Friday, March 12, 2010

Opportunities coming up at Karuna

Andrea writes from the FWBO’s Karuna Trust with news of their hostel in Central India - and an invitation for 2 people to contribute to Karuna's work in London, starting next month. She says -

“The education of a child can pull a whole family out of the cycle of deprivation.  To illustrate this I'd like to tell you a little of Vidyha Salgare's story.

At an educational hostel in Latur, a small town in the heart of India, 65 girls from low-caste backgrounds have found love, support and the opportunity to build a future.

The Latur Girls Hostel is a special place. A delightful family atmosphere is created by 65 girls and three wardens with a mix of exuberance, intelligence and care. The walls resound with creativity and potential. The Karuna supported hostel was purpose built after a devastating earthquake in 1993 in a drought-prone area of Maharashtra.

Vidhya Salgare is from a Dalit family. “I was 10 when my father was murdered. There was discrimination against Dalits in the office where he worked. They found acid in his ears. My mother sells vegetables now, a very hard life. My father loved me, and wanted me to get an education. In the village, the teacher made me sit at the back of the class. It’s not like that here in Latur. I am very happy here.”

Admission to the hostel is based on need – the girls, such as Vidyha, come from the very bottom of the caste system. They live at the hostel free of charge, attend the local schools, and are coached by the hostel wardens.

The hostel, run by members of TBMSG (the Indian equivalent of the FWBO), is a wonderful example of how the rigid hostility of caste can be transformed by care and friendship, and girls who were once imprisoned by poverty and discrimination can realize their potential, and in turn, gain dignity, strength, and hope for the future.

Calling YOU!
Could you tell a story like Vidyha’s to a Karuna supporter? Join a Karuna Phone Campaign from 19 April to 28 May 2010 and find out!

Karuna supporters are often pleased to hear more about our work in Asia, especially when they hear what a difference their donation is making to lives like Vidyha’s. As such, a supporter is often inspired and moved to increase their existing donation.

We need to find 2 more phone fundraisers to join a team of fundraisers for a Karuna phone campaign. It will be 6-weeks long, non-residential, working with a team of Buddhist men and women out of the Karuna office in North London. Financial support is offered.

During the campaign we'll be phoning existing Karuna supporters to communicate the benefits of Karuna’s work in South Asia with a view to them increasing their existing donation.

A fundraiser on a 6-week Karuna phone campaign could raise an extra £17,000 for Karuna. That’s the equivalent of keeping Vidhya and at least 10 of her friends at the hostel for 5 years – enough for them to receive a decent education.

If you would like to tell a story like Vidhya’s, please contact Jo Goldsmid on 0207 697 3006 or

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