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.
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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:
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.