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Q: Do people celebrate Christmas in India?
A: Some do, including the 4040 children within our 101 HoPE Learning Centers!
Every year, children celebrate the occasion with talents shows, feasts, trees and even gifts. They are taught about Jesus and Santa Claus, but they mainly learn the importance of giving and gratitude.
Here are a few colorful examples of cards that children made to express how grateful they are to the sponsors of their HoPE Centers.
It doesn’t take much to transform the life of a child… or the lives of 40 children! 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 bring the spirit of Christmas to an entire HoPE Learning Center all year long!
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!
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.
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!
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!
In India, August 15th is a day of rebirth. At midnight on August 15, 1947, British rulers handed the country back to Indian leaders, ending a remarkable struggle that lasted 200 years. On this date, sovereign India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, unfolded the tricolor flag of the nation on the Red Fort. The day is significant in the history of India as restoring independent governance and cultural pride.
Within our 101 HoPE Centers in India, children eagerly learned more about the history and great leaders of their nation. They participated in festivals and parades in bursts of spirited enthusiasm. They made elaborate works of art and gave speeches and performances to demonstrate and reinforce pride in their collective cultural heritage.
At our HoPE Learning Centers, we provide traditional academic tutoring and innovative lessons to give children the skills they need to lead successful lives. We nourish them with daily mini meals to keep them physically fit and sound. We also ensure that they participate in career-oriented events and cultural celebrations, like the Indian Independence Day, to build them up into strong, proud citizens who are each a unique part of something bigger and as beautiful as themselves.
Here are a few photos of the proud, beautiful, colorful children of India:
It doesn’t take much to bring HoPE and cultural pride to children. Just $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials, daily mini meals and special events for one child. For $300 per month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center.
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.
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!
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!
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!