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VFT Aarti Home and Providing Possibilities   

                                                                                                                                                  November 2010

Aarti Home

Vijay Foundation Trust (VFT) Aarti Home, an Indian NGO is a home for 98 orphaned and abandoned children ranging from the age of 2 months to 18 years.  Aarti Home was founded in 1991 and is located in Kadapa, south India.  Over 150 children have been nurtured, cared for and loved while being provided with the best possible education.  At Aarti Home, we try and make the children feel wanted, secure and part of a family. Over the years, 68 children have graduated high school and have either gone on to college or a vocation and 21 are currently enrolled in higher studies.  www.vftrust.org

Providing Possibilities Foundation

Providing Possibilities Foundation (PPF) is a United States government recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity.  PPF is partnered with VFT Aarti Home and helps raise funds to feed, clothe and shelter these needy children.  100% of the money raised by PPF for Aarti Home goes to fulfilling these needs. www.providingpossibilities.org

Aarti Home’s Struggle To Keep Up With Inflation And The Rising Cost Of Food

Aarti Home, along with much of India, has been struggling to deal with high inflation between 14% - 16% in recent months. The rise in food costs has contributed significantly to this rise in overall inflation.  According to Reuters, food inflation has ranged between 13% and 20% over the last seven months.

            Food accounts for more than half the expenditures of the poor, so when inflation occurs largely because of rising prices of food, it becomes especially burdensome on the underprivileged.  Prices of staples such as dairy products, onions, sugar, edible oils, fruits, vegetables and cereals have all gone up considerably.

     Never in the 20 year history of Aarti Home have their food reserves been so desperately low.  Even making simple meals of rice and lentils has become so costly. Aarti Home President P.V. Sandhya states, “We are in need of food donations now more than any other time in our history.  The cost of food has gone up so much that it is now nearly half the total cost of caring for a child.  We’ve had to turn away children because we cannot afford to feed them the simplest meal.

Shouldn’t we at the least be able to provide a nutritious meal for our young ones?” The cost to feed one child for a day is 56 cents.

If you would like to learn more about helping feed the children of Aarti Home, please visit www.providingpossibilities.org/AartiHomeDonations

Sana, A Story of Aarti Home                

(Featured Story by Namrata Vora)

Sana (name changed) lives in a small town in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh. Her parents illegally arranged her marriage at the age of 13 to a man more than three times her age. After marrying, he went back to his job in the Middle East while she continued to live with her parents. Sana happened to be a brilliant student with ambition – she wanted to become an engineer.

Sana’s husband did not believe in the education of girls, and her father and brothers agreed. They tried to convince her that she was jeopardizing a future of domestic harmony by going against her husband’s wishes. Her mother was instructed to stop her schooling, and so she hid her daughter’s text books and made her notebooks disappear. Despite such adversity, Sana scored 92% in her 10th grade boards with a concentration in Math and Science.

Sana’s husband heard about her schooling and was furious. He came back to India and explained exactly how nonsensical it was all getting. The girl was to be reined in and kept under house arrest.  Then one day Sana came across an article in the newspaper about Aarti Home, an NGO in her town. The people there believed that the education of girls was essential. They supported anyone wanting to study – morally and financially. desperate Sana grabbed the first opportunity she got and smuggled herself out of her house to go straight to her old school teacher’s house. From there she managed to get in touch with the NGO over the phone and explain her situation.

            “We will do all we can to help you”, they said, so Sana went over to meet the director of Aarti Home. She saw that they ran a home for children who were not wanted by their families. She also saw that those girls did not see themselves as a burden. They were using whatever opportunities they had and making the most of it. She realized this was the place for her and requested to be allowed to live and study there – towards her goal of doing an engineering course. Aarti Home was more than happy to support such a determined young spirit.

            Sana convinced her mother and moved into Aarti Home. Sadly, just a few weeks later her husband learned that Sana was visiting her mother and seeing an opportunity, went to their house, beat up the mother, and dragged the child away. She was rescued in the morning, her body covered with nothing except many marks of brutal assault.

            He could not kill Sana’s spirit though. Throughout her horrific ordeal, she knew that Aarti Home was waiting for her and she insisted upon getting back to Aarti Home and carrying on. “I will not be stopped,” she said. I will study and definitely become educated.

Aarti Home welcomed Sana back home and nurtured her physical and emotional wounds.  Aarti Home reported the assault to the police who helped ensure that the husband was punished and understand that the marriage was invalid and illegal per the law.  To date, he has left her alone. 

Recently, Sana has been granted a scholarship and residence at a school that will prepare her for her engineering entrance exams. She has been given 24-hour security and is slogging away at her books.

            Here’s wishing her luck. May her spirit shine brighter and may her tribe increase. 

(Namrata Vora is Director of Programs, Aarti Home)

Updates

Aarti Home Update:

     Over the past two years, Aarti Home has doubled in size, taking in and providing a loving home for 49 additional children; 48 are girls.  The majority of these girls were abandoned simply because of their sex.  Their parents sadly believe that girls are a burden.

Aarti School Update:

      PPF and VFT received donations specifically for the building Aarti School. The money received allowed us to build a brand new school with separate classrooms for each year group, a library, an office and accommodations for our volunteers.       Before we had the funds to build the school, the children were being taught wherever we could find space in and around Aarti home, which was distracting and not conducive to learning. With Aarti School the children now have the learning environment essential for success not just in school but success in life.

                          

To help the children of Aarti Home, please visit www.providingpossibilities.org or donations can be mailed directly to Providing Possibilities Foundation, 5557 Paseo Navarro, Pleasanton CA