A Jar Full of Coins and a Family’s life transformed for Ever

With the coins this kind donor found in a large jar in his home, he sponsored a cow for one of our impoverished mothers. Nandri provided the mother with a micro finance loan enabling her to buy the cow which will give her family food, in the form of dairy products, an income from the products she can sell and in the future, a calf which will further boost the income of the family. Because of the increase in income, the children will be able to afford to continue their education. What a difference a cow makes in the lives of our poor families. This mother will never forget how a jar full of coins changed her life.

Our generous donor called his cow Aideen after a family member!  What would you name your cow?

It’s our business to make Nandri work!

In Nandri, we believe that it is very important for our Donors to understand how our charity works, how it benefits our families and where their money is being utilised. The tightly organised day to day running of our charity is key to its success. The CEO of our partner organisation in India once said to me “Fred this is not a business it’s a charity”. I answered that unless we run it like a business with professional procedures and systems then it will not prosper.

We implemented Salesforce, one of the best corporate CRM systems in the world, and a number of user licenses were made available to us free of charge by the company. We are extremely grateful to Salesforce. It has enabled us to manage the records we have on thousands of our Nandri mothers in our non profit.

In January 2012 we started a micro finance programme to give a loan to a mother to buy a cow or other income generating asset. The mother can repay a loan within two years and all repayments are immediately re-loaned to another needy mother in the group.

In 2013 we realised that many of our children were dropping out of education at 17 or 18 years of age. We then started to give them loans to go to college. This immediately doubled the number of our children who go to 3rd level, as many families could not previously afford the upfront fees, despite the fact that this was only in many cases less than €100 per annum. Most of our mothers only earn €20 a month.

We could not manage these programmes without the appropriate technology and systems and Salesforce is the most important system which we use. Today we have quite an extensive, complex database, with details of over 3,500 mothers, 2000 children and 700 current donors in our system

Every month almost Rs.2 million is processed through the Salesforce system. Within two weeks of each month end we receive a set of management accounts which have been audited by a local chartered accountant in India. In Ireland one of our directors who is also a chartered accountant produces monthly accounts for Ireland and reviews the accounts from India.

Our mother’s pay 1% per month interest on the reducing balance and this is mainly used to fund the third level loan program. Our mothers also pay a membership fee of about one rupee per day. This income is enabling us to grow the organisation and to achieve a level of self sustainability in India.

In February 2016 we opened our Nandri centre. It is a 6000 ft.² building. The opening was attended by over 3500 mothers and children and local dignitaries. It has put us on the map locally and has enabled us to apply for grants from the Indian government to run training programmes for our mothers and children. It cost about €300,000 and was fully paid for by a small number of donors from Ireland including some directors. The building is used for training courses and administration and for regular meetings of over 600 officers of our 200 mothers self-help groups.

Most of our 3500 mothers are members of the low caste so-called untouchable Dalit community. We found it difficult to rent rooms for meetings and offices. Our mothers are treated like travellers in Ireland, who find it hard to rent rooms for weddings or other celebrations. Our 3500 mothers proudly wear their Nandri saris and are proud to be part of our organisation.

We are a small organisation and our revenue for the current financial year is likely to be around €200,000. We only have one part time employee in Ireland who works 10 hours a week. Our future strategy is to grow our micro finance fund. Since 2012 we have issued loans of over €900,000. The repayments are used to issue about 50 to 100 new loans every month.

In 2016 we were approved a grant of $50,000 from the Lions Clubs International Foundation #LCIF. We had to come up with $17,000 matching funds and much of this was provided by Lions Clubs in Ireland. This fund has already being used to provide loans to 350 widows and single parents.

On top of our micro finance programmes, our mothers, who meet every month in groups of 15 to 20, are also encouraged to save. They save about Rs.100 per month which is the equivalent of a days wages for them. This money is reloaned to their group colleagues. They also charge each other a small interest-rate. Our mothers proudly show off their passbooks which record their subscriptions, savings and loans. We have set up the necessary paperwork systems to enable them to manage these loans and savings themselves. We employ eight fieldworkers who attend all the meetings to ensure that all our procedures and systems are maintained.

We want our sponsors and donors to know that we make their money go far. Every €400 donation will change the life of a family who receive a loan to buy a cow. Two years later the same money will benefit another family and so on. A donation to Nandri is a gift that keeps on giving. Our future plan is double the size of our loan book. Within five years we hope to have 10,000 mothers of which over 5000 will have received a life changing loan.

