Happy Christmas from 2000 families

IMG_5951Just before Christmas we received a box of over 1000 Christmas cards from India. it’s a huge logistical job for our partner in India because the children attend over 200 different schools as far apart as Dundalk to Cork (200 miles).  And it takes twice as long in India to travel the same distance.

Our field workers (Staff members who attend all of our mothers meetings) had to find each child either in school or at home, ask the child to write a  short note to their sponsor or ask the very young children to make a little drawing.
The cards were then taken back to our office in India and because 90% of the children don’t speak English their note had to be translated from Tamil.
Once the cards were completed they were scanned and then added to our computerized child sponsorship management system. Each of our sponsors can now see their Christmas card and other information about their child including photograph or school exam record.
The online access we give our sponsors to information about their sponsored children is quite unique either among Irish or international charities. It is also very cost-effective for us. But we do know that many sponsors don’t have regular or any access to computers and we all know it’s nice to receive something personal in the post.  All cards were mailed before Christmas.
In the meantime you can access the card online if you are a sponsor .
Another part of our child sponsorship system is unique internationally. Each child has their own bank account and the sponsorship money is transferred into that account. The mother has the passbook and each mother feels a great sense of pride going to the bank to take out money which has been lodged into the account. These low caste Dalit women would not normally be allowed into a bank.  We are also encouraging them to save and this is happening.
Over 700 of our mothers now have their own “business” which is changing their family’s lives forever. Through our micro finance income generation program we have given them a loan to buy a cow or a sewing machine. Within a few years they will be earning so much money they won’t need the child sponsorship and this will be passed on to another family to start the cycle again.
So thank you to our dedicated staff in India who worked very hard to get the thousand Christmas cards.
More than anything thank you to our many sponsors and donors without whom we wouldn’t be able to change the lives of what is now almost 2000 impoverished families in India.
Fred Crowe