19. April 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Newsletter February 2010 · Categories: Nav-Jeevan Sanstha, Newsletter 2010 (en), Project Partners in India




group picture

This month we visited the Nav-Jeevan project. We were amazed by the huge progress the children made since our last visit, a year ago. The children speak English more and more and are working hard on their vocabulary. The kids seem very happy and feel at home in the school. The building looks great and everything goes very controlled; getting up, breakfast, the lessons, playing during free hours and the meals. During our last visit the school was burdened by continuous power cuts but the arrival of the new generator ended these problems.

There are currently 150 children enrolled in our school of which 80 in the hostel. The school has 11 classes including the kindergarten, 1st class Hindi, 1st class English, 2nd class Hindi, 2nd class English and the classes 3 to 8 Hindi.

photo of class 5
  Class 5

Besides the volunteers we employ a principal, 11 teachers, a computer science teacher, a couple that runs the hostel, two women in the kitchen, three cleaners, a driver, a bus driver, two sleeping gards, a night watch man and a part-time gardener.

  The teachers


Alle beschikbare lokalen zijn in gebruik genomen; als leslokaal, slaapzaal, computerlokaal, studiezaal/eetzaal, bibliotheek/tv-lokaal/speellokaal.

class room computer room dormitory
  class room   computer room   dormitory


study room dining room library
  Study and dining room   Library, TV and play room

Last year construction started on the first floor of the second building with a dormitory for the older boys. During our visit it was decided to continue the construction of the entire first floor, this will provide the school with a much needed extra three classrooms. We will get an English third class and a ninth class. From class nine a science and physics room is obligatory.

Front of the building Construction of the extra rooms
  Front of the building   Construction of the extra rooms

VBuilding this floor is expensive and we need to raise extra money for it. Especially since we also need to raise money for the inventory of the classrooms, in particular for science and chemistry rooms. If the school of your children or your club are looking for a charity to donate money to, we would appreciate it if you would put the Nav-Jeevan project forward for consideration. We would be happy to give a presentation on the project for you.

Our target for 2010 is to pay fixed costs out of our annual contributions. The monthly costs for wages, food, water, electricity, transportation, etc are about 4.000 Euros.


Happy murals in the kindergarten.

happy murals happy murals happy murals

The playground also includes a garden and behind the building we have a vegetable garden.

playground playground playground

The children from the hostel participate in cooking and gardening.

helping children helping children helping children

The children love dancing and singing.

dancing children dancing children dancing children


dancing children dancing children

After school activities: playing games.

playing games playing games playing games

The annual picnic.

picnic picnic picnic

Almost all the children in the project were confronted with violence and misery in the past. As you can see, Nav-Jeevan provides a safe haven for them, a place for happiness and development.

Donors are welcome to visit the project. We have two guest rooms available. Please let us know in advance if you wish to visit the project so a room can be reserved for you. The months of May and June are not suitable for visiting due to school holidays.

Kind regards,,

Annelies van de Ven
Chairperson Nav-Jeevan Foundation

19. April 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Newsletter December 2011 · Categories: Nav-Jeevan Sanstha, Newsletters 2011 (en), Project Partners in India


First price in the dance competition for schools 2011
The children of Nav-Jeevan won de first price in the dance competition for schools 2011

It’s been quite a while since you received the last newsletter of Nav-Jeevan. Meanwhile, the new school year is in full swing. At the beginning of the school year a long line of parents and children were waiting for admission, their faces marked by poverty and desperation. Almost all of them wanted their child in the hostel, specially the single parents. Mothers from the slums were eager for their daughters to get a place in the safety of our hostel.
Last school year we suffered from severe overcrowding in the hostel. Because of shortage of space children had to share beds. With the help of donations from the Netherlands we could construct a new floor. All dormitories have been moved to this floor and we could buy 40 new bunk beds. Not enough to allow all children. We gave priority to children of single parents, children of mothers working as 24 hours servants whose husband are drunkards and children from outside Nagpur.
Last school year we had three tribal children from Mandala, the neighbouring state which is about 500 kilometers away, 13 years old Tara and her two younger brothers. They have no mother, their father remarried and the step-mother threw the children out. The three were living in abject poverty with their grand-mother, fending for themselves by working in different homes and surviving on leftover food, given to them by their employers. Now all three are good in studies, disciplined and very good in sports. If it wasn’t for Nav-Jeevan these kids did not have the remotest opportunity of getting an education or a chance in life. Tara must have spoken about Nav-Jeevan to the villagers when she was at home for the holidays because a villager brought 8 children who had nobody to take care of them. They had never been to school and spoke not a word of Hindi, only a tribal dialect. After a few months coaching in a special class they are now in regular classes with the other children.

