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Measles and Rubella Vaccinations at the Mission Higher Secondary School

The students gather to learn about Measles and Rubella vaccines. Many thanks for this outreach.

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Happy Christmas from our students!

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Happy Christmas from our students!

A Christmas greeting from our Students! 
The students at Happy Valley English School and Padhar Mission Higher Secondary School send their greetings for a wonderful Christmas season to you and yours! These drawings were created especially to share with you and come with warm wishes. May the joy of the holidays fill you with joy and peace, now and always. 
In gratitude for your support,
Your Friends of Padhar Schools

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Celebration at SRCB!

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Celebration at SRCB!


Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the School and Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind in Padhar had a party! International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on the 3rd of December each year, with the aim of promoting empowerment, and helping to create real opportunities for people with disabilities. This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities.

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#GivingTuesday 2018

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#GivingTuesday 2018

Thank you for your support of our 2018 Giving Tuesday campaign! Yesterday, we had five simultaneous #GivingTuesday fundraisers going all day and together we raised $1827. Many Thanks to Krista S GivensMairi WohlgemuthLoreen Brown and Jaime Kim for hosting fundraisers and to their friends and supporters for your gracious donations.

Our Giving Tuesday goal was $1200 to cover the cost of books and supplies for the upcoming semester at Panchsheel School. With your help, we met our goal and we are able to provide more to students in need.

We are grateful for your generosity. Thank you!

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SRCB Padhar students help with elections

India holds it's General Election in 2019, and regional elections are happening around the country. Students of the School and Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind in Padhar are preparing Election training materials in Braille, to prepare those in the village and surrounding areas for the election. What a wonderful way to use their resources and care for the community.

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Kids Helping Kids - First UMC Redondo Beach Gives Generously

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During Vacation Bible School at First UMC Redondo Beach the children learned about our students in rural India and then collected donations to help us provide books for Panchsheel School. Last week, we received a check for $1,023.15 and this wonderful letter:

"What a joy to learn about our friends in India every day at VBS! Our kids gave generously and with so much love! Please feel free to use this for anything the schools, students or friends of Padhar needs!"

Many thanks to Risa Vargas, Molly Vetter and the wonderful team at First UMC Redondo Beach. Because of your generosity, we are able to give books and school supplies to the 600 children at Panchsheel Ashram School.

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Padhar Mission Primary School's Uniforms


Yesterday, we sent funding to provide school uniforms for the children of the Mission Primary School. Thanks to our generous donors for helping us give children an opportunity to go to school in Padhar, India.

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Getting started at Padhar Mission Higher Secondary School

When the new school year began in July, students at Padhar Mission Higher Secondary School returned to an improved school thanks to your donations!  At the conclusion of the previous school year, Friends of Padhar Schools sent $3050 to the Mission School and they used the funding to complete the following projects:

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Ceiling Fans - The school is now equipped with 2 electric fans per classroom, and our donation was used to pay for the ceiling fans themselves and also to pay for running electricity into each of the ten classrooms.

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New Computer and Printer - The Mission School and its 200 students are dependent on one computer and one printer to produce all paper materials for exams, classwork and homework assignments , and that computer and printer were both failing. 

Flooring repairs and a water delivery system - Our funding provided the opportunity to purchase and install a water pump to deliver water to various locations on the campus.  

Teacher's stipend - We were also able to provide an emergency fund for teachers salaries for the year. 

A Note from Mr. Horeb Rao, Principal of the Mission Higher Secondary School:

Loving greetings to you and all the members and friends of Mission High School Padhar . We gratefully acknowledge your kind concern for our services.

Once again we all are immensely thanks from the bottom of our heart the precious help we had received from you all, it shows yours solidarity toward our school and services.

Thanking you all.

Horeb Rao, all staff and students, Mission High School Padhar

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Amazon Prime Day is July 16th! 

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Amazon Prime Day is July 16th! 
By shopping on AmazonSmile on Prime Day, you are getting the best deals for your purchases AND the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Make that organization Friends of Padhar Schools, and your purchases support students in rural getting and their pursuit of an education.Write here…

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Our 6-month checkup

Hello friends,

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As July approaches, it is time for our mid-year review and fundraising update for you. I am pleased to tell you we are doing well, with over 50% of our goals reached.

