Posts which have been tagged with: higher education program.

Rajkala in Paris.

Rajkala speaking to french supporters.


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.

Sekar and Kanchana: A father-daughter story

Sekar was a driver with Sharana for ten years, until he died of cardiac arrest very suddenly and very unexpectedly on this very day last October. He was survived by his wife, Shenbagavalli, who works with the tailoring Unit of the organization A Way with You (AWWY), and his three children: daughters Kanchana (18) and Gayathiri (13), and son Kalaiarasan (16). We use the opportunity of this post to pay tribute to Sekar for his service to Sharana, and to celebrate the achievements of his daughter Kanchana, who has completed her 12th standard exams and secured an admission to Nursing School!

Left to Right: Brigitte Peltier, her god-daughter who shares the name Brigitte, Sekar’s three children: Kalaiarasan, Kanchana, Gayathiri, and his widow: Shenbagavalli.

Sekar’s family struggled to make ends meet, in the best of times. They live in an unfinished house constructed with a Housing Loan from Sharana, along with Sekar’s brother and family. Since the construction is still incomplete, the house has no completed bathroom, no interior doors, and many unfinished sections.

Though Sekar was himself a driver, his children had to walk to their schools daily. Educational success under such difficult circumstances is a considerable achievement, and we are most proud of Kanchana for her achievements, and wish for her continued success. Kalaiarasan wants to complete high school and go into finance. Gayathiri is still young and considering her options.

Kanchana’s is being sponsored for her higher education by Brigitte Peltier, whom we see pictured here during a visit to Pondicherry. Brigitte was kind enough to spend some time with the family, encouraging Sekar’s children to persist in achieving their educational goals, and reminding them to keep in mind always the worth and value of education. She also organized a dinner at Surguru the same evening, and invited the family to join.

Join us this week in remembering Sekar’s good cheer and dedication of spirit, and congratulating Kanchana for her achievements. No doubt, her father would also have been as proud as we are.

A Sharana Success Story

We are proud and excited to announce that one of Sharana’s first beneficiaries, D. Aravind Kumar, has just been accepted to Medical College!

Aravind is the son of Mani Meghalai, who works with Sharana’s Recycled Newspaper Products Unit, and Devakumar, who works as a laborer with a local company (pictured above in the first photo; the second image is of Aravind with Senior Social Worker, Vetri). The family lives along with parents, grandparents, sister, and brother on Kanadasan Street, which was among the first areas in town targeted by Sharana when the organization was first beginning its work. Arvind was sponsored for his primary and secondary education by Sharana (via the International Foundation for Hope) from the 2nd standard until the completion of highschool. After finishing his 12th standard board exams, He sat to take the CENTAC (Common Admission Committee) entrance examination for admission to Medical college. He has now been admitted to study Medicine at the prestigious Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).
For his medical studies, Aravind will be sponsored by Yves Francine, a long-time friend and supporter of Sharana’s sponsor programs. His support comes to Arvind in the form of a loan via Sharana’s new Higher Education Project, which Arvind will start to repay at the conclusion of his 5 years of medical training.
D. Aravind Kumar represents the success that is possible in Sharana’s sponsorship program. With moral, emotional, and financial support for individual students and the family, children can focus on their studies effectively, and achieve what would otherwise have been unattainable goals.
Please join us all in wishing Aravind all the very best for the next phase of his educational journey — in becoming a doctor!
Wish to contribute to Sharana’s Higher Education Project? Please write us, and visit our Donation page.