrating, possibly due to hunger, a common challenge to children within our Centers.

Even though millions of children go to school hungry every day, few people realize how side effects of hunger significantly limit their social and academic abilities.

Thanks to expert tutoring and daily mini meals, Rathisha now aspires to become an English professor. Rathisha says that she is very grateful for her tutor. She also continues to enjoy her favorite food item, Biriyani, a dish of long-grain rice served with vegetables and yogurt.

Her father, Ramakannu, a deep-sea fisherman who risks his life on most days to feed his family, and her mother, Tamilselvi, a homemaker, are both very grateful for the improvements that they see in their daughter’s grades and behavior. They can now work in peace, knowing that Rathisha will continue to grow and thrive.

While enjoying fine feasts with family and friends this Thanksgiving Holiday, remember that it doesn’t take much to support and feed a special child like Rathisha.

Right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals. For only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center (which will cover the daily costs for 40 children)!

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Babu’s Grades Improve

Thanks in part to Tripura Foundation sponsors and teachers, Babu is about to successfully complete his eighth-grade education this academic year.

When Babu was enrolled in our HoPE Learning Center last year, he was labelled a “dull student.” His grades were far below average and he did not socialize with other kids his age.

From the first day of his enrollment, teachers made time to tutor him in Math and Social Studies while his new HoPE Center peers gave him encouragement and confidence during social events and planned activities.

Most importantly, he was given nutritious mini meals every day, which helped increase his span of concentration.

Even though millions of children go to school hungry every day, few people realize how the side effects of hunger significantly limit their social and academic abilities.  

In the case of Babu, this was proven true. Due to tutoring, social encouragement and healthy food, Babu successfully passed all five of his required classes and also made friends.

He says that he loves coming to the HoPE Learning Center and he likes eating chick peas most of all.

While enjoying fine feasts with family and friends this Thanksgiving Holiday, remember that it doesn’t take much to support and feed a special child like Babu.

Right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals. For only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center (which will cover the daily costs for 40 children)!

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Diwali Lights Outshine Darkness in 2016!

Diwali is like Christmas in India but with some unique twists. It is “The Festival of Lights,” which commemorates the triumph of knowledge over ignorance. It is an occasion of feasts and festivities, when people gather together to eat and receive new clothes to wear during the upcoming year.

Diwali is a time when people rejoice all over India. It is also a time when the most vulnerable children still go hungry and feel ashamed and lonely because they did not receive new clean clothes to cover their bodies.

We at Tripura Foundation are proud that all 4040 of our children at our 101 HoPE Learning Centers shared great feasts with their parents, received sets of new clothes and celebrated the 2016 Festival of Lights!

Here are photos of some holiday highlights:

Children at all our 101 HoPE Learning Centers enjoyed feasts and celebrations with their friends.

All 4040 children received sets of new clothes to wear during the upcoming school year.

Many of our HoPE Learning Centers held talent shows with classical dances and skits about their Indian heritages to delight their parents, much like these children from five Centers within the Kumbakonam Region.

More importantly, like these children from the Nilgiris Region, many students spoke about being good citizens and what they would need to do in the future to make India the most wonderful place to live.

Yet, despite our numerous proud achievements, we have over 400 children in need of someone to sponsor their ongoing education at HoPE Learning Centers.  This is an incredible opportunity, especially as we celebrate Diwali!  You can now take action to forever uplift the destiny of one of these children for only $9 a month on an ongoing basis, because the greatest LIGHT of all is EDUCATION.

We also still welcome any and all $9 one-time donations to achieve our Diwali fundraising goal of $12,000. We have raised over $10,000 but still need to cover our costs for the food and clothing. So, any and all support that you can provide will be  greatly appreciated!

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Aarthy Climbs To New Heights

Until 7th grade, Aarthy was, at best, an average student.

She is the daughter of an unskilled  construction site laborer who struggles to keep food on the family table. Like most of her classmates, Aarthy has struggled with challenges and hardships. Yet, since joining her local HoPE Learning Center, she has ranked among the top academic performers in her class. 

She told us that her recent achievements were mainly inspired by friends, teachers and the role models that she has met at the HoPE Learning Center.

She also lists the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Kamarajar, who has been called the “Black Gandhi,” as a major influence in her life. She and other students learned about him and how he brought free education and food to young students during a speaking competition held on his birthday.

Thanks to all of these motivating individuals, Aarthy now strives to become a civil engineer so she can construct buildings high enough that she can climb up to see the entire world.

It doesn’t take much to help a special child like Aarthy reach new heights. Right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals. For only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center, including Aarthy’s Center, Sakkudi!