  • Our total goal for 2018: $18850.00
  • Raised as of 7/10/18: $10094.00
  • Still Needed: $8756.00

Our Projects for the second half of 2018

 

We have 4 remaining projects for the Fall and Winter:

  • Books and Writing Supplies for Panchsheel School for Fall
  • Books and Writing Supplies for Panchsheel School for Winter
  • Equipment for Mission Primary School, St. Mark School in Sarni and Ebenezer School in Shahpur
  • School Vehicle for Felix Convent School in Paratwada
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Great News from Cal-Pac Annual Conference

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GREAT NEWS!
Yesterday, we reached our goal and raised $1037.00 for our Scholarship program for Happy Valley English School! Many thanks yo all who purchased beautiful crafts and to the artists who donated the items! You are wonderful!

EXTRA great news: we also collected $800 for our Student Sponsorship program and so eight more students will have the opportunity to go to school beginning in July!

So, we leave Annual Conference today with $1837.00 and a heart filled with gratitude. Thanks so much California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church!

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FoPS at Cal-Pac Annual Conference 2018

This is the first time we've hosted a booth to distribute information, network with potential connections and do a little fundraising. I am on Day 2 of the 4-day gathering of the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Representatives from over 300 churches are here and on their break time, they visit the booths, find out about programs and do a little shopping. This year we had several artists and friends donate over $1000 worth of items: artisan soap, jewelry made with succulents, beautiful piece of handmade jewelry, reusable gift bags, handmade cards and many other items. This sale will fund our scholarship program for Happy Valley English School in Padhar, India. 

Two days into the conference and we've sold $637.00 worth of merchandise! We still have 2 days left and hopefully we will reach our goal!

The other good news is that, so far, we've raised $500 for our Student Sponsorship program and our Give Books program. Overall, this has been a awesome experience to get the word out and introduce people to our work. 

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Welcome to Felix Convent School

Felix Convent School is a Primary school for village children, grades Nursery-6th, near the town of Paratwada. They teach primarily in English, although their first language is Mahrathi and they also learn Hindi, the national language is Hindi. They had a fantastic welcome program for us this morning, with three different dances. One by the Kindergarten class, one by two third-grade girls and one by the fourth graders. They were all wonderful! I then toured each classroom and learned about their studies.

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Program at Panchsheel School

On our final evening together, the children of Panchsheel school held a program featuring many dances from all ages and nice words spoken by the teachers and staff of the school. I accepted their gratitude on your behalf, our dear donors and supporters. The work we are doing together is changing the world. Maybe not ALL of it, but in this place, the world is changing for many. Thank you!

On the last evening we were together, the children presented a program and it was a celebration of joy and progress. Here are the girls from the Primary School with their dance. 

Here is a dance from the older girls. The part you didn't see was them pulling me up from my chair, putting me in the middle while they danced around my excellent moves.
This is short clip of the second primary girls dance- it was really great, but the light was bad for filming. The girls had such great dresses and wonderful moves.

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Morning Meal in Panchsheel

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Morning Meal in Panchsheel

Yesterday, I captured the morning ritual of serving breakfast to 450+ children under the trees at Panchsheel Ashram School. It is the beginning of the summer and has been very warm (in the high 80's and low 90's), so the children have moved to a shadier spot. Each day they have a small breakfast, then this morning meal, then a dinner around 6:00PM. The school has it's own flour grinding process and it's own chapati machine - to make chapatis for so many children! It is like a kitchen-aid mixer, but supersized! They have 8 full-time workers in the kitchen to prepare food for 600 children each day, and the teachers help facilitate the serving and organization. Quite a production!

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A Day in the Life

Life in Panchsheel is busy for the children, filled with chores and study time, play and school. Take a look at the activities around the school today.

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My heart is full.

So, I have been in India for 14 days - 2 full weeks of travel and sight-seeing, adventures and visits. I still have 3 busy days here, 3 days that include tours of Panchsheel School and Felix Convent School, check in's with our students, meetings with teachers and programs "in my honor." But I am feeling the need to explain why this time in India is important for me.

It is not a spiritual retreat - it is too busy and too loud and too crazy for that.

It is not a holiday - or it is not ONLY a holiday.

It is not "work" as in drudgery or meaningless tasks.

It is more like a homecoming. For the people, the food, the sights and sounds, the smells, the laughter of children, knowing that I am contributing to the goodness of the world, knowing I am helpful.

I do miss my people in the US, my family and friends and I miss my Po, and that's why I come back. But in the back of my mind I am always planning for my return, checking my internal calendar to see how long I can stay away.

So - as I finish up my work here in Panchsheel and Felix, my heart is full. I thank you, for letting me share this experience with you. And I will see you soon!

(There will be more posts to come, just thought I'd take a moment of personal privilege.)

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