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Archive for March, 2015


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When I Grow Up—2015 Field Blog #3

FullSizeRender (15)The most important aspect and results of our contributions each year are the children. Not having to worry about when they are going to eat again, someone forcing them to beg for money or if they can even go to school. We are ultimately contributing to their happiness.

The children can reach for their dreams – trust me, they have big dreams!! Today they were sharing theirIMG_0754 dreams with me. One said she wanted to be a doctor, the other a painter, a writer, a politician. The children are so grateful for what they have and what they receive.

The children are inquisitive and curious. So hopeful of a future full of love and prosperity. Their education helps form their dreams and has the potential to impact FullSizeRender (17)their families. To be quite honest, many girls will choose to get married when they finish high school (class 10). This is influenced by their cultural belief to build and support a family. However, the opportunity for them to attend post-secondary is there if they choose it. The girls who choose to get married have received formal education and socialization that will assist them in expanding their awareness – passing on basic life skills leading to healthy and hopeful futures.

The older children guide and mentor the younger children. Of course the older children come up to me and sayFullSizeRender (16) “Mahadev, I have completed my board exam and I need a bike and computer to go to college and complete my studies”. Mahadev was a name I was given five years ago in India.

FullSizeRender (14)I’ll leave you with an interesting fact. The children rarely eat fruit due to the cost and availability in this region. When I asked them if I offered and they had to chose between chocolate and fruit, what would they chose, all of them said fruit. They eat the same thing everyday for every meal – rice, lentils and vegetables.

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No ordinary person—2015 Field Blog #2

FullSizeRender (11)It is my third day here and today I am buying the fabric for the children’s uniforms, a stove, shoes, and kitchen supplies. Yesterday I spent the day with the children at Jeanamitabh after they finished classes. They were very appreciative of the items Paper Kite is able to purchases due to the support of our donors. They told me that each year we’ve come and purchased food, they’ve been able to eat more and have a variety of items to choose from. Prior to that the children participated in their Morning Prayer routine. At the end Mummy Jee expressed her appreciation for our continued support and used the opportunity to provide a lesson to the children on volunteerism.

It was such a moving speech! At one point she said that I was no ordinary person and that I made the decision at a young age to help others. Yes, she told them I’m only 35 years old! The appreciation and gratitude was very nice to hear. Immediately I realized how much we have provided for the children over the past five years. I bear witness to the impact our FullSizeRender (10)support has provided. The words ‘no ordinary person’ stuck with me. It was a wonderful compliment. However, I could not accept that completely myself. Five years ago I had an idea to start a foundation that supports children who would not otherwise have received support. I called upon my friends to help with my idea. Soon we grew to include a board of directors, become a registered charity, and expanded across Canada. I translated ‘no ordinary person’ to mean ‘no ordinary group of people’. I would not have the fortunate opportunity to be here without all the Paper Kite volunteers, board of directors, and supporters (past and present). I am only the messenger and deliverer.

FullSizeRender (13)As well, the children we support are no ordinary children. They are deeply moved by our commitment to them. Their words and expressions show me that. Providing them with basic necessities help them immediately so they can focus on having adequate childhoods while reaching for their dreams. What I have to come see is that our presence in supporting them every year equally contributes to their childhood experience. Like the rippling effects of a drop of water, the children’s potential for serving others, giving back, and volunteering, is that much greater!!

FullSizeRender (9)None of us are ordinary people. We all have given what we can to help others. In choosing to support Paper Kite, you have entrusted us to provide items to the children that will shift their focus from acquiring basic necessities (through begging) to ‘giving their dreams flight’. I am here in India showing and telling you that your support is doing just that. Thank you for not being ordinary!!

Tarik Kadri, President and Founder of Paper Kite

Jeanamitabh 2015

Back Again!—2015 Field Blog #1

Yesterday I arrived in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India for the 5th time. This is where Buddha achieved enlightenment. I was greeted at the FullSizeRender (2)airport by mummy Jee, the orphanage founder and manager of Jeanamitabh. She has been living in Bodhgaya for 15 years supporting over three hundred children who would have not otherwise received shelter and education.

Negotiating

Over dinner we discussed the purchases Paper Kite is able to make based on the money raised over the past year and Paper Kite’s Board review of our four programs and approval. The orphanage managers submit their request for items in advance. I am very happy that this year we are able to purchase all the requested items for the two orphanages we support! Items such as food, medicine, school uniforms, school supplies, shoes, socks, stoves, kitchen supplies, and a bed. I directly purchase FullSizeRender (5)these items myself and overlook their delivery to the children. Additionally, I review the items we have purchased in previous years to ensure they continue to support the children. Unique elements of Paper Kite include being 100% volunteer based, directly purchasing local items ourselves, and interacting with the children.

Welcome 2015This morning I received the traditional welcome where all the children greeted me before they started classes for the day. For the
past five years I have been able to see the children grow and progress through school. Seeing the children and spending time with them is always the most exciting part of my trip. They are so curious about the western world and friendly to visitors. 

I didn’t waste anytime today and started purchasing items for the orphanages. As a volunteer, IPaper Kite Welcome
go to the shops, count the items, pay for them and oversee their delivery to the children. This
may sound easy but it takes a lot of time. Some items are not pre-made and we purchase them and must assemble them afterward. For example, we buy the fabric for school uniforms and then have it tailored. For beds and tables we buy the wood and hire a carpenter to assemble them. And you thought ikea items were hard to assemble!! 
Tomorrow I will continue to purchase items. Stay tuned!!

Tarik Kadri, President and Founder of Paper Kite

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