THE VILLAGE PROJECT
- Supporting remote communities
- Creating employment
- To give every child the gift of education
- Connecting communities
Hi, Taran Jenkins here. Founder and director of Creating Space Yoga Retreats and Kids Creating Space.
In 2015 I was trekking in North India when I happened to stumble upon a village in the foothills of the Himalayas. The villagers welcomed me with a bed, tasty home-cooked meals and a freshly brewed chai. I decided to extend my stay and learn about local people and their culture.
After two weeks of camping and exploring the village, I felt deeply connected to these beautiful people and the land. I soon realised going on with ‘life as usual’ wasn’t an option. This trip inspired me to make this village one of our retreat locations and connect communities from all over the world.
After many beautiful trips to this area, I noticed the beauty is equally met with many harsh realities. They face challenges such as lack of self-sufficiency, education, and employment opportunities. These challengers create a lot of stress and tension on families and lead one person from the family, moving to Delhi to find work, leading to problems such as drug/alcohol abuse, violence and depression.
The goal of this project is to provide employment and educational opportunities within the village, to help their lively hood and keep a beautiful way of living alive.
STAGE ONE - [AUD 15,000] -Family support and education
During my stay, I was given the bedroom of a beautiful 16-year-old girl named Himanshi. Himanshi was the hardest working 16-year old I had ever met, along with her four sisters. I later discovered the harsh reality of this young girls life and the impacts on living below the poverty line in India.
From 2017 - now the project donations have supported Himanshi to study and live in a nearby town from her village. She has undertaken a course in English, computers and is now a full-time receptionist in a 4-star Hotel in Rishikesh. Himanshi also works for Creating Space and manages the logistics of all retreat groups staying in her village.
The donations have not only supported her but her entire family, every month a payment is sent to the village to buy food for her four sisters, mother and father. From our Himalayan Retreat guests in April 2018, the group donations went to installing three working taps into their home to save the children from carrying 20kgs of water daily. In early 2019 the roof of their house fell through in a storm, and we sent the funds to re-roof their home.
Himanshi's younger sister Priyanka is now 17 and will leave school at the end of 2019. We aim to give Priyanka the same opportunity to study and choose a path for her future. 300AUD per month is the cost for her study and living expenses, so we are looking for anyone who would like to sponsor her. The sponsored amount can be any amount.
STAGE TWO - Building & employment [AUD 35,000]
I would like to build a small supportive community space on this land and offer employment and educational opportunities. Sewing machines, materials and training will be provided/donated, and villagers can learn how to make textile goods. Creating Space Yoga Retreats will purchase the garments manufactured in the village for our retreat gift packs, aiming to tackle issues like consumerism, pollution, child labour and waste.
STAGE THREE - Connecting communities & volunteering
Volunteering is one way YOU can make a difference in the world.
During February, March, April, September, October and November we are inviting volunteers to register with us and travel on a short-term visit to the village project and volunteer their skills to the local people. Minimum stay of two weeks and the maximum length of stay permitted is three months.
The placement of the volunteer depends on different needs and available positions.
Nutrition and healthcare
If you would like more information or the opportunity to volunteer for The Village Project, please get in touch with us at [email redacted]a. Please include why you would like to the opportunity to volunteer with the Village Project and what skills you have to exchange. If successful you will then move onto the next step in the application process.
SPONSORS & FUNDRAISING
Creating Space Yoga Retreats is the first official sponsor. From 2018 onwards, 50 AUD of every person booked on any retreat goes directly towards this project.
We are looking for passionate people to help organise fundraisers and promote this project. If you would like to be get involved, please get in touch.
THANK YOU FOR READING!
In India, a small amount of money goes a long way, so any contribution
would make an incredible difference to the lives of the village people.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
― Anne FrankHi, T
[Taran and local baby 2017]
[Himanshi in her village 2016]
[Retreat guests visting]
[Village ladies collecting food for cattle]
[Taran and her mother with the village ladies]
[Retreat guests 2016]
[Retreat guests 2017]
- Taran Jenkins
- Stephen Villee
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