Dolls, Dolls and More Dolls!!

doll-distribution-ii-1Its raining dolls this year :)!!iz3_9941

To much joy and excitement of our little girls, we had Svetlana visit our school again this year. She had made beautiful dolls which she distributed to the little girls from Kindergarten. The little ones were so happy. Svetlana makes dolls for UNICEF, she is from Paris and loves to bring dolls for our kids whenever she visits. 

Last time Svetlana visited FFLV in 2014, that time also she made hand made dolls that she had made personally to distribute to our girls. We distributed them not only at school but also to the girls living in slums nearby. We are surprised daily by the acts of love and kindness that many of you show and the effort and heart you put into giving. This is one such example. Thank you Svetlana, you have a really beautiful heart!

The Joy of Giving Back

reading-programmeAt Sandipani Muni School we are always trying to give the girls the best and helping them in ways they feel confident about themselves. We have been running an english reading program under the, support, guidance and inspiration of Urmila Mataji from USA. The head of the program Damini told us that for our English reading programme we have 120 kids aged 7-12 years. We are helping them enhance their English reading skills. Though this programme has been supported with volunteers from overseas but this year we didn’t get as many volunteers as expected and were in the fix as to what to do?, when we saw some of our older kids in the group started to help the younger ones. When asked if they would like to do this every day, their faces lit up and they said yes!

These lovely dedicated, punctual and sincere girls has been helping since July of 2016 which has help build confidence for themselves and they feel so happy doing this programme. We feel so proud that these girls took in upon themselves to give back to the other school kids what they have learnt. 

Sharing the names: Gunjun, Chanchal, Seema, Tanu, Babli, Chanchal(Yes we have two Chanchals 🙂 )

Thank you Eddye

img-20160929-wa0007  img-20160929-wa0009This year we had a very interesting volunteer Eddye Lopez from Italy visit our school. He is a plumber by profession. Eddye is a very enthusiastic person who loved exploring the local sites. He along with our plumber Sanjay went around and fixed a lot of pipes in the building. The best thing about him was that though he could not speak or understand the local language he still knew his way out. Not only that Eddye would spend his evenings distributing Kichri at school to the poor families. He would make sure he was there every day. It was so wonderful to have him and his unique skill certainly helped the school a lot. Thank you Eddye for coming, we hope you come back again and we will remember you as an ever smiling volunteer 🙂

Tuk Tuk Challenge Impact

img-20161116-wa0006

Dear Friends, 

Thank you all for your wonderful support and participation in our recent Tuk Tuk Challenge. It was a great success and we are pleased to inform you that a total of 30,000 GPB was raised. This amount will be used towards the higher education of girls that finish their school, in particular for those girls who do not have a sponsor for their higher studies.

This challenge has secured the future of so many girls and they can now confidently step into college. Without your encouragement and contribution, this was no where near possible. We really appreciate your help and to all the participants who were on road for 12 days to educate these girls, just one thing: Bravo!

Janaki’s Kartik Maas

15027812_10101012585048846_3663701166650186754_nDear Friends,

As you must already be aware, our friend and supporter Janaki Mehta had organized a beautiful Kathak Solo night on the auspicious occasion of the Full moon night of Kartik month. She told the story of the holiest month of Kartik through her Divine Dance. The dance performance was conceptualised, choreographed and performed by Janaki Mehta in aid of our charity Food for Life Vrindavan. The show was a great success and we are delighted to share with you that a total of 4800 pounds was raised. A certain part of this money will be used particularly towards the Kathak dance training of the school girls and the costs associated with it.

The goal that Janaki had set was of £6000 which is not far off and any further donations are most welcome to help us reach our target. Those who couldn’t attend or wish to donate further to this worthy cause please see Janaki’s donation page https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/janakimehta1.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the generous sponsors, donors, audience and participants to this event, most prominently however we would like to thank Janaki who is such an inspiration to all our school girls. Janaki sets an example for all of us how we can use our skills to help others. We are sure that a lot of hard work and effort must have gone into this endeavour. For one person to organize, invite, conceptualize, choreograph, and perform  just to help girls on the other side of the globe takes a big heart. Thank you Janaki!! We are so proud of you!