Now there are 243 children in school with 121 in the hostel. We have 18 qualified teachers. There are 8 groups where classes are given in Hindi (classes H3 t/m H10) and 6 groups are taught in English (kindergarten and classes E1 t/m E5). English is gaining a lot of importance in India. Students knowing English have better chances of getting jobs.
Our commitment to the children will continue till they stand on their own feet, become financially independent and be able to help support their siblings and take care of the family. Nav-Jeevan will always be an important part of their lives. Nav- Jeevan is a place of peace and happiness, an ‚Ashram‘, where no one is discriminated on the basis of his caste, class or religion.


Last month a very successful exhibition VISION INDIA 2020 was organized. The exhibition focused on what life could be in the future. A model of a modern Indian village was build and a team of students, guided by two teachers, was responsible to come up with ideas how life will change. In addition, each student was involved in the preparation and presentation of a certain topic. The following pictures give an impression of the day.

Indian village in 2020
Indian village in 2020


Vulcano Sand art
  Vulcano   Sand art


Math, triangle, rectangle, ball etc. Eco system
  Math, triangle, rectangle, ball etc.   Eco system


Breathing system Geometry
  Breathing system   Geometry

As you can see a lot has changed in the lives of the children. We could achieve all this with your support.

We thank you and wish you on behalf of the children of Nav Jeevan Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2012.

Kind regards,

Annelies van de Ven
president Nav-Jeevan Foundation

19. April 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Newsletter March 2011 · Categories: Nav-Jeevan Sanstha, Newsletters 2011 (en), Project Partners in India

Nav-Jeevan saw an enormous growth, last year. More than 200 children attend the school, 109 children are living in the hostel. When walking about you see how happy the children are. They look fit, laugh and play in their beautiful school uniforms. When the bell sounds they file into their classroom in a disciplined way. They read, make sums, make drawings and sing and dance. Nothing reminds us of the time when they roamed the streets, begging or looking for something to eat. Now they eat in the big dining room. First the little ones and then the bigger children. They can eat as much as they want. Two or three times they go and get a heap of food. The only sound you hear is the clatter of the spoons on the steel plates. After school they put on other clothes and play. The bigger boys go to the field to play cricket. The other children play all kinds of games in and around the school. They already speak some English and love to talk with you.

Nursery Dining room
  nursery   dining room

It’s hard to believe. In 2002 we started with some children in two rooms on the ground floor of an apartment. Now we have 200 children, from Nagpur and the neighbouring villages. We work in a big school building with 9 classrooms, a natural science and chemistry room, a small computer room, a library and three dormitories.
We admitted so many children this school year, that the building has become too small. 49 Girls sleep in the girls‘ dormitory. The present dormitories are not bigger than a classroom. Bunk beds are so close to each other that they leave no room and two children often share one bed.
We also have 15 forms: 2 nursery classes (English and Hindi), forms 1 to 4 (English) and forms 1 to 9 (Hindi). To accommodate these 15 forms we have 9 classrooms and in addition we’ll also have forms 10 Hindi and 5 English, next year. Different forms are taught in one classroom. Not an ideal situation.
Coming to Nav-Jeevan many children are in bad shape and many of them have been living in such horrible conditions that it’s almost impossible not to admit them. It’s not easy to feed so many mouths, however we still manage. Apart from donations from the Netherlands we now also receive donations from the United States and from the local population.

Kajal Turkel
Kajal Turkel

In January, a social worker and her grandmother brought the 7-year-old Kajal to us. She was severely undernourished. A young girl with thin legs and a face marked by chicken pox. Both her parents are dead; she lives with her grandmother who has nothing herself and lives on what the neighbours give to her. Kajal was very happy that she could come to us. Her only question was: ‚Do I get to eat here?‘ This single question tells us the story about this little girl.

