Sibylle, our French volunteer, is leaving RIDE to start a trip in Kernataka and Kerala. You will find bellow her feedback about her experience at RIDE.
” I stayed two weeks as a volunteer at RIDE office. During that time, I had the chance to understand RIDE’s priorities and key actions and see how my competencies could match with their needs. I realized I could help them through marketing and communication skills.
Working for RIDE is being flexible about the schedule as we face in India several electricity cuts every day (which is surprising at the beginning!). In between work office sessions, Jeyaraj took me everywhere : I visited several schools and villages and had the chance to meet with kids, teachers and key project coordinators. It was very interesting for me to see how Jey works with local NGO’s and how he manages so many different projects (children labor, women’s rights, self help groups, microcredit projects ..etc)
Being a volunteer at RIDE is also a amazing chance to understand and see the Indian culture from a daily life perspective. As I stayed at Jeyaraj and Britto’s house, I really felt like a new family member. They go out of their way to feel at home, safe and throughly looked after.
I cannot thank them enough for their kindness. I had a wonderful time !”
Last week, was the 6th edition of the Education Exhibition in RIDE Rural School in the village of Sevilmedu.
For a week, kids, parents and teachers run an Art Exhibition inspired by school books. It was a way to develop kids creativity, to do team work and most of all, to learn about sciences, history, geography, Tamil culture.. etc. with a lot of fun!
Kids were showing with pride their creation!
As part of our outreach program, 150 students from Loyola College Chennai are going to visit RIDE in November this year. The event will be held in two batches at 70 to 80 students each staying for one week. They are going to visit the RIDE Education Center in Arpakam and surrounding villages. After a presentation about the RIDE program, given by RIDE director Mr. S. Jeyaraj, the students will gain essential knowledge about village life. Thereafter, a model game about village infrastructure and facilities will be prepared in groups. As students play an important role in future India, RIDE looks forward to offer this program hereby spreading its message about “Education to Empower”.
Today we are proud to announce one of the new projects RIDE is aiming for. From the beginning of November 2012 we would like to open a “Children Home” next to RIDE’s education center in Arpakkam. This institution will give home to about 10 to 15 orphans between the age of 7 and 16 who don’t have a home or any relatives. The children belong to the surrounding villages of Arpakkam and some of them do already know RIDE from the “Child Labor Camps”. There will be one coordinator who is going to care about and live together with the children. Food will be provided three times a day as well as a sleeping place and some basic materials. After a one year pilot phase of the project, the goal is to integrate the children into RIDE’s educational program at Arpakkam.
The financial resources for realizing this project have been partly raised through the “Love to Learn 300″ project at betterplace.org. Thanks again to all donors who have made it possible to improve the living conditions of some of the poorest children in the area of Kanchipuram. As there have been currently 70% of the project funded, we would like to enourage you to fill up the remaining financial gap in order to reach 100% funding. Every small donation is welcome!
Around 10 years back RIDE has started a pilot project with its first Self Help Groups (SHG) in the village Musaravakkam not far from Kanchipuram. We have organized meetings, educated the women and empower them to form units and found their own businesses within a Self Help Group Business. Now Musaravakkam has about 4,000 inhabitants and about 45 of them are organized into 35 self dependent and sustainable SHGs.
One of the most successful SHGs are running a milk business unit and is coordinated by Ms. Kuppamal. This 65 year old resolute lady and mother of 3 sons is also responsible as the SHG leader. With the help of RIDE Ms. Kuppamal has been educated in fields of agriculture and project management. So her SHG could become as one of the most successful projects within the RIDE women empowerment program.
Together the village women were able to buy qualitative milk cows which give around 10 liters of milk per day. A part of the fresh milk is offered to the Musaravakkam village people. The other milk is been supplied to a government milk farm in Chennai. The earned money is going to be invested by the women into their family’s income, house keeping and new farm machines for their agricultures.
Recently these hard working people were selected by the NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) as an excellent society. For their success the bank are going to commend them with an extra financial support. RIDE is very proud of this SHG as these people could transfer our mission “Educate to Empower” in this great way.