The Tuk Tuk Challenge

Some pictures of the grand welcome of our TukTuk heroes!
iz3_7993iz3_7995

 

 

 

iz3_8021

img-20161116-wa0006

 

Meet the team, or should I say OUR HEROS 🙂 . Thank you all for your support. The Challenge is Complete! See Video

 

 

 

 

img-20161116-wa0002  img-20161116-wa0004
Tuktukupdate: We did it!! Our team has successfully reached Kanyakumari!! Thank you all for your support!!

 

img-20161116-wa0003

 

img-20161115-wa0001

 

Tuktukupdate: Todays Drive from Kochin to Trivandrum takes 5.20 hrs by car, so it will be about 8 hrs by Tuk Tuk. 

 

14991426_1291598140891700_4610052243594251963_o

Tuktukupdate: Yesterday Our team successfully completed 180 Kms of Tuk Tuk Drive from Neeleshwar to Kalikut. Amongst all the currency change going on in India , getting simple things done is also a task.

 

 

 

14992077_1278592655536365_4453953258203584950_nTuktukupdate: Pitstop with teammate Achal, a successful dentist from UK. Achal is one of the many professionals from UK doing this challenge to raise fund for our girls.

 

 

 

The Adventures of Tuk Tuk Challenge!(Day 4)

rupa-pr-with-tuktukOur Tuk Tuk team had a tough day today. Rupa prabhu shared a glimpse of his adventures below:

Today is a long one 289 km from Panjim, Goa to Kundapur, Karnataka.

Starting was not so good, I was driving on my side and a car overtook us and even though there was no one coming, he cut into us too soon and the back of his car hit our front side and jolted us. It was not too hard so I managed to keep the auto rikshaw on the road. I then tried to chase the guy who obviously did not bother to stop or anything, but soon he was gone!

And guess what? after 100 kms on road, in the middle of no where, our accelerator cable broke!

I stopped one guy on scooter and he kindly called his mechanic who was about 3 kms away and agreed to come. In the meantime our back up car was nearby and came, but everything seemed to go wrong today as they had the wrong cable with them ?

After that the mechanic came and changed the cable however we lost one hour in this. But we are now back on the road!!

We will reach Gokarna and hopefully have darshan of Mahabaleshear Shiv lingam. Mahabaleshwara Deva temple is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea in the holy town of Gokarna.  The history of this temple img-20161110-wa0003comes from a legend related to the mighty Ravana of Ramayana. The deity here is about 1500 years old. According to the legend (Read More..)

 After the temple visit  we will still have about 150km to go!!!
 
Its not good at all as the rikshaw does not have lights and at night on road it is a nightmare, two days ago we had to use a torch to reach our destination and we really could not see anything!!!Please send in your good wishes so that we can keep going despite adversities. I guess this is why we call it a Challenge ?

ranga_ganga_champa-ba

Ranga,Ganga,Champa three of our girls in striking Before and After photos.

Food for Life Vrindavan( FFLV),  a not for profit charity, working for the empowerment and betterment of Vrindavan’s destitute women and children, are pleased to announce the launch of our 2016 TukTuk Challenge.

Fifteen working professional from all walks of life, including a dentist, filmmaker and award winning hair dresser will fly in from the UK to Mumbai this Saturday to begin two days of preparation and training for their arduous 1,800 kilometer journey from Mumbai to Kanya Kumari in a three wheel 9BHP auto-rickshaw.

Leading the press conference and flagging off will be one of India foremost contemporary actors and philanthropist, Mr. Vivek Oberoi.

Mr. Oberoi is the International Brand Ambassador for FFLV has been actively supporting the charity for the past ten years and has been instrumental in a number of initiatives that have helped change the lives of the poorest of the poor .He will be answering questions from the press regarding this unique charity challenge this Saturday 5th November .

We are honored to have your presence at the press conference – details below:

Saturday 5th November 2016, 6:00 PM, at the Sun and Sand Hotel, 39, Juhu Beach, Mumbai.

