Kolkata Children's Project

$630 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 15 people in 17 months
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The Kolkata Children's Project is the most developed and ongoing project of The Beloved Community (TBC). Since 2009, members of TBC have been traveling to the rural village of Chitragunj in Eastern India just outside of Kolkata, to provide educational opportunities and emergency medical care for underprivileged children and their families.  We currently assist 90 children between the ages of 3-18 with the books, bags, uniforms, and supplies necessary for their education.

The residents of the Chitragunj village endure an oppressed lifestyle as they reside in the "untouchable" (Dalit) social status. These people live in poverty, while their able-bodied members attempt to work in the city of Kolkata. Unfortunately, they're met with disgraceful pay and are often reduced to living in toxic dumps to sort out recyclables. This is the horrendous cycle of poverty that village youth see in their future, so our main strategy of assistance for the community is to fund the children's school fees so that they may find technical/trade work and support their impoverished families.

Funds raised for the project also go towards emergency health care and necessities for local families of Chitragunj village, since they face various health issues like skin rashes, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Your support is essential for providing these struggling families with doctor visits, medicine, tarps for shelters during the monsoon season, and mosquito nets to combat the spread of Malaria.

Two experienced social workers, Sumit Shankar Dey and Tamal Mukherjee, are our project liaisons who play key roles in community relations, translation, and allocating funds to the village's needs. Members of TBC frequently travel to Kolkata and the Chitragunj village to reconnect with the community as well as check on and advance the project. Over the past 9 years, we've formed lasting relationships with these incredible people. This is a crucial time as TBC expands the scope of the Kolkata Children's Project, aiming to make education more accessible in India.

Primary Objectives of Campaign:
-Provide funding for the current 90 sponsored children to attend school for another year
-Expand our project to be able to send an additional 10 students to school
-Be prepared and able to assist in emergency health care issues and necessities

Funding Plan:

1 Year of School Fees for Children Ages 3-13
Uniform & Sandals                           - $17 /student
Book Bag (given annually)           - $8 /student
Writing Materials (quarterly)    - $4 /student
2 Notebooks (monthly)                 - $4 /student
Current Students                             - 65
Subtotal:                                              $2,145

1 Year of School Fees for Children Ages 14-18
Uniform & Sandals                           - $24 /student
Book Bag (given annually)           - $8 /student
Writing Materials (quarterly)    - $4 /student
3 Notebooks (monthly)                 - $6 /student
Current Students                             - 25  
Additional Students                        - 10
Subtotal:                                              $1,470

Village Necessities and Emergency Health Care
Mosquito Netting                           - $400
Hygiene & Toiletries                      - $250
Doctor Visits                                     - $500
Medicine (as needed)                   - $235
Subtotal:                                             $1,385

TOTAL COST:                                   $5,000

We pledge to use all funds toward the above costs. Average prices within the funding plan have been confirmed with our liaisons. All overhead costs and efforts are volunteer, therefore 100% of your donations will continue to go directly to school and emergency costs.

More About The Kolkata Children’s Project:
The Kolkata Children’s Project has a grassroots origin story. In July 2006, Dr. Mar-Peter Raoul (founder of The Beloved Community) attended a conference with the International Philosophers for Peace —accompanied by Colin-Pierre Larnerd and Josiah Eck. During their stay, they met and befriended the impoverished families living and sorting trash within Kolkata’s (now closed) Sree Durga dump.
Valuable gifts for two children living on the streets of Kolkata

The friendships remained as TBC returned to Kolkata and started working with these original families. With the tremendous help of Christopher Ratan Das, we started funding the children’s education to commence the Kolkata Children’s Project.
Christopher (on right) with children sponsored by The Beloved Community

In 2009, TBC started traveling to the ancestral village of these families, which lies in a rural area south of Kolkata and called Chitragunj. Thanks to this visit, TBC could assess the community's needs and expand the project to include village children. By the next visit in 2012, a total of 40 boys and girls were being sponsored. Through time and frequent visits to Kolkata, TBC has worked to better the lives of more and more children of the Chitragunj village through educational opportunities, emergency health care, and other necessities. After the most recent trip to Kolkata in June 2017, and the help of Sumit Shankar Dey and Tamal Mukherjee, TBC is currently assisting 90 children. Sumit Shankar Dey and Tamal Mukherjee are the liaisons for the project. Both are social workers who live and work in Kolkata and volunteer their precious time and energy.
From left to right: Sumit Shankar Dey, Tamal Mukherjee, and TBC member Josiah Eck

More About The Beloved Community:
The Beloved Community (TBC) was started by Dr. Mar Peter Raoul, while she was a professor of religion, philosophy, peace & global studies at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She had the insight for the organization and a network of fellow professors, humanitarians, and family to help out. In the early 2000s, TBC hosted multiple years of youth development summer projects in the Binghamton, NY area. With serving one's community and world being an important part of its mission, TBC facilitated youth volunteer projects in the local area. For example, this organization collected food donations for the CHOW pantry to serve families in need, created care packages for U.S. soldiers overseas, and has hosted various community events.

Next, global humanitarian projects were tackled by TBC, ranging from the Russian Children's Project to supporting the H.E.L.O. Haiti Orphanage in lieu of the 2010 earthquake. In order to fund the Kolkata Children's Project—TBC's most developed and ongoing project to date—the organization began hosting an annual 100% charitable yard sale using  community volunteers and locally donated goods. For the past 7 years, this fundraising strategy has brought the community closer while helping subsidize education for growing numbers of impoverished youth in India. Lately, we've been working hard to extend the positive impact of our community, build the Kolkata Children's Project, and implement new social projects. We work for peace and attempt to spread well-being for those whose voices cannot be heard.

Check out TBC’s most recent global outreach campaign that stemmed from the Kolkata Children’s Project;
+ Read More

$630 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 15 people in 17 months
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