Today’s post is about a project currently underway by my friend and fellow writer, Mariellen Ward. She is currently raising funds for Deepalaya, a non-profit organization that has educated more than 44,000 underprivileged children from the slums of Delhi and surrounding rural areas. She is also trying to win a contest, through the charity fund-raising, that would allow her to travel in India.
Mariellen spends a lot of time in India, and loves it as I do. She has also done some amazing volunteer work there – read my story about her work at Art Refuge in northern India, with refugees from Tibet.
And even better – when you make a donation, you automatically go into a drawing for several fabulous prizes – including an autographed copy of my book, The Weight of Silence.
More about Mariellen’s contest is below:
I have spent more than a year traveling in India, and months living in Delhi. I love India, and I love Delhi. In fact, I think Delhi is one of the most under-rated cities of the world. It has incredible richness of culture, layers of history in the form of monuments, gentle foggy mornings and iridescent pink sunsets, a jungle of greenery, great food, a treasure trove of shopping … and children, living on the streets. You see them at traffic lights, skinny bodies, huge eyes, wearing shabby clothing, sometimes no clothing at all. They turn somersaults, cling to their mothers, sell toys, flowers and magazines. They sleep under bridges, on the railway platforms or in blue-tarp juggis.
The street kids of Delhi always tug at my heart strings, and I sometimes find myself dreaming of finding ways to help them. I dream of giving them proper food, clothing, health care and shelter, and of educating them and giving them a fighting chance to rise above their status and at least earn a living making handicrafts, driving an autorickshaw, selling chai … and who knows what else. There are stories of former street kids who, after earning an education, had successful careers, made money, and seriously challenged the stereotypes.
What would it feel like to know that you helped a child beat the odds? You can help by donating to the fundraising project for Deepalaya through The Intrepid Foundation before October 26, 2011.
It is estimated that Delhi alone has over 100,000 street children. Deepalaya started in 1979 to help these children for whom the street is their place of work and home. The sad reality for most of these children is a life of hard labour and work in environments that no child should be exposed to, such as prostitution and drug trafficking.
Deepalaya social workers counsel these children and place them at the Home for Boys in Deepalaya Gram in a village called Gusbethi, 60 kilometres from Delhi. Deepalaya has educated more than 44,000 underprivileged children from the slums of Delhi and rural areas in Haryana. At present the Home for Boys has 52 children staying there. The school in Gusbethi imparts formal schooling to the boys and children from the surrounding villages of Tayru. The school has more than 250 children.
Donate $10 to help street kids in Delhi
By October 26, 2011 I am hoping to raise $2,000 for the fundraising project for Deepalaya through The Intrepid Foundation. For every $10 you donate, I will enter your name into a draw. So, for example, if you donate $50, you get five ballots. I will put all ballots in a hat and draw randomly. But the more ballots you have in the hat, the more chances you have to win!
To read more about this fundraising project, please read my post Help the street kids of Delhi — and send me to India. And see below for more information about Intrepid Travel and Deepalaya.
- A stay at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto
- A framed photography print
- Two tickets to the musical Bharati
- T-shirts, books and more – click here to see all the prizes!
If you have $10 to donate, I recommend Mariellen and this cause. Breathe, Dream, Go!