Charity Newsletter December 2011
Inspiring Light Open DayMonday 14th November saw the opening of our brand new project Inspiring Light in Calangute.
The project may be new but the building is far from it. One of the buildings is useable but the rest of it needs a great deal of work. Your donations are now even more precious than before as we proceed to develop and run yet another much needed centre, helping even more children escape the poverty of the slums.
Monday saw just over 15 children attending the training centre; we picked them up from the slum with some of their Mothers and Aunties. They then spent the day colouring in pictures, learning the different colours and the basics of sharing. After a quick wash they settled down to lunch. Everyone joined in with a sing song, which was enjoyed by all the children and grown-ups. Many of the children spent the day quite mesmerised, but we are pleased to say they are returning daily with other children from the slum.
MedicalsDr Dhiru Mistry and our volunteer Dr Louise Grant have been busy setting up medical records for all the children who attend our centres. Most of the children have never had routine medical checks. Therefore conditions that are preventable or treatable are more likely to occur and get worse. The work we are now doing should improve the children's health and their chance of becoming a healthy adult. Most of our children are from travelling families and any healthcare has been accessed from many different states, and they are unable to tell us what treatment they have had or which tests have been done. A personal mobile medical record will be created for each child; these will be confidential and stored securely at our office in Goa. However, if the family decides to leave the area, they may take the medical record with them. The results from the tests showed us that the children tend to be slightly underweight and have a short stature for their age.
We know that these children did not have the best starts in life nutritionally and many were malnourished prior to Educators' Trust India becoming involved with their welfare. We will monitor their growth now on a 3 monthly basis to check they are gaining height and weight appropriately.
Volunteer Report (Children's Day)Today is Children's Day in India. It's the perfect day to open our new training centre - Inspiring Light.
A bus is sent to the local slums around Calangute and the children, along with their mothers, are invited to come to the new training centre for the opening ceremony. The event is emotional; it's taken a lot of hard work and sacrifice from everyone, especially Diego's family. Overall 15 children attend, some with their mum or aunty. They enter the building and are little bewildered at first. This is their first time in a school environment.
The teachers and volunteers split them into 2 groups according to age and give them books and crayons. They start to colour pictures whilst the we help them to learn the correct pen hold, names of the colours and introduce the words 'please', 'thank you' and 'sorry'. By the end of the morning they are sharing crayons harmoniously, almost! After the colouring in is finished, it's time to sing! The Wheels on the Bus seems to be a favourite along with some Danish songs that Charlotte and Marianne teach us all. The children are so enthusiastic with their singing! The singing comes to an abrupt end when the children see the food entering the building! It takes a fair bit of persuasion to get them sat down quietly to wait for lunch. The chicken biriyani was delicious and went down a treat!
After lunch the children are all given a party bag with crayons, toys and paper. They are delighted with their presents. They are also given a bottle of water each to take back to their families. It's so important that they learn the value of safe drinking water.
Time to Have FunWe all need the opportunity to have fun and it is due to the generosity of some very exceptional people that we are fortunate enough to treat our children to some special and enjoyable occasions; occasions that only happen because people like these care. Here are a just few examples.
Beach TripsDuring the holiday season the children from Leading Light enjoy a weekly trip to the beach. This is only made possible by one supporters' generous donation, which covers the cost of the bus which transports the children and the equipment to the beach and back every Friday throughout the season. You can only imagine the excitement of the children as they get ready every Friday afternoon as they help gather together fruit, water, toys and towels. Once on the beach they make the most of their time playing games, building sand castles and running in and out of the sea, A quote from one of our volunteers says it all "All of them look so happy so it's impossible to stay out of this, one must join in! All the people watching were mesmerised by the screaming, laughing, happy, running children. That's a picture one can't forget..."
Christmas PartyChristmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a party and there wouldn't be a party without the donations from certain individuals, like the lady who donated £100.00 to help cover the cost of presents and food, and the wonderful family who have spent the year buying gifts, and then a whole weekend wrapping them to bring them over to give to the children on Christmas Day, what a task I take my hat off to them, the children have no idea that that they will be receiving these gifts but I can hardly contain my excitement just thinking about the joy this will bring.
Water Park ExcursionNow is your chance to join those people who at some point said to themselves "I want to treat these wonderful children; I want them to experience something special." Early next year we are planning on taking a group of our Morning Light, New Light and Inspiring Light children to the Blue Whale Water Park in Baga. These children are new to our projects so are unaware that a water park even exits never mind have considered ever visiting one. As always we need to raise the funds for this special treat. We took a group early last year; go to our Facebook page to see how much fun the children had. Just £3.00 is enough to send one of our children to the park. It is easy to donate in any currency through our just giving page Water Park allowing you to donate directly to this event. UK residents can also use JUST TEXT GIVING text the following message swim08£3 to 70070 and one child will be going to the park on your behalf. Just Text Giving allows you to donate any of the following amounts £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 up to three times a day. Or for more help or information contact Sue Pugh directly at the UK Office
Carol SingingThe children at Leading Light are very excited as they busily practice for our yearly carol singing event, we will be in Candolim singing and wishing a merry Christmas to as many people as possible. If you are in Goa between Saturday 17th and Saturday 24th December look out for us, or may be "listen out" for us as we sing our way round Candolim.
CupcakesThen there was the lady who met one of our volunteers fundrais-ing in Goa, and within days of returning home encouraged her own children to have a stall at their school fair to raise funds for us. After a mammoth cake bake and the setting up of a fabulous display they made an impressive £70.00 which they have kindly donated to the waterpark excursion.
How To Donate
Regular monthly donationsMonthly donations are brilliant for us because we can plan more easily, either through justgiving.com or contact Sue Pugh at the UK Office
One off donationsOne of donations are ideal if you want your money to be spent on a particular project. Or if you want to support the Educators' Trust India projects in general. Either contact Sue at the UK Office or make your way to justgiving.com
Text Donations (UK ONLY)By Text – Quick and easy for UK residents and the full donation will go to Educators' Trust India you can donate any of the following amounts £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to support our projects in general; text SLUM08 followed by the amount you want to 70070 e.g. SLUM08£5.
Easy FundraisingLast month saw a cheque for £42.31 arrive from the easy fundraising people, thank you to everyone who has registered, shopped and searched with easyfundraising on our behalf, with Christmas on its way let's see if we can raise even more in the next three months. All the donations come straight from the retailers, who offer a % of the amount you spend with them, so there is absolutely no cost to yourself. Take a look and register to see how easy it is with easyfundraising.
Do You Believe in MiraclesGrammy nominated "Steve 'Neil' Edwards" ("Made In Jamaica" with Bob Sinclair and Sly & Robbie Dunbar) has given the go-ahead for Educators' Trust India to release his song "Do You Believe in Miracles" as a single to generate funds for the trust. Steve is a highly acclaimed International Artist and has had many hits Worldwide. We are looking for sponsorship to cover the cost of production of the hard copy CD, there will also be a down-loadable version available on I-Tunes, Spotify, Amazon etc.. If you would like to get involved with this venture please e-mail Sue Pugh at the UK Office
VolunteersWe are very lucky to have some wonderful volunteers working with us this year. They come from many different walks of life and bring with them a variety of skills, our projects could not run without them and we can't thank them enough. Some are new to us whilst others have chosen to return, but with a common love of children and the motivation and dedication to help others, we are blessed to have their help and support. All The staff and children would like to take this opportunity to say thank to all the volunteers, whether they be with us now, have had to move on, or are looking forward to being with us in the future.
If you are interested in joining our team as a volunteer please contact Geoff in the UK at the UK Office