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Tharani Radiates Light On Diwali

Tharani is an 8th grade student at Atchampatti HoPE Learning Center in Tamil Nadu, India. She enjoys learning about Phonemic Intelligence, Nutrition, and Yoga. Her goal is to become a nurse so she can encourage and uplift the patients in her care. She recalls watching her uncle die of cancer. Despite good medical treatment, he lost hope after a nurse told him to give up.

All the children in Tharani’s class are excited about Diwali (an Indian holiday with the cultural significance of Christmas in the West), which is held on the darkest new moon night of Kartika. Since Diwali is The Festival Of Lights, millions of lights all over India decorate houses and rooftops in celebration. One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.

As part of the traditional celebration children are customarily given new clothes, but the poorest families cannot afford them. Not receiving new clothes like most other children causes great shame to many poor families on what should be a joyful day. Fortunately, due to the generosity of our sponsors, Tripura Foundation has been able to provide new clothes for our HoPE Center children and holiday feasts for their families.

On behalf of 4040 wonderful kids like Tharani, please consider making an additional heartfelt gift to provide food and clothing during this Festival of Light. Even $10 can bring HoPE and further banish the darkness of poverty for young people like Tharani.

Mohini’s Diwali Birthday Wish

A special message from Mohini, Global Director of Tripura Foundation:

This year my birthday, October 18th, is the same day as Diwali.  Diwali is the Festival of Lights here in India, and it signifies the end of darkness, greed and poverty.  In India, it is the happiest day of the year for children, as it is their “Christmas”.  People receive gifts of new clothes and wear the clothes on Diwali to symbolize a new beginning.

Diwali is an important day for me because there are 4040 children here at our HoPE Centers in India, and it’s my responsibility to give all of them a new set of clothes.  For my children, this new set of clothes is very precious, as they come from the worst circumstances of poverty and experience suffering of every kind.  Everyone loves gifts, but to my children, this gift is truly a symbol of HoPE.

To give my children the Diwali gift of new clothes on this day means everything to me, as it is the highlight of joy in their entire year.

I’m asking for your help in giving my children their Diwali gift.  Every $10 donated provides a new set of clothes for my children.  If you all could join me in giving $10 for a Diwali gift for one of my children, it is certainly the greatest gift of their year and the greatest Birthday gift for me.

Every dollar helps so much – thank you for giving what you can and truly spreading the Festival of Lights with my children who deserve it the most.

Love, Mohini

Hunger (and HoPE) Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month, a time when people across the world take stands against hunger in tangible ways!

No one should have to go hungry, and Hunger Action Month reminds us that there are those out there who need the help of kind people with open hands, because there are more than enough resources in the world for us all to eat well. Isn’t it time we all take action for the hungry in our community and our world?

There are many ways to take action and celebrate this holiday:

For one, you can sponsor a HoPE Center child (for only $9 a month) or an entire HoPE Learning Center (for $360 a month).  Your modest contribution will not only provide academic tutoring, Phonemic Intelligence lessons, physical activities and career-oriented events, it will ensure that each child receives a nutritious daily mini meal. This is often more than the child receives during the rest of their days.

Another option is to sponsor a poor elderly person in India for $30 a month. For this amount, each destitute elder receives monthly groceries (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). More importantly, they know that they are cared about and not completely forsaken by humanity.

Or, make a one-time heartfelt contribution to our Million Meals of HoPE program. We are now able to serve 5 meals for every dollar donated.

If you are short on money, you could volunteer at a local food bank or share this call-to-action on your Facebook and Twitter pages to encourage your friends to reach out and feed at least one other human being as an act of rebellion against hunger!


Thangaraj Strives for a Better Life

Thangaraj lives with his parents and sister. His father is a farmer and his mother is a housewife.

He was accepted into a HoPE Learning Center last year and is grateful for support from caring teachers and an opportunity to reach his goal of becoming a teacher so he can help other children end generational cycles of deep poverty and the daily hardships that come with it.