Nandri CHild Resource Centres Changing the Lives of our Little Ones

Nandri has set up 10 child resource centres to cater for the overall support and development of our children.  All of these centres are looked after by remedial teachers appointed from the local villages.  Children come to these

The joy of learning in Nandri Resource Centre

centres after school and start their evenings with some traditional fun games in order to relax after their long days of learning at school.   Their evening studies are supervised by the teachers, who help them with their homework,  practice reading and writing skills, and also organise singing and dancing classes which the children thoroughly enjoy!

In this wonderfully positive atmosphere, the children’s education, talents and overall well being is being nurtured.  I

Early learning building life skills

was privileged to visit one of these centres in January, and enjoyed seeing their school work and a wonderful display of singing and dancing from the most happy, smiling little people.  It was a joy to see.

As most of the parents of Nandri’s  children are uneducated, they would be unable to help  their sons and daughters with their school work.  They are so grateful to Nandri Resource Centres for ensuring the very best for their children.  They see the difference it makes in their school grades and how happy the children are to participate in the after school programmes

Nandri Resource Centres are helping the future generations of Nandri families fulfill their dreams and escape poverty through education.

 

 

Nandri Centre Bringing Laughter Joy and Happiness To Our Children

Nandri children having fun!

The Nandri Foundation is committed to the education and development of our children. All our activities are carefully designed to protect and promote the best interests of the child.   An important  part of that is insuring that our young people learn how to play together and have fun!  In the Nandri Centre, we have set up a playground for the children with lots of equipment that they can enjoy after they spend time in educational classes. Towards the end of their day, the children are so excited to go outside and the sound of their laughter fills the air!  It gives them a chance to forget their difficult empoverished lives and just be children having fun with their friends.  After a recent training programme for local children, you could feel the excitement in the air as the day came to an end and they could finally run to the playground!   In the words of  Jerald, our Chief Operating Officer  “The children forget everything and they are in their own world.  The campus is filled with laughter, joy and happiness”.  When the evening came to a close, the children were sad to tear themselves away from the playground and  leave –  but the Nandri centre will always be a place that our young people will remember with love, a place of positivity, education  and fun and they will long to return time and time again.  

Nandri Micro Loans Continue to Change Lives

 

In July, 52 Nandri mothers received life changing micro finance loans which would help them start their own business or give them the finance to send their children to third level education.   This programme gives a lifeline to our impoverished mothers and their families.   As the mothers pay back their loans each month, these repayments enable us to lend to more than 50 new mothers the following month.    The cycle of success of our micro finance loans continues to grow and flourish bringing hope and a future to new families each month.  NANDRI,  changing lives.

Drumsticks making an educational and nutritious addition to Nandri!

Nandri Drumstick plantation

 

Our workers are busy removing the weeds at the drumstick vegetable plantation yard at Nandri Center.  Drumsticks, also known as Moringa, are vegetables loaded with valuable minerals, healthy proteins and essential minerals, making it a very healthy food. It is used as one of the ingredients in sambar, a type of stew. Being high in nutrients and tasty in nature, the leaves and pods of this green vegetable possess blood purifying properties and it also acts as a potent antibiotic agent.

 

We have created this drumstick yard to help train our agricultural students who come to Nandri to learn how to grow and tend crops.  In addition, we will showcase the plantation as a model as we bring forward our initiative to introduce allotment farming to our Nandri families. It is mostly women who do the weeding and even if they work along side men, the women get lower remuneration for their work.

Nandri Drumstick plantation

The physical work done by these workers will bear fruit within six months and we will use the drumsticks in Nandri Centre in the delicious South Indian food we will prepare for our guests and participants in our training programmes.

“NANDRI Came To My Rescue”

 

From a very impoverished family,  Dinesh’s dreams of furthering his education and  achieving a degree, looked impossible.  With the help of an educational  loan from Nandri,  he completed his 3rd level education,  enabling him to support his sister and her children and in turn,  fund their education.  Nandri has changed his life and the life of his family forever:

“My Name is Dinesh Kumar. I have a sister whose name is Anthonyammal. We belong to a poor family. With great difficulties my sister helped me to finish higher secondary education. I wanted to go college but my sister could not afford to send me for further studies. But luckily she was a member of a mothers group called Semparuthi which is one of the mother group formed by Nandri. She contacted the field staff and told her about my educational ambitions and the financial needs that I was facing. Nandri came to my rescue and gave me an Educational loan to pursue mu college studies. I finished my B.com Degree course successfully. I also finished ITI one Year course successfully.

Now I am employed and earning comfortably. I am now taking care of my sisters family and the educational needs of her children. All this was possible only due to the timely help by Nandri. I would be always thankful to Nandri and Mothers Group. At the same time I have resolved to help the needy children like me through Nandri.”