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Kalairasu Fights Cancer With Compassion

Kalaiarasu was ten years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. What started as a minor pain in his joints soon led him to being hospitalized three days a week. Despite pain and suffering, he has a story to tell about all the love, care and support given to him within his HoPE Learning Center…

It all begun when Kalaiarasu, usually an energetic child, started to complain about leg pains. His parents pinned his complaints on the fact he usually spent a large amount of time playing various sports. Yet, Kalaiarasu soon started withdrawing from sports or any kind of activities which involved standing, until HoPE Center teachers noticed his behavioral changes, asked him about them, and went to his house to meet with his parents.

Kalaiarasu’s father was a local driver and his mother was a day laborer. With three children to feed, on low wages, it wasn’t an easy option to take Kalaiarasu to receive medical help, but the HoPE Center teachers talked them into taking him to a local hospital.

The doctor who initially observed Kalaiarasu gave him simple painkillers and sent him home without running further tests, until the HoPE Center teachers advocated on his behalf and made sure that he received proper tests, which revealed that he had Stage II Bone Cancer.

Kalaiarasu was finally admitted to a special cancer ward for children and was given the necessary treatments for several months until he was able to come in on just a weekly basis to receive chemotherapy as an outpatient. Within days, he began to lose his hair and had to shave his head. He lost weight and grew weaker.

Some villagers thought that he was not going to survive, but his HoPE Center friends and teachers decided otherwise and made time to pray for his improved health and full recovery every day They also sent for herbs from a special factory in Kerala. The herbs quickly lessened his pain and reduced side effects of his cancer treatments. His doctors were amazed and his family happy.

Kalaiarasu is now eleven years old and still undergoing treatment. He has immense love and care for and from all his friends and family. He firmly believes that his health has improved because of his friends’ and family’s compassionate care and prayers. He is grateful for such love and support from all his HoPE friends and family who still pray for his well being every day. We all wish Kalaiarasu the very best on his road to recovery!

It doesn’t take much to uplift the life of a special child, like Kalaiarasu. Right now, just $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals. For just $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center, including Kalaiarau’s’s Center, Velur I!

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Anu Masters English and Matter

Anu is a lively 7th-grade girl who is well loved by all of her classmates. Despite living in dire poverty, she always shares a bright smile. She enjoys Science more than all other school subjects and longs to follow in the footsteps of her role model, Madam Marie Curie, the scientist who discovered the radioactive element Radium.

Though she was an average student before coming to Tripura Foundation’s local HoPE Learning Center, Anu now spends her free time studying chemistry equations and memorizing formulas, like atomic weight.  She proudly states that she mastered Mendeleev’s Periodic Table regarding the arrangement of elements.

Despite all of this progress, her dreams of becoming a great scientist would unlikely come true if she didn’t learn to speak English, because the worldly arena is less open to her native tongue.

Fortunately, Anu says that her HoPE Center teachers helped her improve her English vocabulary as well as her academic grades in subjects other than Science.  Due to the help of her classmates, teachers and generous sponsors, Anu is tremendously grateful to have the opportunity to turn her life dream into reality.

It doesn’t take much to help a special child, like Anu, reach for her dreams. Right now, just $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals.  For just $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center, including Anu’s Center, Vellanaipatti!

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Mohini’s Birthday Wish: $9 Diwali Gift for a HoPE Child

My birthday is Oct. 18th and Diwali is Oct. 30th.  I’m writing this letter to request a birthday gift that means everything to me – a $9 Diwali gift that provides a set of new clothes for one of my 4,040 children at our HoPE Centers in India.

Diwali is like Christmas for my children, and a set of new clothes is the greatest joy of the year for every Indian child on Diwali.

A new set of clothes represents a new beginning with the victory of Light over darkness during Diwali, when millions of lamps are lit all throughout India.

A few years ago, I was present at one of the Grand Diwali celebrations that we host for our children.  When I arrived, over 400 children in the room jumped to their feet with utter joy and excitement, as they knew the festivities had begun – dancing, singing, receiving a set of new clothes, and a grand banana leaf feast for the children, as well as destitute elders they invite to the celebration to gift with clothes.  Our staff carried in massive bags of new clothes through the crowd of children to the adorned stage- it looked to me like the ultimate Santa Claus experience.

The joy, excitement and gratitude of my HoPE children hit me like a tidal wave of LOVE more tangible and powerful than I have ever experienced.  And as I handed each child their new set of clothes, they looked up at me with eyes shining with Light… This Light of a new life is what we really give at HoPE Centers.

