For those of you who don’t know, in December 2013 we leased a 10 acre farm. Well it was just 10 acres of bare ground which we have now turned into a farm.
We built an accommodation unit for the people who work there. We have just completed a cow shed for 30 cows and calves.
We built a number of chicken units to accommodate the organic free range chickens we are producing.
We have installed three solar panels to ensure constant temperature for the chicks and electricity to pump water for irrigation.
Our organic free range chickens will have a much higher value and of course the chickens will have had a much better life as they are free to run around in a large enclosure. Today I believe we have 3000 chicks.
We also have 300 ducks, a fish pond a rice paddy, peanut fields and we are growing feed for the cows.
We have a few goats and our next plan is for sheep.
Using our micro finance income generation program we are going to roll out small chicken producing units for our mothers.
We have two new trustees in Chennai who are setting up a website to market our free range organic chickens.
Our plan is well underway to make almost enough profit to cover the costs of local salaries and overheads. We are also going to start training some of our mothers in better ways of looking after their cows.
It’s amazing how much you can do with 10 acres of land. A number of our local people are working very hard.
Most of my photos show happy children but this does not show the full picture. Included in recent photos is a boy who saw his father setting fire to his mother and killing her. Alcoholism may be the reason or family pride. The boy (not featured here) is now adopted by his mother’s sister thank God. He is included in our sponsorship programme. The money which we receive from our sponsors every month make a huge difference to lives such as this child. Please keep it coming sponsors.
Today we are meeting 30 children or should I say adults who graduated this year.
Life ain’t easy for 2 sisters who did a maths degree. As they could not afford to pay 3rd year fees of Rs.14,000 (approx €180) each plus Rs.8,000 transport each the college won’t give them their certificates so they will work in the fields to pay the fees and then they need Rs. 50,000 each to do post grad to become teachers.
Their mother had received an income generation loan from us last year. She used the money to purchase a grinding machine. She grinds rice to make rice flour etc. She grinds rice for other people and also for herself and then with her own rice she makes a local rice product called idle, like a small pancake. The husband is a carpenter and earns relatively good money but he works in one of the cities and rarely sends money home.
We will assist them next year with our third level loan programme to ensure they complete their education and achieve their full potential.
I met the two girls today and have a
photograph which I will send to the sponsor of one of them but for privacy reasons I’m not showing it here.
Indian TV news reported that parents in this state of Tamil Nadu were arrested today for burning their daughter for marrying a Dalit, (low caste untouchables in India and these are the people which we mainly help)
A few days ago a satellite which was launched three years ago reached Mars much to the pride of all India.
Today Mr Modi the new Prime Minister launched a campaign called clean India. The whole country is absolutely filthy, lacking in sanitation, sewerage and people don’t help by the amount of litter which is thrown around.
Mr Modi evidently revolutionised his state of Gujarat. If he can do for the whole country what he did for that state then things will change.
I arrived yesterday with Caoilfhionn, my daughter, who is joining us for a week. She is flabbergasted by India. I am used to it but she finds amazing the numbers of people everywhere, the cows on the streets, colourful saris, beautiful women, gorgeous children, the constant beeping, noise and litter but most of all the friendliness of everyone.
Today we went to the farm where they are making great progress. Cowshed almost completed for 30 cows, free range organic chicken unit finished. They also have ducks and have filled a pond with fish. There is also a turkey running around who won’t be there in January 🙁
I have been asked many times over the last week why we changed our name and why Nandri?
It’s a long story. In 2011 we realised there was another charity based in Cork with the same name as us so we added the word India to distinguish ourselves.
There are a number of reasons why we felt the need to change the name yet again.
1. I bore a lot of friends and family about the charity but when asked few could remember the exact name.
2. Over the last three years we have become more family than child focused.
3. Today we are more about empowering families to earn their own income rather than just giving out aid or charity.
4. The words Ireland and India were just adding to the ‘remember our name’ problem.
Also Nandri.org is short and sweet and importantly was available as an Internet domain name.
We operate in Tamil Nadu in India. Nandri is the local word for thank you.
I am heading to India on Monday, 29 September where 1400 women and 1400 children who are supported every month by our sponsors will say Nandri.
I too say Nandri to these wonderful sponsors and to those who support our fundraising activities such as the ball on 18 October 2014.
This week we have a life story sharing by Mrs Irudhayamary. She has her own reasons to thank the sponsors both in Nandri, Ireland and CAT, Polur.
Mrs Irudhayamary migrated from a small village called Irudaiyampattil in search of employment and settled in Irudhayapuram. When she came to Irudhayapuram hardly had she known anybody and so nobody came forward to help her. Life was terrible for her. At this time, it is CAT which rescued her by sponsoring her son to educate in the second level education. It reduced one of the biggest burdens of hers.
