December 2020 - The Giving Machine has made Supporting Dalit Children their âCause of the Month', which is amazing seeing as they have hundreds of other charities who have also signed up. Rachel Alexander, who is currently volunteering for Supporting Dalit Children, has written a lovely piece about the charity and our work, and it can be found on the link below.
Please have a read and share with any friends or family who you think might also like to help our charity whilst doing their online shopping.
Thanks SO much to all of you who already are doing this, and especially to those who have downloaded the Shop and Give extension and collecting the free donations daily too. In November, over £60 was raised just from all of these small donations â they really do help the Dalit children.
A fascinating article written by Chris Carter, a sponsor parent and great supporter of the charity. Chris volunteered in Manvi and Pannur for 6 weeks last year, her account is both educational and emotional, and highlights many of the problems faced by the Dalit children and women. Click on this link SUNANDA AND RATHNAMA website edit
Chris Carter’s 6 weeks in Manvi
Chris Carter has been sponsoring two children for many years, and this account talks about her third visit to Manvi in January 2015 , this time to spend 6 weeks there as a volunteer and to help with the Easter cards among other things. It is a very thought-provoking and interesting account.
We have had a fantastic response to our request for knitted squares, or complete blankets, so thank you to everybody who has contributed to this. Here are some photos of some of our knitters, whose blankets we will be giving to the ladies in Ramathnal in the middle of January.
Congratulations to Greg Vincent and Polly Shoebridge who have successfully completed their Marathon challenges, Greg in March 2014 and Polly in April 2014. Hundreds of pounds for the Dalit children have been raised by these two enthusiastic and fit people! Thanks Greg and Polly.
January 2014 Newsletter
Please click on the link below to read our latest newsletter
Samadeni, a former pupil of Loyola School in Manvi, is now at a Nursing college in Mangalore. We remember Samadeni arguing vehemently with Father Eric back in 2009, who, tongue in cheek asked her why should girls be educated at all, surely they should look after the home? "Why should girls wash the vessels and not study like boys?' she quickly replied, having learnt English for only one year at that stage - the passion for education this young girl displayed all these years ago was so strong. The Nursing College is paying Samadeni a small monthly salary even though she is still training, and from this salary she sends what she can afford back to help her parents, and also 200 Rupees per month to Father Eric to contribute towards another Dalit child's education. Here is Samadeni with her parents and sister in her village, in February 2009.
Former Manvi students, Hanumanthi and Husenamma now at Nursing college
Hanumanthi and Husenamma, two former students from Loyola School Manvi, are now at Nursing college 500 kms from Manvi. They both managed to get a Government seat at their college, and are enjoying their nursing training immensely.
December Newsletter 2013, from Sindagi, about 6 hours drive from Manvi
A fantastic day was enjoyed by over 150 people . Considerable funds were raised to help support the children at Kapepaladi School in Pannur. Advance tickets were sold for either a light lunch or drinks and canapes, and everybody enjoyed brousing the variety of stalls selling our latest range of charity merchandise as well as gifts. The silent Auction of Promises and a raffle were well supported, and many people unable to attend sent donations. Thank you to everybody for your support.
November 2013 – Mike Yeomans’ ‘Movember’ challenge raises funds for Supporting Dalit Children
A huge thank you to Mike Yeomans who took part in this year's 'Movember' challenge and shaved off his impressive moustache on the 4th November. He was very well supported through his Justgiving page.
October 2013 – Jo Meara completes the Oxford Half Marathon and raises funds for Supporting Dalit Children
Congratulations to Jo Meara for completing the Oxford Half Marathon in October 2013. Her Justgiving page was tremendously supported by family and friends. Jo has requested to sponsor a child with these funds. Thank you Jo for all your hard work, training, and for wanting to help support a Dalit child in this way.
New tailoring school opens
A new tailoring school has recently opened in Ramathnal for 10 teenage girls. Learning the skill of tailoring will give them much greater financial independence which, in turn will lead to the men from their community respecting them much more.
New tailoring centre opens in Ramathnal
A new tailoring centre for 8 Dalit teenage girls has just been opened in the village of Ramathnal. We will visit them in November. Learning the skill of tailoring will lead to greater financial independence for each of the girls, as at the moment the only work they have have is seasonal 'coolie' (labouring) work that is poorly paid and extremely tough, physically and emotionally as they are treated very badly by their landlords. The tailoring apprenticeship will take 6 months to complete; once completed each girl will pay whatever she can afford towards a new sewing machine so that she can work from home; the rest of the cost will be paid by Supporting Dalit Children. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this project.
The Power of Education
"Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world" Nelson Mandela
Father Eric leaves Manvi
News from India and farewell to Father Eric: "the entire mission was the dream of Fr. Eric who came here 10 years ago and started the mission along with Frs. Maxim and Joseph. He has dedicated his entire life at the service of the needy people, specially the Dalits, in and around Raichur district. Father Eric is a person of great vision, he dedicated his life for the needy."
Click here to view an article from The Times entitled 'A lesson in how to fight poverty'.
This is by a 10th Standard (5th form) student called Nobelraj and is a copy of Martin Luther King's famous speech of 28th August 1963.
December 2012 Christmas letter from Father Eric
Click here for a December 2012 Christmas letter from Father Eric
18th May 2012
Heres a letter from Father Eric to sponsor parents. Click here.
15th May 2012
All the sponsored children recently made beautiful Easter cards and wrote letters for their 'sponsor parents'. Here is a letter from 11 year old Uma, she is one of the 450 children that stay in the boarding hostel during term time. Uma, along with 67 other children, is sponsored by general charity funds i.e. from the proceeds of fundraising events, the sales of Christmas and Gift cards, and general donations. letter.