To me, my HoPE children are like the Diwali lamps lit all throughout India – they have transitioned from the darkness of despair to a life of Light and HoPE.

And they are transforming their families, friends, schools and villages by performing deeds of kindness everywhere and sharing everything they learn at HoPE Centers.  Indeed, they bring Light to the darkness of rural poverty in India, and are a role model for many others to move from despair to HoPE.

Can you please help to bring that special Diwali joy of a set of new clothes to one of my children with just a $9 donation?  I have 4040 children who need a Diwali gift, so if you can also invite your family and friends to give a Diwali gift for one of my children too, I would be so grateful.

If you choose to select a recurring monthly donation of $9, then you can also sponsor the ongoing monthly education of a HoPE child at our HoPE Centers.  I have over 400 children in need of sponsorship, so your ongoing support would be deeply appreciated.

Thank you for anything you can give – it is truly the greatest gift for me and my children.

Love, Mohini

 

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Sithayammal is Wise for Her Years

Sithayammal is a very quiet girl who frequently speaks about being inspired by Tripura Foundation’s founder, Dr. Baskaran Pillai.

She likes to sing and dance. She is a free spirit who spends her time practicing dance moves and listening to music.

She is also well known in her village for her tendency to help others even at such a young age.  She spends time walking the streets of her village, meeting old people and helping anyone who expresses a need. She listens to their worries and other things they like to share with her. She is of the opinion that sometimes people don’t need money; they instead need someone who will sit next to them and share their time. She says that no matter what she becomes in the future, her main aim will be to help others in every way possible.

It is obvious to everyone who meets her that Sithayammal is special. She is wise for her age.  She is influential and inspirational to people of all ages around her.

It doesn’t take much to help a special child like Sithayammal. Right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals for one child. For only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center, including Sithayammal’s Center, Sakkudi!

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Saravanan Gains New Worlds

Like many HoPE Center children, Saravanan and his older sister have laborer parents who struggle every day to put food on the table. They are unable to overcome their conditions and escape poverty for many reasons, the biggest being that they are both illiterate.

Saravanan is fortunate to be able to attend local government school, plus supplemental tutoring and other forms of support at his HoPE Learning Center in Velur.

He has been attending his HoPE Learning Center after school for the past year for academic tutoring and to practice yoga and Phonemic Intelligence, which have helped him focus on his studies and his future. He is doing well and even helps a handicap boy in his school who isn’t able to walk on his own.

Saravanan has a great attitude and is becoming a role model to other children and even adult villagers. He willingly takes part in all school and HoPE Learning Center activities.

Recently, he and his fellow HoPE Learning Center students marched through his village displaying placards against using plastic materials and thermo coal. Saravanan is grateful for such opportunities because he feels it is important to do his part to protect the environment for generations to come.

Learning to read and connecting with other supportive children has allowed Saravanan access to new worlds; worlds that his parents and grandparents have been unable to access. He knows more about his own world as well. He is grateful to his HoPE Learning Center teachers for helping him visualize a sustainable future.

It doesn’t take much to help a special child like Saravanan gain new worlds by ending a long cycle of poverty. Right now, just $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals for one child. For only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center (40 children), including Saravanan’s Center, Velur II!

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Divya Draws A Brighter Future

We at Tripura Foundation receive many stories about brave, intelligent children facing and overcoming steep obstacles. This is one in which our heroine takes extra steps to create a bright future for herself, her family, her friends and her community.

Like many HoPE Learning Center children, Divya comes from a family that struggles each day to bring in enough wages to keep food on the table. Her father works in a local factory and her mother takes on temporary labor jobs.  Their parents worked as laborers for most of their lives as well.

They come from a long line of family members who were unable to escape similar fates because they were unskilled and illiterate. 

Divya would likely face a similar fate if she wasn’t motivated to do everything she os able to end this cycle of familial poverty by improving her circumstances. For one thing, she is a very good student. She is quite adept at reading, dancing, yoga, Phonemic Intelligence and sports.  She feels happiest when she has time to sit and draw pictures of a brighter future and when she is able to teach her skills to other students and village children.

Amul, her HoPE Center teacher, now encourages Divya to reach for her dreams to become a teacher so she can empower her family members and people around her with skills, knowledge and literacy.

Divya now saves money from village bake sales in a mud pot hyundial (piggy bank) to help pay for the actualization of this dream. So far, she has saved more than Rs. 500.

It doesn’t take much to help a special child like Divya draw a bright future by ending a long cycle of poverty. Right now, just $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals for one child. For $300 per month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center, including Divya’s Center, Perungalathur!

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