Andrea writes from Karuna to say - “We’re delighted to announce that Karuna has been awarded a grant of £20,000 from The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust. The trust, which has funded Karuna projects for over ten years, was set up in memory of two generations of the Ferguson family to promote their particular interests in education, international friendship and understanding, and the promotion of world peace and development.
This generous donation will go towards funding a child rights centre in rural Maharashtra, which will give up to 10,000 children living in poverty across 150 villages the opportunity to access education and to escape child labour and poverty.
The project, which is run by Karuna’s project partner NISD (the National Institute for Sustainable Development), will organise, educate, train and empower stakeholders, including teachers, government officers, local leaders, youth leaders and parents. Once trained, these stakeholders will implement the project activities across the 150 villages. 24 out of school support classes will benefit school children who are falling behind; a school enrolment drive and education improvement programme will encourage enrolment and retention of children at school, and child activity groups, including child parliaments, will engage children and build their confidence and leadership abilities.
Karuna has worked with NISD since 2003 helping displaced tribal communities, bidi (cigarette worker) families and wage labouring families, all of which are socially and economically disadvantaged. NISD aims to help over 30,000 disadvantaged children and women.
Case study – a child parliament
Kanchan, aged 12 is a Minister in her village Balpanchayat (child parliament) group. The parliament of children aged 10 to 18, which is organised by this project, is currently tackling the issue of school absenteeism. Kanchan gives an example of their work: “There were two sisters in our village who were not being allowed to come to the school. We met with their mother who told us that they didn’t need an education that her son would look after them when he completed his education. We told her that girls’ brains are as capable as boys and that if she educates her daughters that they will be just as capable and more likely to look after her. Both girls are now coming to our school and that makes us all very happy.”
Karuna would like to thank the trustees of The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust for their generous, ongoing support.
There’s still much work to do supporting children such as Kanchan! Over 80% of funding for Karuna’s work comes from thousands of individuals across the UK, who having met with a Triratna volunteer, have taken the decision to contribute a regular donation to Karuna.
Here’s how YOU can help - give your time in one of three ways:
1. Help out on a telephone fundraising campaign
We’re recruiting now for our next non-residential, phone campaign which runs from 25 October to 3 December 2010 based out of the Karuna office in North London.
2. Join a door-to-door Karuna Appeal in 2011
3. Live in a men’s fundraising community for a year
Feeling inspired? Curious to find out more?
Contact: Jo, Andrea or Amalavajra.
Phone: 0207 700 3434
Karuna was formed in 1980 as Aid for India, Triratna's response to the suffering of India's Dalit community. For 30 years, Karuna has worked with some of South Asia's most disadvantaged people, sending over £1 million every year to support low-caste and tribal communities, street children and refugees fulfill their potential through our social and Dharma projects.