Date for your diaries - Sunday 23rd September 2012 - Charity Lunch for all ages. Location will be in Walkern, Hertfordshire. Invitations to be sent out in June, please contact us if you would like to be added to our mailing list. We are looking for raffle prizes so if you can offer a prize, please get in touch. Thank you.
25th April 2012
Father Tim Byron is a British Jesuit priest in the middle of a 3-month sabbatical at Xavier School. He is writing a comprehensive blog about many issues facing the Dalit students and their families; it is most enlightening but also shocking in places. Some of the Subjects include:
India and HIV, The Hare and The Tortoise - Education in India, Water for All and most recently, The Vision, that answers a question posed about what happens to the students after they leave Xavier School.
This year's Christmas card designs are now on the website and orders can be placed online. Once again they have all been designed by local artists who have given their designs freely to the charity and we thank them all for giving up their time to help to generate more funds for the benefit of the Dalit children. Payment is now possible using PAYPAL for those who prefer using credit cards to cheques.
Date for our Charity Dinner is 3rd December 2011, more news will follow but please put this date in your diary!
(From Dinah Findlay: Father Eric has been thinking of writing a newsletter giving more details of the various projects that he is involved with and that we have been supporting, and the first edition was sent to me on 27th August to coincide with my birthday which was very kind of him. At first I felt embarrassed that this first edition has mentioned me, but then Supporting Dalit Children is one hundred per cent a result of all the fantastic support and interest in the Dalit children's plight that you have shown over the past three years, all we do is coordinate a few things and send payments out to India made up of your generous donations. So their gratitude is to us all.)
'I have a piece of good news to share with you . Our CBSE results are out and we have got 100 per cent results and all our students have passed in first class. One of them has scored 96 per cent. Loyola School 10th std at State lavel has achieved 96 per cent results with just one boy Ayyappa failing in one subject. In general we are very much satisfied with this performance and with the hard work of the staff.'
'The work of our feeder school at Pannur is progressing steadily. We hope to start the school in June in our campus. But the structure will be ready by June end. We hope to get 120 children from Pannur and surrounding villages.'
'On the 17th of May we are going to celebrate the annual parish feast of Pannur and we are expecting a large number of people. The Bishop will be coming to celebrate and give confirmation to about 40 children. The Jesuit Novices from Bangalore are with us till 21st of May. They are helping out in the construction of the feeder school in Pannur. They are happy even though they are in the hottest season of the year. Every evening after 7 p.m, they go to different villages to give awareness programme through entertainment. People enjoy this very much.'
'Our children are busy with the exams. One girl named Nagaratna who is from a remote village about 60kms from Manvi has stood first in PUC Commerce section. I feel so happy that a girl coming from Kannada medium has achieved this glory. Soundraya and Navya have done well.
We have started already 2nd year PUC with informal classes so that they are well prepared for the final Board exams.
On the 22nd and 23rd March we will be having special retreat for our people from different villages about 2000 people are expected to take part in it.
In April 26th we are going to begin the construction of Provisional feeder school in Pannur. 24 Jesuit Novices from Bangalore will spend a month with us and help out in the construction and also being with our people.'
February 2011, from Father Terence
'We are seriously thinking of different ways how children from our school could find good jobs after their studies here and how we could help them in this. For girls one of the best ways is to take up nursing in Government institutions. Dalits specially girls, are preferred candidates, and practically all their expenses are met by the Govt. They are also sure of getting jobs in Govt hospitals in rural areas where they will feel at home. We have identified some of such institutions and when girls complete their PUC II, they could be directed to this path.'
'Just yesterday our PUC girls won the volley ball tournament at the district level and have qualified themselves to compete at the State level. This is the first College batch that has shown its talents in co-curricular activities. All these girls are Dalits. It is a great pride for them that villages from Pannur and surrounding corners are getting focused at the State level.'
'I have a piece of good news to share with you, namely, all our children who appeared for the 10th Standard State exam - the first batch ever to appear from Loyola School - (our equivalent of GCSE's) have passed successfully, giving us the joy of 100% results. All of us are very happy and fulfilled because these children had no foundation at all. They were brought up practically from cow grazing state and prepared well for their exams. They have responded very well to our guidance and regular teaching and come out in flying colours. The credit goes to the unstinted efforts and love showered on these students by the teachers. This has proved that what seems to be good for nothing can show its true value and richness thanks to the right type of treatment. Supporting Dalit Children has played an important role in this venture.'
Self Help Groups We have around 75 self help groups of women spread out in more than 76 villages. A self help group is a unit of women who are given an awareness of their rights and privileges as offered by the government. They are taught how to save money and get loans through the bank to meet their various needs. These women have built up self confidence and a sense of responsibility, and they are ready to organise little rallies to protest against injustice and to demand what is their due from the government. There are 7 coordinators to guide them in different villages and organise training programmes for them to become active and confident to build up their community.
Medical work We have nearly completed a dispensary in Pannur to cater for the service of the sick. This dispensary has 40 beds with nurses and a visiting doctor. In this connection we have opened a medical insurance scheme called Arogya Siri (Health is Wealth), which provides medical help to all the members of this scheme with certain conditions and regulations. We have already around 500 members who have enrolled themselves in this scheme.
Kindergartens We have many little children in the villages with the age group of 4 to 6, who need special attention at the early stage of education. We have 8 kindergartens in different villages and a teacher in each to train these children and a cook to provide them meals. There are 25 children on an average. This is the initial stage after which they will slowly be absorbed into our school in Manvi or some other school elsewhere.