Media inquiries to:

Ravin J. Ganatra
Phone: +91 875 538 1273
email: ravin@fflvrindavan.org

Weblink www.fflvrindavn.org

img_90631

Our Sandipani Muni School in Vrindavan has more than 50 girls yearly graduating and they all really want to continue higher education or University. With friends from UK we have organised a Challenge, driving a TukTuk (three wheeler) from Mumbai to Kanya Kumari, 1,250 miles ride on Indian roads. Your contribution will keep me going for those 12 days on the road. Please help our girls fulfill their dreams! Click here to contribute

 

rickshaw-1Participate in the TUK TUK Quiz Contest and Win Exciting prizes: Click to know more

Little Hariram’s Birthday

img-20161021-wa0000 img-20161021-wa0002Hari Rama is a young boy from Australia that came to Vrindavan to celebrate his 5th birthday. He visited our Sandipani Muni School to play with the kindergarten children that are about his age. Most of them are newly enrolled in our school and they are more than 100.

He distributed a chocolate bar and a tulasi necklace with a nice pendant to each one of them. Being an auspicious period of Navaratri(when the people in India worship Mother Durga), the family organized an outing with all the children to the Vaishno Devi temple. Whoever that have visited Vrindavana must have seen the huge statue of Mother Durga on the main road. We were not allowed to take photos inside the temple premises, so we took a group photo  outside. It was a very very hot day but the kids really had a lot of fun!

A very special birthday for little Hari Ram even if, being a girl’s school, he was the only boy with all the girls :), but for kids all this does not matter

Rare Sanjhi Art Workshop at SMS

img_8960In a 3 days workshop at Sandipani Muni School, our girls learnt a beautiful art form called Sanjhi.

Sanjhi is a word derived from word like “Sajja, “Shringaar”, and “Sajavat” which all means decoration. This art painting is rooted in the folk culture of the Braj Region. Presently, the art of Sanjhi Painting has become rare and is practiced by only a select few and remains a living tradition only in some temples of India.

img_8957The teacher Shri Sumit Goswami , is the principal representative of these arts among the present day generation.

The training also included making Sanjhi Painting on water. The girls were stunned to know that something like that was possible. Everyone who saw the artwork was amazed at the talent of Shri Sumit Goswami and his team.

The girls loved the workshop and benefitted greatly from it. We are grateful to these talented artists who came and delivered such a wonderful workshop.

FFLV Honored by Bharat Vikas Parishad

20160920_121627

From the left, Neeraj Saigal(Vice President FFLV), Sunil ji, Seemant ji & Rajendra ji(The principals of our three schools)

We are pleased to share with you that Food for Life Vrindavan has been awarded certificate of excellence in the field of Girl Education by Bharat Vikas Parishad.

Established in 1963, Bharat Vikas Parishad is a service-cum-sanskar oriented, non-political, socio-cultural voluntary organisation. It is dedicated to the development and growth of our country in all fields of human endeavour – cultural, social, academic, moral, national and spiritual – by promoting a sense of patriotism, national unity and integrity. It is a happy and proud moment for us and would not have been possible without your support. Thank you so much!

Breaking the cycle!

Just as one candle lights another and can light thousands of other candles, so one heart illuminates another heart and can illuminate thousands of other hearts. Leo Tolstoy

Time goes so fast! This is what we envisioned years ago. What a joy it is to see it happening infront of our eyes. The girls who innocently walked into the gates of our school years ago, dressed humbly and rugged hair have now grown into graceful young ladies. They got education and skills at the school, they got jobs and broke their cycle of poverty. The most beautiful part however is that many of them are now helping other girls in the area climb up the ladder.

We are talking about our school girls who are now giving a couple of hours every week to teach vocational skills to other village girls at a small school in the area. Sharing some pictures of our school girls teaching singing, dancing, karate and embroidery to other village girls. So proud 🙂 !

61.B Neetu

Our little Neetu

_MG_7411

Lovely dance performance by Neetu

Neetudance

Neetu teaching other girls

Anuradha and Radha with herfather

Radha and Anuradha at the time of admission

Radhamusic

Radha teaching music

 

 

 

Anuradhaembroidery

Anuradha teaching embroidery