Indian students are always welcome at RIDE. This October about 100 members of Quaide Milleth College Chennai are going to visit our RIDE office in Kanchipuram. RIDE director Mr. S. Jeyaraj will hold a brief presentation about the RIDE programs giving an insight into the work of an NGO. The purpose of this event is to create awareness for people’s problems in rural Tamil Nadu leading to a better future Indian society.
Every month Ms. Kastuvi (53) from Kanchipuram comes to the RIDE office to pay back the loan she and her family once received with the help of RIDE. The support of RIDE came at the right time for Ms. Kastuvi and helped to change the future path of her daughters.
Ms. Kastuvi comes from a family of weavers, weaving the Silk Sarees for which Kanchipuram is so famous. In the 1990s RIDE published a survey reporting that over 40,000 children were working in the weaving industries in and around Kanchipuram. It was then RIDE director S. Jeyaraj and his wife Britto who went to visit weaver families to try to convince them to send their children to school, rather than allowing them to work. RIDE argued that education can turn to sustainable improvements of life conditions. In addition RIDE offered a loan progam to those families who cooperated, to compensate the loss of income, help pay off their debts and be used towards school fees and expenses.
Ms. Kastuvi’s daughter Mohanar (now aged 25) is one of these released children. This is her story: Unfortunately, Mohanar failed in the 6th Standard (class) at the age of 11. Her mother, Ms. Kastuvi, who has 3rd Standard
degree herself, and her family decided to take their daughter out of school so that she could contribute to the family’s income. She took up the role of supporting her parents as they weave, sitting under the loom for hours at a time.
One day RIDE came to the family’s house and told Mohanar and her parents how important good education is, especially for a girl. The argument of a long-term success of her daughter’s education and the possibility to receive a loan convinced Ms. Kastuvi and her husband to send their daughter back to school.
After 2 years in child labor, Mohanar went back to the government school and finished 12th Standard. Recently she was able to achieve her degree in Bachelor of Computer Science. Ms. Kastuvi believes that the successful education of her daughter is a direct consequence of RIDE’s effort in child labor eradication.
On October 2nd, RIDE is going to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti festival at Sevilimedu village of Kanchipuram municipality. As this annual festival is dedicated to the life and work of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi it is held under the slogan “Non-violence is the key”. Trying to solve problems by showing violent behaviour will definitely lead to even more worse conditions. This has always been a key factor in Mahatma Gandhi’s life. In the evening there will be a folk theater featuring a stage, lights and music dealing with the above mentioned thoughts and ideas. The event is open for everybody. The fundraising process for the event is still on-going. Being a member of the Sarvodaya International Trust, RIDE hopes to carry out the event with the help of this fellow NGO.
The UN has declared October 11th as International Day of the Girl Child this year. In partnership with the Asian Girls Campain initiated by The Garden of Hope Foundation, RIDE is going to celebrate this day. Accordingly to the message “Empower Girls. Empower the World.” RIDE is running successful programs in female empowerent for over 20 years now. Strengthen the girls’ rights is one of the key factors to built up a self-confident Indian society.
At the moment we are planning meetings and seminars at schools as well as some cultural program. This will be presented in the five different Tamil Nadu districts of Kanchipuram, Vellore, Tirumvanamalei, Tiruvallur and Villupuram. Further information coming soon on our website and Facebook page.
Posted in Communication, Events, Female Empowerment
Tagged Asian Girls Campaign, Facebook, female, Female Empowerment, International Day of the Girl Child, Kanchipuram, The Garden of Hope Foundation, Tirumvanamalei, Tiruvallur, UN, United Nations, Vellore, Villupuram, Women, women empowerment
Thanks to former volunteer Emma McGinn, we are now able to offer picture postcards documenting RIDE’s every-day work, e.g. children at RIDE schools, scenes from our women empowerement program and rural Kanchipuram. With just 15 Rs per card, you can support the RIDE mission. For the time being, the postcards can be purchased at the RIDE office in Kanchipuram but we might sell them through a webshop in future. Nevertheless, if you would like to purchase some cards now, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.