B.Com funded by a loan from Nandri

 

When Sagaya Vincent with the help of Nandri,  managed to complete his schooling, his mother who had very little income, wanted him to get a job.   She needed the money to help feed their family.  An educational loan from Nandri called SHE (Support for higher education) enabled him to continue and achieve his degree and start his own business.   Now his familys’  future is secure:

“My name is Sagaya Vincent. I belong to a village called Allikondapttu, Thiruvannamalai  Dt.  My mother name is Mangala Mary. She is a member of Mother Group called Lillie Annaiyar Group which is one of the Mothers Group formed by Nandri. Up to 7th std my mother somehow managed to help me study. From 8th Std onwards I was selected by Nandri for sponsorship. Up to 12th Std I studied with the financial help from Nandri. After finishing school   I wanted to go for college education. I told my mother about my intention. But my mother asked me to find a job and help the family citing family financial strains. But the aim of going to college was burning in me.

I  came to know from the Field staff of Nandri  that they are giving educational loans to deserving students under SHE programme,  which means Support for Higher Education. I informed my mother about it who also knew about the loan facility already. She approached Nandri and applied for educational loan. My mother received a loan for Rs.25,000/-. With the help of this amount I joined college studies. I finished B.Com and was employed for some time. I earned some money and took care of the family as well. Now I have a small computer center which is a source of good income.  With the income from the computer centre I earned some money which was more than enough for my marriage.

All these were made possible only because of Nandri which took care of my school as well as college studies. I owe my present situation to Nandri and Mothers Group to which I would be ever grateful.”

The Nandri Centre 2 years on.

In February 2016 we opened our Nandri Centre. This is a training and administration centre for our mothers and children built on 2 acres of land in a rural part of southern India. Previously we had to move every 12 months as our mothers who are members of the Dalit so called low caste community are like travellers in Ireland. They are not welcome anywhere.

They are proud to be members of Nandri. They proudly wear their Nandri saris. They even pay for membership which is helping to make the organisation self sustaining.

We have one large training room with full audiovisual facilities and a computer room with a dozen computers. We run regular training courses. Our large reception area is used for regular cheque presentations for loans.

A few weeks ago we had 200 mothers attend what is called an RPL (recognition of prior learning) course which is funded by the Indian government. This particular course was to teach the mothers how to pack and pick vegetables. The mothers are each paid to encourage them to attend the course and Nandri Foundation are compensated for running the course including providing food for the attendees. These mainly illiterate mothers are proud of the certification and it will be easier for them to get daily work and will also become an important part of our income following our major investment in the centre.

Every day almost 200 children attend English language courses in local villages. They learn spoken English through song. They get help with their homework and are provided with some nutrition before they play games. We now have a playground for them and a cricket training area in the centre and they will be invited there on a regular basis.

We are pleased with the success of the centre which was funded by large donations by Irish donors and directors.

Nandri Success Stories

This month we are starting to share some of the stories of the people that have been helped start a new path in life with the help of Nandri’s support. We want to share some of the amazing journeys and to let you see how effective our loans, sponsorships and training programmes have been and what they can achieve.

A success Story of Jhansi made possible by Nandri.org

My name is Jhansi. I belong to a poor family from Thalayampallam, Thiruvannamalai Dt. My mothers name is Arulayee. I am the eldest in the family.  I have one sister and two brothers. My brothers are mentally challenged. My mother is member of a Mothers Group called Vasantham, which is one of the mother groups formed by Nandri. I received sponsorship from Nandri when I finished my schooling without any difficulties.

I wanted to go for higher studies at college. But my parents could not afford to send me to college. Instead they asked me to find a job and help the family. I was determined to go for higher studies. I was able to meet the field staff of mothers group. I told them about my goals and the difficulties I was facing at that time. She took me to meet the Managing Trustee of Nandri. I narrated my actual aim and ambition to him.

The managing Trustee heard my plea’s fervently. He then decided to put me in a college. He got me an admission in Sacred Heart College of Nursing at Velledu. He took all the responsibilities to himself and saw to that I was taken care of well at the college and the hostel. He paid all the college and hostel fees until I finished my Nursing course successfully. Now I am doing my six months intern course at Delhi. I hope I will get a job as a nurse soon. My dreams of finishing a college course were made possible only by Nandri and Mothers Group.

While I was studying in the college Nandri gave a loan to my mother to buy a cow. My mother bought a cow and from the milk she sold in the market she was able to run the family with ease. In both ways Nandri and Mothers Group helped me attain my goal and at the same time for my mother to run the family without difficulty.

I will be forever grateful to Nandri and Mothers Group, also I promise to help poor children like me to pursue their studies in whatever way it is possible.