Help Empower Children in India!

During Winter Break, our group of 14 students, led by Dr. Femida Handy, traveled 8,000 miles from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, to the rural, coastal city of Mangalore, India to spend 10 days studying microfinance and women's empowerment. Although we met with many organizations throughout our journey, one particular organization stood out, as it focused on the empowerment of children. This non-profit organization, The Concerned for Working Children (CWC), lives and works by their mission statement: "It is children, not adults, who know best what children need and want. Instead of merely 'helping' children, CWC works to empower children to organize themselves and identify, and solve, their problems." Through various programs, the organization inspires children, giving them a voice that can be heard in their classrooms, homes and communities.

In Mangalore, the CWC sponsors a school, Namma Bhoomi, for children who come from homes where poverty and illiteracy are the norm. However, the training and support the children receive at Namma Bhoomi, builds their confidence and empowers them to create real change. After graduation, many children go on to serve as local government leaders, having participated on Namma Bhoomi school committees that position them to be their own advocates for change in their classrooms, school community and villages.

Upon visiting Namma Bhoomi, we were briefed on a project that the children's counsel had initiated and completed the previous year. The children identified a dangerous situation as a potential barrier to school attendance for many fellow students and decided to propose their own solution. During the rainy season, a road near the school routinely became muddy and slippery, causing some children to fall down an embankment, leading to serious injuries and death. Student body members devised a plan to build concrete walls along the side of the road to prevent future accidents. The school administration supported the children in meeting with local government to discuss their idea, which ultimately was approved and implemented.

These children are thinkers, problem solvers and leaders, whom we want to support and we would like your help! We asked the students to compile a list of materials that they believed would enhance their school experience. The list, in order of importance, is as follows:

1. Water Purifier - $1,200 USD
2. Carpentry Tools - $1,400
3. Solar Water Heater for Bathroom (3 independent sets) - $4,000
4. WIFI for Computer Lab - $500
5. Public Address System (for events) - $1,125
6. Digital Projector with Screen - $1,000

Please make a donation and support India's young leaders today!!

To learn more about Namma Bhoomi School and the CWC, please visit: http://www.concernedforworkingchildren.org/
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Organizer

Roxy Rusek 
Organizer
Philadelphia, PA
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