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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


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!

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!

Independence Day = Cultural Pride

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.

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!


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!

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!

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.

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!

Marcos Finds A Smile

At Tripura Foundation, one of our greatest satisfactions is witnessing the positive transformation of children; even one small child.

At first sight, Marcos Gabriel García Crespo seems quite serious and shy. This is because he didn’t grow up knowing how to smile. He lives in a small shack in La Paz, Mexico with his parents and three siblings. Life is tough and they rarely have enough to eat or to celebrate.

When we asked him what had changed for him after he attended activities at his local HoPE Learning Center, he replied:Since I started coming to the Center I feel joy. I am happy! I like coming here because I learn many things, play and eat. When we do the Phonemic Intelligence sounds, I see purple, pink and blue lights and I feel great. At home, I’m more relaxed; and, at school, I am learning better.”

Unfortunately, this former HoPE Center is no longer operational due to situations beyond Tripura Foundation’s control. Yet, Tripura Foundation helps many children like Marcos through our Phonemic Intelligence school programs in Mexico, India, the USA and other nations.

For a one-time gift of $108, you too can bring a smile to the face of a sweet child like Marcos for an entire year.  Donate today!

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