Secondly and more concretely, CAT had given a micro-finance income generating loan to buy three goats in 2013. It had become their property and saviours. Later on, once the goats multiplied, she started to get income from them. For example, once the goats kids grew up, they can sell it around Rs. 2000/- to Rs. 2500/- and thus the goats supported them. Therefore, for Irudhayamary, at least per year, she could earn Rs.20, 000 (€300). This would be great help for her to sustain the family. Now she is happy that she owns around 10 goats and gets some income from them.
To graduate with a degree is a dream for most children and their families but especially for those born into poor rural villages.
This year 38 children finished their third level education with the support from our sponsors. Some qualified as engineers and others as nurses. Most of the children qualified in arts and science and would like to continue their studies so that they become qualified as teachers.
30 of the 38 children are the first degree holders in their families which is a great source of pride to the whole family. The father of one child from this group met with an accident and could not go to work. The family was in great difficulty as they also had to meet his medical expenses, feed and educate the children. The family were faced with the decision to stop her education because she had to work and earn to help run the family.
But with our Third Level Support Programme we helped her to continue her education. In addition we supported her mother with our Income Generating Programme to buy a cow, so that she would earn food for her family. Our Mothers’ Self Help Group supported the family with their savings and contribution.
When this child attended the meeting she was in full tears of joy and gratitude. Thank you to all our sponsors for your continued support.
Visit to Old Town (a slum area in Vellore) Mothers’ group to set right the problems that were raising in the group. Mani……. is one of the mothers from the newly formed group from Old Town. She is mother of four children. The elder boy is of age 7 and the other three children are girls. Last two children are twins of 1.1/2 years old. She was about to sell the last two kids due to poverty and now since she had joined the mothers’ group she has some hope in life to bring these children. The members of the mothers’ group promised to help her out with the support of CAT to make sure that these children get good education. I promised to get admission to the first boy in the boarding home at Senganatham where we have built the toilets and other projects. One of the children will go into sponsorship.
I went to Parasur where we have four mothers groups We have cleaned the whole area. In order to advice people about cleanliness.
Went to our leased land in the afternoon, did the measurement for vermicomposed pit.
Moved on to Dindugal to attend a wedding and to visit the old age home which we have recently constructed funded by a USA sponsor
On the way to Dindugal I also visited Pavithiram and Theresapuram where we drilled bore well which was sponsored by JT an Irish sponsor.
Agreed on the distribution of the individual passbooks to each of our mothers with savings and loans. Evening went to the land and checked the shed which is under construction.
Discussed with Fr.Jacob who is in Chennai, who is also honoured by Life insurance company for successfully implementing the micro insurance for the women groups. He promised to guide me to implement the system for our mothers. We hope to implement a life assurance policy for our families within the next few months.
Discussed with the staffs on various mothers groups and condition of the children. Amali reported about a child who was sent home from the college for not paying the fees. We have arranged to get her back in the college by giving the parents higher education support from the money that we received back form the higher education loan. I also spoke to the principal of the college to admit her back in the college and we will send the parents with the money.
Went to Eleanganny to visit the school which is half finished and looking for support for the completion. I took an engineer for the measurement and to get the estimation for the work.
Spent the afternoon in the land. Paid the wages for the construction workers and checked the different activites that are carried out there. On Saturday 40kgs of brinjal were sold out at the cost of Rs 10 per kg. One of the staffs who work there is given responsibility to take the vegetables for selling.
Visited a school in Ranipet where more than 5000 girls study from 1st std to 12th std. These children are from the low waged cooli workers. Most of the parents of these children work in the tanneries in Ranipet. This is highly polluted job and the life span for these parents are very less. This school is run by sisters of St.Charles Borromeo. Even though this is run by catholic nuns, 90% of the girls are from Hindu and Muslim community. The catholic children are taught catechism and the non-catholic children are taught moral science. They have requested for sponsorship to the very poor children and a water purifier to the school. The school is well maintained and kept very clean.
Jeraldi is one of our sponsored child who just written her school final examination. She is waiting for her result. She lost her father when she was just a child and the mother is mentally retarded. She would not know what is happening around her. Hence the grandmother of this child takes care of this child and her mother. D
ue to the sponsorship program, this child could complete her 12th std, and now she is willing to go for B.Sc nursing. She attended the meeting of 12th completing children that we conducted on 1st April and she expressed her future ambition. If this girl becomes a nurse, the circle of poverty for this family would be broken and she would be a great citizen for the country and I am sure she would help those children who will undergo such problems. Our third level loan scheme would support this child.
The grand mother got a loan for the cow and this is the cow that supported the school level education of this child. If we could help her to pay the college fees, and the income from the cow would support her monthly expenses.
This is the mother of Jeraldi with the cow. The grand mother is the one who looks after the cow and is the earning member of the family. Now they have paid back the loan amount and the cow is the property of the family now. What a change is created by our Income Generation program. Once we support the child to become nurse, the standard of the family would raise. Thanks to the sponsors.