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.

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Sripriya Succeeds Despite Financial Needs

Though we often share stories about HoPE Center children who do not have parents, or whose parents are abusive or alcoholic, many others come from families who are caring and intact… but also coping with extreme poverty.

This is the case with a 9th grade student named Sripriya and her younger sister. Their mother is a housewife and their father is a low-paid day laborer.  Life would be much easier for all if one or both of the girls would stop attending school and instead take on steady, wage-paying employment, but both parents put the girls first and encourage their academic success.

Sripriya studies at Swamy Dayanantha Higher Secondary School. Her friend’s elder sister is a biology teacher and Srupriya would like to follow in her footsteps by one day becoming a teacher herself. For now, Sripriya enjoys biology lab during lunch break, especially if it involves peeping into some of the bottled specimens.

After coming to HoPE Center, Sripriya has learned to achieve her educational duties and goals independently, without the aid of adults. She is no longer late to class. She says her health has also improved due to regularly practicing yoga. She likes the PI sound of ‘E’ and enjoys reciting it. She is grateful to her sponsor and well on her way to achieving her dreams.

Sripriya’s parents are grateful that their daughter will escape from a long multi-generational cycle of hard labor and lifelong poverty. They hope that their younger daughter will also be able to thrive within the HoPE Learning Center when she is old enough to attend.

It doesn’t take much to bring trust and HoPE to a special child like Sripriya.

Just $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals for one child. Or, for only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center (40 children).

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Widower Embraces Warm Support

Karuppaiya lost his wife a few years ago.  He lives alone in a small decrepit hut and receives a government stipend of approximately Rs. 1000. This is not enough to cover the costs of daily rations of watery rice.

In addition, Karuppaiya walks half a mile to fetch water because there is not a nearby community pipe.

Rainy season presents more challenges because Karrupaiya has asthma but cannot afford basic inhalers.

Karuppaiya’s health may have fully declined if HoPE Center children had not identified him as an elder “in need.” Supported by their teachers, the children requested that he and 76 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, they know that they are cared for and not completely forsaken by humanity.

With this warm support, Karuppaiya is leading a better, healthier life, with three meals a day plus companionship. He feels that his pride and dignity have been restored, and he deeply thanks his sponsor for uplifting his life.

For only $30 a month, you can feed, clothe, and provide comfort and companionship to a destitute elderly person like Karuppaiya. Save a precious life today! 

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Lepers Gain New Leases On Life

Chandra and her husband do not have children to look after them. Other relatives deserted them because they suffer from Leprosy. Due to long-term illness, neither can return to work as laborers. All they can do is beg for alms here and there to survive.

They live in a single room built by the government for people with Leprosy. They suffer the effects of the numbing cold and scorching heat most nights and days because they do not have warm blankets or bedspreads to cover them up. Chandra is anemic. She does not have access to clean water or sanitary hygienic materials within walking distance.  This poor elderly couple in rural India cannot afford the most basic necessities to maintain a “dignified life”.

It is our HoPE Center children who identified this couple and their plight. Supported by their teachers, the children requested that Chandra and 76 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, they know that they are cared about and not completely forsaken by humanity.

For only $30 a month, you can feed, clothe, comfort and restore dignity to a poor elderly person like Chandra.  You are empowered to save a precious life! 

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Tamil Learns Trust

Tamil is a seventh grader who lives with his parents and three siblings. He is a loving child with many fine qualities, but, for good reasons, he still occasionally struggles with trust issues.

In addition to enduring seizures and a speech impediment, Tamil’s family life has been tremendously challenging. His father is an alcoholic who abuses his wife, often in front of Tamil and his siblings. Tamil’s mother is a day laborer who works very hard to support her family, but regular daily meals are rare privileges. Now that Tamil and his brother are a little older, they occasionally stand up to their father, but there’s only much they can do.

When asked, Tamil shared a memory of a specific day in his life that will forever be vividly etched in his mind. While waiting at a railway crossing with his family, Tamil’s father drunkenly pulled them all ahead. Tamil remembers the sound of the train coming out of nowhere, hurtling towards them in high speed, making them all freeze in their tracks until someone from behind pulled them all to safety in a matter of seconds, before the train crossed right in front of them.

After years of watching his father and other neighborhood alcoholics commit petty crimes, Tamil decided he wants to become a police officer to enforce laws and protect silent victims.

Tamil regularly practices Phonemic Intelligence and Yoga to increase his concentration and to become physically fit enough to achieve this goal. HoPE Learning Center teachers have taken special care to help him communicate better without stuttering so that he can succeed.

He thanks Tripura Foundation sponsors for daily snacks, which constitute a major part of his diet. He says that he is ever grateful to his teachers and friends who have helped him stand up against what’s wrong, even when wrongdoings are committed by his family. With all of this warm support, Tamil has regained a sense of trust and faith in humanity.

It doesn’t take much to bring trust and HoPE to a special child, like Tamil. Only $10 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.

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The Bus Stops HERE!

Palanisamy, from Pachapalayam, India, an active child with strong social values, shared with his HoPE Learning Center teachers his concern for the village bus stop.

It was run down, dirty and had become a shelter for stray cattle over the past few years.

When the teachers asked him what he thought could be done to make the bus stop clean and safe, Palanisamy immediately expressed his plan to clean it up and then sought the help of his friends (Abitha, Sangamithra, Vijayalakshmi, Vetrivel and others) to turn his plan into action.

Every day, they worked for an hour after school.

Within two weeks, they accomplished their goal, and a new clean, safe bus stop was made for the children and other villagers to use and take pride in. Everyone in the village appreciated the efforts of our HoPE children.

The children intend to write beautiful verses on the walls of the bus stop to motivate others toward embracing high human values and furthering good causes.

Sangamithira and Vetrivel also planted tree saplings near the road side as part of their birthday celebrations. This motivated their friends to plan to plant more saplings during upcoming important occasions. For example, one small boy in the local village will plant a Neem sapling on his birthday.

It doesn’t take much to turn HoPE into reality for inspired children like Palanisamy and his friends. For only $10 a month, you can sponsor a single HoPE Center child all year long. For only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center that meets the basic needs of 40 children!

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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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