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
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
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.
The parents of the children from rural villages where Nandri is working are very poor and illiterate. Sadly, these parents are unable to help their children with their homework or help them with learning outside of school hours.
This makes the children roam the streets and without proper guidance they get disconnected from learning within the school system.
To respond to this problem Nandri has initiated Nandri Tuition Centre’s in three villages now and more villages are on the list to start operating from June 2018 onwards. Nandri tuition is one of the activities of Nandri Service Centre’s new initiatives. Through these centre’s, children are helped to do their homework correctly, organise games, and other extracurricular activities to develop their talents. Each centre is managed by a mentor who identifies the innate talents of the children and they encourage all children to develop their own individual talents.
Special attention is given to speaking English. Our children who study in the Tamil medium schools are apprehensive about speaking English. In these centre’s, we try to make learning english a joyful experience for the children.
At present we have five centres in three villages and about 150 children are benefitting from this programme. By June we would have another eight centre’s, catering to more than 500 children. Thanks to Electric Aid from Ireland for supporting this initiative of Nandri.
Yesterday a mother of one of our sponsored children died of anaemia. She was 35 and may she rest in peace. Her husband died a few years ago from alcoholism.We have recently arranged with a local hospital in conjunction with the local Arni Silk Lions Club to visit one of our villages every month to check out the health of our mothers and children. Hopefully such conditions as anaemia and heart problems can be spotted and treated before they become more serious.
Our biggest problem will be to convince the mothers to attend a doctor for the checkup as they believe they should only go to a doctor if they have a problem.
Our Nandri Centre which opened in February 2016 has given us local credibility. Previously this hospital would just have regarded Nandri as another one of the tens of thousands of charities in India, some legit and some not so legit just like Ireland 🙁
The healthy mother featured here was a sponsored child. Last year while I was in India she handed me a cheque for Rs.1000 in gratitude for her education
Nandri.org is an Irish charity also called a not for profit organisation. All of the funds we raise are distributed through an Indian registered trust near Vellore in Tamil Nadu. We mainly work with Dalit and Dhobi communities. Although the local motto is “need not creed”.
Our objective is the education of children and the improvement of the living standards of our client mothers. We use micro-finance for income generation projects and various other programmes including child sponsorship, mothers’ self-help groups, training and health.
In December 2013 we seized an opportunity to rent 10 acres of land. This land had reasonable water supply, but had not been utilised to its full due to lack of capital. We reckoned that with a small amount of investment in infrastructure and stock, this could turn into a profitable farm. We were right. We are well on the way to covering the operating costs of our partner in India, ensuring that more of our money is use on our projects.
Almost a year later, we have built the infrastructure, including a building for cows who, unlike Irish cows don’t like the rain. It doesn’t rain very much, but when it rains, it comes down very heavy. We have a number of units to house chicks which will later become free range organic chickens for the tables of Chennai. We have 3 acres in rice paddy and the rest in groundnuts or peanuts and feed for our cattle.
Our 21 cows are now producing regular income from the sale of milk. All our feed is organic so we ultimately hope to get a premium price and milk prices are increasing anyway in India. We will sell our male calves normally at six months to a year old. Very little beef is consumed in India as cows are regarded as sacred. Our female calves will become mothers so we can increase our herd and our income.
We built some units to house three day-old chicks which need to be kept in a constant temperature. Electricity is not a guarantee in India, so we have invested in solar panels to ensure a constant temperature. The solar panels are also used to provide electricity for lighting and for water pumps. Once the chicks are three weeks to a month old they are then allowed to run round in a fenced area, but free to eat the plants and insects. We have entered into a partnership with the company in Chennai to market our organic free range chickens or country chickens as they are called in India.
We intend to set up a number of our 1500 mothers with small chicken units. We will provide them with feed, housing, fencing and 100 three week old chicks which we will then buy back at four months old. This will provide these mothers with an income. We intend to operate the same system with a number of local orphanages, which will also provide them with an income.
We also created a large fish pond and stocked it with 2000 fish. We have 250 ducks and through the miracles of nature the residue from the ducks is eaten by the fish who in turn produce residue which ends up as food for the ducks. I am an accountant, so I don’t really understand these things, but it works and we have income from duck eggs and soon fish, without much costs.
We currently have about 3000 chicks and once we have mastered the production of organic free range chicken we will increase our numbers. Shortly we will be running training programs for our mothers in how best to look after their cows and chickens. We are in the process of acquiring land close to the Nandri farm where we hope to build a rural development centre. This will have training rooms, sufficient space for a constant stream of visiting mothers. Accommodation for volunteers and of course, office accommodation for our staff.
Overall, this is turning out to be a successful programme. We are making a profit for us and others. We are providing products for our client mothers to sell. We are also providing training. We will be pleased when the profit we make will cover the operating costs so that we can focus on diverting all of our money to our programmes.