This year we also welcomed some tribal children from Mandala (Madhya Pradesh). Dense forests and wild animals surround their village. They have their own language and culture. Tara is about 12 years old and she arrived together with her two younger brothers Anurag en Ashish. They don’t have a mother; the father abandoned the children after her death and re-married. The three children worked in the village, in different houses. If there were any food left they would get it. If not they would go to bed on an empty stomach. They attended school when the mother was still alive, but after her death this wasn’t possible anymore. The woman who brought the children told us that Tara, the eldest, would love to go to school again. Tara is intelligent and an inquisitive girl.

Tarawati Korram Anurag Korram Ashish Korram
  Tara   Anurag   Ashish

Nav-Jeevan has become a home for these children, they have no other place to go to. The last school day before the holidays, when other children go home, is the most painful day for the children who stay behind.
At Christmas they were having their meal in Iris Wilkinson’s house. The children were dressed in their best clothes, laughing and enjoying their freedom and the meal. At some point little Ranjit went to Iris, looking very sad. He told her that he would have been very happy if someone had taken him home, even for just a single day. He was all in tears. Iris hugged him. He felt better, laughed and went back to the table to eat.

Most of the children come from slums and were confronted with crime. In a normal situation, a place where they can learn, their outlook on the world changes. They see a friendly and understanding world. They are given opportunities, are accepted and they aren’t shunned like pariah dogs.

The past year we worked hard to ready 4 new rooms on the first floor of the second building. They will be finished next month and for the time being used as dormitories. Then we’ll start building two big dormitories on the same floor. Donations from the United States pay for these dormitories.

We’ll start a lobby to raise money so we can build the second floor on this building. This floor will house another 4 class rooms, 2 big dormitories, toilets and showers. The total costs of this floor is about 80.000 euros. We aim at being able to use this floor in the school year 2012 -2013. This will allow us to admit even more students. Ultimately we will be able to accommodate 350 pupils and half of them will be able to stay in the hostel.

19. April 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Newsletter April 2012 · Categories: Nav-Jeevan Sanstha, Newsletters 2012 (en), Project Partners in India


Republic Day, January the 26th 2012


Nav-Jeevan has gone through an enormous development the past nine years.
In January 2003 we started the project: give shelter to and educate street kids. We started with 10 children in a small, rented accommodation.

At present we’ve grown into a school with 243 students, half of them stay in the hostel. Our project in a nutshell:
January 2003: accommodating 10 children;
January 2004: accommodating 30 children;
July 2004: purchase of 2,800 square meters of land and start of building;
November 2005: opening of the school (ground floor school building): 40 children at school;
School year 2006 – 2007: 60 children at school, 32 of them stay in the hostel;
July 2007: completion of the 1st floor of the school building;
School year 2007 – 2008: 90 children at school, 40 of them stay in the hostel;
December 2007: completion of ground floor 2nd building;
School year 2008 – 2009: 122 children at school, 60 of them in the hostel;
School year 2009 – 2010: 148 children at school, 77 of them in the hostel;
School year 2010 – 2011: 201 children at school, 109 of them in the hostel;
July 2011: completion of the 1st floor of the 2nd building;
School year 2011 – 2012: 243 children at school, 121 of them in the hostel.

From June 2011 we’ve been working on building 4 extra class rooms on the 2nd floor of the 2nd building + 2 big dormitories on the hall that connects the two buildings. At the end of February we had to stop the building activities because of lack of money. Prices have risen enormously in India. At the moment, the fixed costs (wages, food, medication, transport, etc.) amount to € 6.000 a month. Fortunately, we received quite a donation from the owner of welfare to work organisation Alexander Calder. Owing to this and to periodic payments from our benefactors we have money for the fixed costs till the end of 2012.

Adjacent to this we want to reach the following targets in 2012:
– 10 additional computers: € 4.000 (€ 400 per computer);
– finishing the construction of 4 class rooms on the 2nd floor: € 12.000)
– furnishing 4 class rooms: € 2.080 (€ 520 per room);
– finishing the construction of 2 big dormitories on top of the hall.

