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Archive for February, 2014


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A Message from Tarik Kadri, President and Founder

Hello everyone,

I want to thank you all for your support over the past year and ensuring that our field work in India was possible this year. Our donors, volunteers, and supporters helped us reach our fundraising goals, and for that I am grateful. We even succeeded when asking for immediate support for the purchase of the bicycles. I was so humbled by the outpouring of donations—such an event speaks to the trust that our donors have in Paper Kite.

Over the past four years, we have proudly helped over 350 children grow, learn and succeed to ensure they have a prosperous future. I bear witness to the children’s personal grown with the support we have provided each year.

This year has been the best year for me personally. Everything went smoothly and I have connected with all the children. This was quite evident during our departure ceremony. Words cannot describe the appreciation I felt from the children for all that Paper Kite has provided to them over the years.

As we grow and continue to succeed, it’s important that we continue our hard work to ensure that no barriers exist for these children to succeed and live lives of their choosing. I firmly believe that although the children at Jeanamitabh are succeeding and growing, they need to move from their current facilities. It is deteriorating and very unhygienic. There is a plan to move the children to the new facility once it is completed.

As we move forward, I will propose our biggest challenge yet – finding the funds to complete the final wing of their new facility so the children can move.

Rest assured, the children we help each year are happy and are changing the face of poverty within their generation – all thanks to your hard work. I will forever be thankful to you for allowing my dream to help these children become a reality. None of this would have been possible without you!! Thank you.

Sincerely,

Tarik Kadri

President and Founder

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Last full day in Bodhgaya—Field Blog #6

Wonderful warm breakfast in our local café. Find an ATM machine for some currency and walk the usual 2 or so kilometers to Jeanamitabh orphanage for the 10 am morning prayers. I take my two Godsons, Raju – 15 and Sufit – 10, who been excused from class, shopping for pants, shirts and suitcases.  Raju knows the best clothing stall to get a good deal. He will do the negotiations and I am offered a seat so that I can give my opinions on the suitability of what each boy chooses. When it comes time for the bill, each boy checks it over and tries to get the best possible price. Since Tarik had other business to deal with he had told me in advance how much I should be paying, so I negotiated and got the price down to what Tarik would have deemed acceptable.

With parcels in hand and satisfied smiles on our faces we met Tarik at a designated location to go for some lunch. Chicken Fried Rice, Vegetable pasta dish, Chicken-Egg-Drop Soup- everyone was happy with their choices. And nothing was too spicy- the day was going well. After lunch Tarik had appointments to keep and Raju wanted to spend time preparing a departing gift for me. After these activities were complete my two Godsons and I walked back to their home. Darting through traffic of rickshaws, motorbikes, bicycles, pedestrians, cows and other obstacles seemed to be of no consequence to the two boys, and I must admit after a week here I am almost getting used to it as well.

By the time we got back home – school was over – and the boys would have to catch up on what they missed.  They tried on their new ‘duds’ and were admired for their good tastes.  We then hung out on the roof deck chatting to the other boys, mostly discussing their futures.  Some of the aspirations were to be a teacher, accountant, tour guide, and even a doctor. Wow! I was impressed with their hopes and dreams. It is Mummy Jee’s vision, drive and dedication that makes these dreams possible, not to mention the hard work and energy that Tarik devotes to this project, and the whole team at Paper Kite Children’s Foundation.

I feel so privileged to have been able to come on this volunteer adventure.  So much love has been shown to me here. Words can not even come close to expressing what I have seen and experienced.  A farewell party was thrown for Tarik and I, with at least 12 or more boys and girls getting up in front of the microphone to sing a solo – I saw amazing courage here. Even one of the physically challenged boys made an amazing contribution, which resulted in thunderous applause and cheering.

We were bestowed with ceremony and gifts beyond expectation, including a paper dove of peace and my very own spiritual name: “BRAHMDEV” given to me by my older Godson, Raju.

And then came the good bye’s.

(Jeff) BRAHMDEV

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Join Kreg Weiss in a Yoga Workshop to Support Paper Kite!

About the workshop:

“Explore fundamental anatomy and alignment principles that will enhance the strength, balance, and care of your knees in classic standing postures. This yoga anatomy workshop will include an invigorating all-levels hatha fusion practice.”

(more…)

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Why choose when you can have both?—Field Blog #5

On this day Tarik and I visited the smaller orphanage; SUNWAY, which houses about 50 students. I was glad to be given a ride as it is about 5 kilometers from town. We met Ravi’s wife who had one of her twin sons along side. I was introduced to the other staff, of about 10, as I toured through the building. It seemed to be relatively new with lots of raw, unfinished areas. Workmen were busy toiling to resolve a drainage problem and to place a culvert pipe under the driveway, so that water could flow away from the property. Tarik had set this work into action upon his arrival, since it had to be completed before our departure. Work progresses very slowly here as it is done by manual labour only. In a shop elsewhere railings were being built for another project.

SUNWAY was in need of a great many items—uniforms that had to be tailor-made, lamps, bowls, socks and undergarments, the list went on and on. A rickshaw was hired to carry all the goods. The driver would wait at each stall and help load the items. A person on each side of the rickshaw was needed to keep the load secure.

While the goods were being delivered to SUNWAY, Tarik and I took a break to recap the activities of the day, before walking back to Jeanamitabh orphanage to hang out with the children. I found out that one could sponsor a child. I immediately became interested and looked around for possibilities. Two boys stood out for me; Raju who had given a speech at the morning ceremony, which had greatly impressed me. Another, younger boy, who kept smiling at me and stayed close by my side. I asked Raju, who speaks very good English to walk with me, so that we could get to know one another. We headed for the Studio playground of an Indian movie star and sat in the sand of a dried up river. The connection between us became closer and closer. He has such an amazing insight into life. He is what some call: ‘an old soul’ – perhaps a Guru from a previous reincarnation. Raju has won speaking competitions and he is very proud of his achievements. He wanted a sponsor who is interested in his life, not some one he had no interaction with.

By the end of our walk I had decided to sponsor Raju; his face lit up with the widest smile imaginable.

I immediately told Mummy Jee of my intentions.  She at first tried to dissuade me since he already has a sponsor and because of Sujit, who had been wooing me, so to speak. I could not decide between the two; so the only other solution was to choose both, which I did. I am so proud of Raju –15 and Sujit-10 as they both plan to share me as their new Godfather.

Jeff, Paper Kite volunteer

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