In March 2017, Tony Barron died after a long illness. Tony was the founder of Nandri, over 20 years ago, then called Child aid Ireland. He is responsible for the education of over 5,000 Impoverished low caste Dalit children. He organised the building of schools, medical centres and provided ambulances and clean water to many communities in Southern India.
He started his charity as he believed that education which had changed Ireland would also change India. 20 years ago children were being taken out of school as young as eight or nine years of age, particularly girls. The objective was to marry off the girls as young as possible to take the burden from the family.
Nowadays, most people realise the importance of education. For many, it is still a struggle to send children to school to pay the fees and the uniforms and travel costs. And of course still maintain family nutrition. Nandri has its child sponsorship programme with over 1,000 children in this program. Each child receives for every month, the equivalent of three or four days wages for the mother. Many years ago, Tony told me the payment to each family was almost like a bribe to keep the child an education.
Each year, now we have between 100 and 200 children, graduating with their 12th standard, which is the Irish equivalent of Leaving Certificate. Many of them receive the highest grades , which in our terms would be 600 points. It is very sad if they cannot continue with their education. The upfront fees required by the colleges might only be €150 that is six months wages for some families, and that could prevent the child from going to college.
We have decided to set up a specific fund to ensure that our 18-year-olds get to go to college. Money will be given out as loans which will be repaid by the family during the education with any balance paid by the child once he or she is working. Orphaned children will not have to repay the loan until they have started to work.
We are inviting donations for the Tony Barron Education Fund. The target of this fund is Rs.3.5 million, or about €50,000. Between 400 and 600 children will benefit from this fund. We already have a successful micro finance operation in place where we have provided income generation loans to almost 1500 families and education loans to over 200. 99% of our loans are recovered and we also charge a small interest-rate to ensure the long time very viability of the projects.
Please send a donation to Carmichael house, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7
Or email me and i will send you bank details
Fred Crowe 086 253 1518