We will organise fundraising events to reach these targets. You can assist us by telling your family and friends or your employer about Nav-Jeevan. Perhaps the school your child attends is looking for a charity they will receive the funds from a fundraising event. We are more than willing to come and see you and give you more information.

School trip January 2012: the big girls are happy and sing


Left: Isha in the computer room. Isha is a wonderful child, an orphan who lives in the hostel, together with her sister Saloni.
Right: Anil, you’ve already met him in previous stories. He has been with us since we started in 2003. At that time he used to beg with his sister Ranjeeta and brother Sunil.


Both children are very bright and inquisitive. When we have more computers and a good working internet, we intend to match the children with our benefactors who communicate with them in English and also coach them by means of the computer, e.g. helping them doing sums.

Construction Lunch


Dancing on a no-school Sunday



For the very first time, two of our grandchildren accompanied us to Nagpur. The boy with the blue yeans is 4-year-old Pepijn and the girl on the front bench with the two ponytails is 2-year-old Isabel.
Without any problems they were lovingly accepted in the group and spent some lovely weeks at the project.


19. April 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Newsletter November 2012 · Categories: Nav-Jeevan Sanstha, Newsletters 2012 (en), Project Partners in India

As you may know, many of our pupils used to live in the big slum area of Raj Nagar. Local authorities ordered the demolition of Raj Nagar on April 30th, shortly after the beginning of the summer holidays when many of our pupils were home. The reason given for this action was that people had built their homes illegally. It was total chaos and people tried to rescue their meagre possessions. The pupils and their families fled to other places in Nagpur or returned to the villages they had come from. Fortunately, many pupils returned to the hostel. However, a number of them have disappeared and could not be found again. At present, 219 pupils attend our school and 110 of them stay in the hostel.

Meanwhile, we have reached most of the targets we set for 2012. With the help of your gifts we have been able to realise the construction of 4 new classrooms and could finance the cost of food, medication and education. Thanks to a gift from the municipality of Den Bosch we were able to equip the classrooms and we could buy 10 extra computers. We now have a computer lab with 19 computers which pleases the pupils a lot. For many of them learning to work with a computer is their favourite subject. The construction of 2 dormitories, the last target for 2012, will be completed shortly.

We need the gifts from our regular donors to buy food, medication, teaching materials and to pay wages, as prices have risen enormously A start has been made with the third floor (good for 4 more classrooms) but only the pillars are ready. During the monsoon everything gets damp and the rain can get in as plastering has not been done yet. The inside of the outer walls show big damp stains. Not being able to make the building watertight causes a lot of damage and is also bad for the health of the children. Thanks to a substantial gift from the Dutch company Alexander Calder Arbeidsintegratie and her owner, we are able to start with the construction of the outer walls and the windows of this floor. After this the building can be plastered.

In due course we wish to add two big dormitories on top of the dormitories for the girls (which means the building will be finished). However, we will start with this as soon as we have sufficient financial means.


by Iris Wilkinson
president Nav-Jeevan Sanstha Nagpur

‚Muskan‘ means a smile. True to her name the eleven-year-old Muskan always has a smile on her face. She has never spoken a single word to me. She just looks at you and smiles. All her feelings are conveyed with a happy face. Whenever she sees me at school, she’ll stop for a minute whatever game she is playing, looks at me seeking approval, reassuring herself that she is loved. Then she gives me another shy smile, even her eyes sparkling with happiness.


Muskan Muskan’s grandma, sitting on the side of the road after Raj Nagar was bulldozed.


I’m glad that the driver of the school bus brought Muskan to us, requesting me to admit her in our school and hostel. He said her family situation was not good for a little girl. Muskan’s young mother, a widow, is good looking in spite of poverty and hardships she is going through. She runs a road-side tea-shop, generally a man’s domain. The foot path has to be free for people to walk, not cluttered with shops, also it’s against the law. Unfortunately, lot of illegal things happen as long as people can get away with it. That is how Muskan’s mother has been able to continue her business. It must be taking more than a cup or two of tea for the police to turn a blind eye towards the owner of this young attractive gunny-bag roofed tea-shop. Whenever I pass that road I see young men sitting around, sipping tea and ogling at Muskan’s mother and her little daughter.

