19. April 2013 · Comments Off on 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 · Comments Off on 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.

MUSKAN

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.

       NAV JEEVAN: FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

 

 

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