Nandri supports Kamatchi through Teaching College

Kamatchi and her family live in Udayarkuppam Village. Her two sisters are mentally handicapped and her mother was the sole breadwinner for the family. Following an accident, She was no longer able to work and support them. The family were left in desperate poverty without enough money for food. Kamatchi saw that the only way she could help her family was to continue her education and get a degree and a well payed job. Her ambition was to become a teacher but with no money to go to college or even feed her family, her situation looked hopeless.

Nandri heard of the family’s plight and with their help the poverty stricken family were rehoused to provide suitable accommodation for their special need children. Nandri also organised the finance for Kamatchi’s college course. She is well on her way to becoming an excellent teacher and is so grateful for the help that Nandri has given her and her family. They now have hope for a bright future thanks to Nandri and the generosity of our donors.

Leena continues her degree with the help of Nandri

Leena Therese and her proud father

Leena Therese comes from a poor family in the rural village of Elayankanni. Leena, a bright and hard working student, always achieved top marks in her exams. After completing secondary school, she enrolled in a college to study for a Medical Electronic Engineering degree. She managed despite financial difficulties, to successfully complete two years.

She was heartbroken when due to her Dad becoming very ill, she had to leave college to help support her poverty stricken family.  Leenas career looked like an impossible dream.  Nandri heard of Leenas plight and agreed to pay the next two years of college fees which will enable her to graduate and fulfill her ambition to become a successful Electronic Engineer. With the help of Nandri and the generosity of our donors, Leena Therese will have a secure and successful future and be able to support her family.

Continued Success of our Child Education Programme

Over the last number of years, Nandri has granted a total of 518 ‘Support Higher Education’ loans to children, so they can continue their education to 3rd level. In 2018, 179 children were given life changing financial loans so they could stay in education and achieve a degree leading to a rewarding career. This enables the graduates to support themselves and their families.

Nandri recognizes the importance of early education and supporting our very young children. As well as encouraging and enabling our older children to progress to higher education, we also run after school children’s clubs for the younger Dalit boys and girls. To date we have 10 Child resource Centers catering to the needs of our children.

When their school day ends they go to the after school clubs. They kick off with some fun traditional games to energize the children before starting their homework. Many of their parents are illiterate and so unable to help their children with completing their homework assignments. One of the many benefits of our children’s clubs is our remedial teachers are always on hand to help them.

WIth the wonderful educational support these young boys and girls are receiving from Nandri, we expect to see tremendous success with our children continuing on to 3rd level education and well paid, fulfilling careers. This was something impossible for a child from an untouchable Dalit family until Nandri, with your help changed everything and gave them a bright future.

Without the support and donations from all of Nandri’s supporters we could not change these young peoples lives, giving them not just hope, but the practical financial help they need to achieve their goals in life. On behalf of all our children, I would like to say a big thank you!

Update on our sanitation programme.

To date, our sanitation programme has provided a total of 58 families with new toilets for their homes. The toilets are a very basic outdoor construction.  The Indian government will provide 50 per cent towards the cost of building but without a loan from Nandri the families would be unable to afford the balance.

It is normal in poor areas of rural India for families to defecate in the fields beside their homes. The loans from Nandri to help build toilets has changed the lives of these impoverished people and given them the opportunity to live cleaner and therefore healthier, more dignified lives.

We are continuing to educate our mothers and children about the importance of hygiene to prevent diseases, teaching them to wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs. The children are bringing the lessons they are learning in our Resource Centers home and sharing good hygiene practices amongst the rest of their families!

Nandri would like to say a big thank you to our supporters of this project. You are helping us transform the quality of these families lives forever.

Nandri bringing joy to our families at Christmas

Christmas should be a season of happiness and joy but for our poor Dalit mothers, struggling to survive,  this is not the case. This year, we wanted to make Christmas extra special for them. In previous years we gave our mothers sarees but this year our group leaders suggested we give small gifts to celebrate Christmas and recognise our mothers achievements in the past year. It certainly lifted their spirits! They sang and danced and were delighted with the presents they received. The spirit of Christmas and the joy of giving brought happiness to all during our celebrations.

 

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.

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.

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.