Before Muskan came to Nav-Jeevan she did not attend school. Most slum children are registered in some Government School. But it takes more than registration to coax slum children to attend school. It must have been more fun for Muskan to sit around in her mother’s tea shop, That is where the school-driver saw her. The tea-drinking oglers gave her sweets and money. Fortunately, her grandmother would drag her back to their shack in Raj Nagar slum by sunset, telling her it was bedtime for little girls.

The margins of profit on a cup of tea are very small. Whatever money the young mother earns is used to support her old parents and her disabled brother, who are dependent on her. She probably also has to pay the police for letting her continue running her tea-shop. Once, she came to my house with her daughter Muskan who was sick. She asked me for money so she could take her daughter to the hospital. Muskan looked sick and tired.

I asked Mukesh, the driver, about Muskan’s father. He kind of mumbled, ‚who knows who is her father‘. I pass the road-side tea-shop very frequently. The young mother is the centre of attention. I am sorry for the mother but grateful Muskan is in school, safe out of whatever is happening at the little tea-shop.

In Nav-Jeevan Muskan has gained her childhood back. At playtime I see her skipping rope, playing with a ball or walking with her friend, holding hands and laughing, their own girl-talk. At school, whenever Muskan catches my eyes, she gives her famous smile. It seems to say: ‚happy to be in Nav-Jeevan‘.

I pray every Muskan in the country is in school, living a happy childhood and getting an education that will change her life. Maybe she’ll help change her mother’s life.




On behalf of the children we would like to thank you for your generous gifts.

Kind regards,

Annelies van de Ven
president Nav-Jeevan Foundation

19. April 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Newsletter March 2013 · Categories: Nav-Jeevan Sanstha, Newsletters 2013 (en), Project Partners in India

This March newsletter focusses on the successful introduction of the web based e-learning programme ‚Khan Academy‘ in our Nav-Jeevan school. Kiran and Roger, daughter and son-in-law of our spiritual mother NJS Iris Wilkinson, are from Michigan USA and visited us the past three months. They worked as volunteers in our project. Never before have the children been so excited about an education programme. The marks for arithmetic and mathematics went up in the recent months.

Khan Academy is a free mathematics programme ranging from primary school arithmetic to university mathematics. The children do the exercises on the computer and the computer gives them feedback. The students get extra help by means of short videos about how problems can be tackled. The children learn according to their own level and can work at their own pace. One student may be busy multiplying numbers while an other student is working on an algebra sum in the same class room. The students are so eager to work with the Khan Academy website that they completely ignore the bell for the break and lunch. You can also find them behind the computers on Saturdays and Sundays.
If no computer is available the students make assignments on the blackboard until it’s their turn to work with the Khan Academy website on a computer.


Many students reach an astounding mathematics level. Students like 6th form students Anil Jadav and Jashwant Singh and 5th form student Rahul Shipley (10 years old) work on a secondary school mathematics and algebra level.

Khan Academy awards virtual badges to students who score points. Also students who score on an average level or under the average work hard with the Khan Academy website. Before returning to America Kiran and Roger treated the students who had scored more than 100.000 Khan Academy points to a movie and a meal.


Having read this newsletter you may think ‚Excellent, they have everything under control‘. However, this isn’t true. Each month we struggle to feed the hungry mouths of all the children. It doesn’t matter whether they are mathematical talents or students with other talents or no talents at all. All the children are equally important to us and they have one thing in common, they can’t survive on their own and they do need your support and help.

Our target for 2013, apart from feeding all these mouths, is finishing the construction of two large dormitories and giving the children extra computers so they can quench their thirst for knowledge.

Some of the Nav Jeevan children have an e-mail address and they would love to get in touch with children of their own age from Holland. Do you have a son or daughter who would like to exchange messages in simple English with a child with a different cultural background? Please send us an e-mail with information like boy/girl, age, hobbies, e-mail address, etc. We will try and match your son/daughter with one of our children in Nagpur.

On behalf of the children we would like to thank you for your support in the past months.
Kind regards,

Annelies van de Ven
President Nav-Jeevan Foundation