Sharana’s Sponsorship Program is one of the largest, and longest-established program that the organization runs. It also takes much attention and care, all the way from screening beneficiaries, to matching children with donors, file-maintenance and follow-up, writing annual letters and sending cards, organizing Summer Camp activities, and more. Amidst all this work there are some distinct moments of pleasure and achievement: successful completion of studies (as for example in the case of Kanchana)–and the visits of Godparents.
Godparents are those who support the individual children in Sharana’s Sponsorship program. John Peter, Ravi Anand, and Kaladevi arranged for the visit of six Godparents to meet their sponsored beneficiaries this past week. They came bearing gifts and much goodwill. After a meeting with the social workers, they visited the Infant Jesus Homework Help Center and attended the children’s yoga and dance performances. Next, they visited the Solidarity Shop:
Last but not least, they visited the Aranganur creche:
and planted a tree there that will grow just as their sponsored children will!
When french journalist and filmmaker Sandrine Lopez visited her friends Nathalie and Eric Ajorque, who work as volunteers for Sharana in Pondy, in late 2011 she took the opportunity to produce a little movie featuring the school of Mathur. Mathur is a small village remotely situated about 20km north of Pondicherry. Sharana is supporting this school since the year 2008. With the help of Sharana about 100 children receive not only education in the school, but also a daily warm lunch meal. Have a look how it looks in Mathur School.
On november 10th Rajkala – the founder and president of Sharana – came to Paris to meet about 150 supporter from France. Throughout the event which took place at l’Eglise Réformée de la Rencontre, Rajkala spoke about the status of the current programs and illustrated this with plenty of moving case studies and stories from the field. Moreover her presentation discussed four focal points Sharana will have in the time to come: Expanding rural development, ensuring the right to education, developing vocational training and leading more children to higher education.
Some of the slides which were presented throughout the day:
Impressive facts and figures.
Majority of donations come under the collective sponsorship program and were spent mainly in the village program of Mathur, followed by Angalakuppam.
In the section „Vision“ Rajkala pointed out, how important it is using the already existing social centers and building facilities to provide more community members with greater access to educational, health, sanitation and training rescources. Expanding the micro-credit programms in the villages will support this goal. Beside that Sharana will focus more on the development of ist human resources among the existing Sharana staff and build capacities, develop skills and ensure that staff undergoes appropriate professional training necessary for their ever more demanding jobs. Finally Rajkala pointed out, that the development of new partnerships will be crucial to continue the successful work. Partnering with government agencies in india, partnering also with international development agencies (i.e. ADMCF, AFID, Tulane University). Already today Sharana maintains partnerships with organisations in the US, UK, the Netherlands and Germany – not to speak about the strong ties Sharana has to its French parter organisation. All participants of the meeting had lunch together and many participants were continuing the conversations long after the official ending oft he event. Some nice pictures from the gathering done by our German friend Peter can be viewed on Flickr. In a way it was a historic moment, since first time in more then 10 years of Sharanas history there was a meeting held in the capital of france.
Lead more children to higher education - the number of children who qualify to higher education is growing strongly. We see this as a result of the good work we do with younger children.