New Food for Life
Govardhan Hill is one of the most sacred sites in India. It is the place where Lord Krishna performed many of his childhood pastimes with the cows — clearly establishing the importance of cows and bulls in a healthy and sustainable society. Govardhana is visited by millions of tourist every year and yet it is one of the poorest places in the world.
Food for Life Vrindavan (FFLV) has taken on the task of serving this spiritual community by building a new school in Govardhan to educate hundreds of slum kids who live in poverty and run around begging. FFLV director, Rupa Raghunatha das (right) believes: “Proper education and meeting the basic needs of these children would break the poverty cycle and enable them to stand on their own feet and progress in the world. This new school will save many who would otherwise die due to disease and poverty or for having a female body.
”On October 22nd, 2010, FFLV inaugurated the third Sandipani Muni School. On that same day, they had the ground-breaking ceremony for their fourth school at Govardhan.
India has the larger number of poor children in Asia with 80% of its 400 million children severely deprived. In fact, 60% of India’s children are considered absolutely poor.
Food for Life Vrindavan has served the needs of the poorest villages in the Vrindavan area (120 Km south of New Delhi) since 1990 and has become one of leading non-profits in all of India.
“Education is the basis for a successful future. And we prepare our school girls for it.”
Walking diligently, you will see small groups of girls on the streets of Vrindavan every morning, on their way to Sandipani Muni School where they receive proper education. Seated gracefully in their classrooms, they prepare for their tomorrow. Every day, these girls are served breakfast and lunch, which for many is the only meal they will have that day. We have about 1,500 girls studying in our three schools located in Vrindavan and a nearby village, Kiki Nagla.
We have a Program in place that is aimed at preventing child marriage by keeping the young girls in school until the age of 18. A girl can be sponsored at US$ 45 per month. Out of $45, $40 is used towards their education, uniform, meals, skill development, medical care etc. The remaining US$ 5 is held per month in a special fund until the girl is 18 years old. After which she will get the funds and be able to choose how she would like to spend it. Education is proven to pave a pathway to employment, enabling the girls to end the cycle of poverty.
In today’s competitive world it is absolutely necessary for an individual to attend college to be able to get a good job, especially, if one is from an impoverished background. That is why after a girl finishes school, you can help her attend college by supporting her college education. You can support a girl’s college/universities at the same amount of Rs.3,000 (USD $45) per month. This way, you can help a girl continue her higher studies. We deeply appreciate the gesture of sponsoring a girl’s higher education because that involves your commitment of supporting her throughout the duration of her course which may vary from 3 to 5 years depending on the student’s course. Your contribution will cover her fee, books, uniform, travelling expenses and stationery.
For Rs 18,000 per year (US$ 285) you can contribute towards scholarship of a student whose family cannot afford his/her education outside of Sandipani Muni School. This scholarship is up to 12th grade and covers tuition fees for studies as well as uniforms, books and school supplies.
According to a survey by BYUH: 97% of the mothers of our school girls have had no formal education.
That says a lot about the state of women education in the area. Most of the girls at Sandipani Muni school are from poverty stricken backgrounds, living in slums and struggling for basic needs. Many girls were seen begging near the temple before they joined the school. Even in this holy land of Vrindavan, the young girls face intense hardship in the form of child marriage, child labor and other forms of abuse where young girls are forced into adult roles. This is why we aim to educate the girls and enable them break this cycle of poverty and to improve their standard of living.
Food for Life Global is a 100% voluntarily funded organization. For every $1 you give, 70 cents goes directly to programs supporting food relief. Of the remaining funds, 10 cents helps run Food for Life Global, including advocacy, training, education, and 20 cents goes towards raising the next $1 to help us continue our important work.
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