Despite this educational support and daily mini meals to stave off hunger, his family is quite poor and there is never enough for all of them to eat. He had to go to work distributing newspaper in the early morning hours before going to school to earn extra money so his family can eat. He innocently says that, “If I study well, I can help many others when I grow up.”

It doesn’t take much to uplift the destiny of a child like Thangaraj. Right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials, themed activities, and daily mini meals for one child.  For only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center filled with 40 children.

Elders Should Be Respected, Not Forced to Suffer

Since elderly Vellimalai does not have any income, his son and his daughter-in-law sent him out of their house several years ago. The villagers claim that Vellimalai is 90 years old.  Due to his advanced age he cannot walk or even stand up. He cannot bathe or even attend to nature’s call unless he crawls to a nearby pond.

Before Tripura Foundation learned of Vellimalai’s struggles, he lived on the pavement with hardly any cover over his head, and when it rained, he had to cover himself with a waterproof banner.  During winters, the old man shivered with cold.  There was no protection from insects or poisonous snakes.  The old man survived with just one meal a day.  He was ill, lonely and hungry.

Like Vellimalai, millions of senior citizens who are poor and live alone find themselves vulnerable, powerless, and neglected by their grown-up children. Elderly women are often widows or have been abandoned by their husbands. They are physically weak and thus unable to find work. They do not have money for food, medical care, or other basic necessities. They are forced to beg, and are often homeless. Moved by the plight of destitute men and women, Tripura Foundation made a program to sponsor elderly ones on an urgent basis.

Now Vellimalai and other destitute elders receive monthly groceries (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, and in less pain. They also receive occasional items of clothing. More importantly, these otherwise forsaken elders know that they are cared about and not completely forgotten by humanity.

Though his living conditions are still rough, Vellimalai is leading a better life, knowing he will receive food three times a day. He feels that his pride and dignity are restored. He is thankful to his sponsor for uplifting his life.

For only $40 a month, you can feed, clothe, comfort, and provide companionship to a poor elderly person like Vellimalai. You could save a precious life! 


Iswarya Saves for a Brighter Future

Last year, HoPE Learning Center children shared stories about Hundial savings (money saved for the future in small clay banks, much like western piggy banks).

Eighth grader Iswarya set the bar high when she shared her story.  She saved Rs.1500 in one year.  This is a respectable sum, more than what many adult day laborers earn in an entire month.   So, her parents opened a proper bank account in her name.  This transformed her life because she then had power to make decisions about her future.

She still saves most of her money, but she also buys stationery, books, and her school uniforms.

She also loaned her mother Rs.700 when she was unable to pay for a self-employment group loan program from the Village Panchayat. This inspired many of our HoPE students at Marani to start their own savings accounts.

It doesn’t take much to increase the odds of future success for a special child, like Iswarya. 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 filled with 40 children.

Heartfelt Feedings to Those in the Most Need

As regions of the western United States recover from years of drought due to the generosity of recent storm clouds, people in India pray for rain, since they are now facing water scarcity. Children at our HoPE Learning Centers are doubling their prayers because the recent drought has also led to damaged crops, food scarcity, and widespread hunger.

Mr. Akash Mahabir, sponsor of the Thippanur HoPE Learning Center, stepped up above and beyond his commitment to sponsor his children’s learning and daily mini meals for an entire year, by treating the eager children to an impromptu feast of delicious vegetable biryani with kurma and jalebi, a national sweet of India made of fragmented wheat flour dipped in melted sugar.

We at Tripura Foundation welcome our HoPE Center sponsors to pay, within their means, for special treats for their children, to write to their children, and/or to schedule a visit with their children at the centers that they sponsor if they are able.

Even in times of drought and hunger, it doesn’t cost much to bring HoPE to children in need. It costs only $300 a month to sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center. If that is not within your budget right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship for one child, including tutoring, lessons, materials, daily mini meals, and national holiday activities.

Wish Dr. Pillai a Happy Birthday!

Christmas In India!

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 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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