Diwali Dinner Fundraiser 2019
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Small things with great love

East met West as Diwali, India's festival of lights, was celebrated in Kelowna Saturday night.

The colourful dinner and dance featured a delicious spread of Indian food, a traditional dance performance by Miss Teen-BC Interior Priyaali Kanti, a fundraising auction, and an update the East Meets West charitable foundation's work in India and the Okanagan.

Kelowna's Parkinson Rec Centre was packed for the sold-out event.

The charity supports an orphanage in Kolkata, India, a crèche for children of slum dwellers, medical treatments for poor children there, as well as helping to rescue children from child trafficking rings.

Locally, it also supports the Starbright Child Development Centre and Karis Support Society.

Current and former local politicians were in abundance at the event, which was financially backed by Kelowna Toyota.

Attendees filled their bellies on traditional Indian food before bidding on prize packages worth thousands of dollars. Following that, those with the energy – or the rhythm – danced the night away to Indian and popular music.

Foundation director Coun. Mohini Singh quoted Mother Theresa, saying: "Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love."

 

Orphans say thank you

The efforts of children in Kelowna will help put a safe roof over the heads of orphans in India.

Kelowna Coun. Mohini Singh, a director of the locally based East Meets West Foundation, says a recent entrepreneurial fundraiser at Anne McClymont Elementary School raised $2,500.

That money is being donated to the Navajyoti Creche, an orphanage near Kolkata that is sponsored by the charity. It will pay to renovate a rough, unused room so more children can be helped.

The McClymont students designed and sold their own products in the fair, selling everything from birdhouses to dreamcatchers and homemade cookies.

Singh said the charity's mandate doesn't allow it to spend on capital projects, only care for the children, so the money from the sale will help with a project East Meets West would otherwise be unable to undertake.

Singh shared a photo of the children at the orphanage, holding a large Thank You sign.

Bara Andulia

 

Basic Information: The creche continues to run smoothly. The Project Co-ordinator is Fatema Begum and she does a good job running the project. This year we have admitted only girls to promote the education of the female child. Thus we have brought the number of students in the creche to 40 students. During the field visit the parents were also met and they expressed satisfaction over the working of the creche. The doctor, Dr. Dey, also visited the creche during the visit. He felt that there is a lot of commitment of the staff. The children appeared well looked after and happy. Soumeta Medhora The Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption Kolkata.

 

Report On Bara Anduliya Creche And Coaching Class

The project at Bara Anduliya was started on 01May1993 with the primary aim of fulfilling a child’s basic needs of nutrition, health and education. The Bara Anduliya project was started on 01May1993.

The place is an hour’s drive from Krishnanagar, an important place in Nadia district in West Bengal famous for it’s terracotta handicrafts. Krishna Nagar is a 4 hour drive from Kolkata. The project is being run in a building provided by a local NGO, Lok Seva Sibir. Today the crèche is successfully running with 35 children and the coaching class has 130 children.

  • Crèche No. of Boys:14
  • No. of Girls: 21
  • Total no. of Children: 35

The crèche caters to children in the age group of 3 to 5 years. Most of these children are first generation school goers. The children belong to families in the lowest economic strata of society. The parents are engaged as biri workers, maid servants and daily agricultural labourers. The crèche timings are from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. The children are looked after by a crèche mother and a crèche teacher who are assisted by a helper. 12 children (5 girls and 7 boys) have joined in the new session 2011-2012. The day starts with prayer followed by exercises. The children are then divided into two groups. The older group is taught by one teacher while the students who have just joined in the new session are taught by another teacher.

The older batch of 23 children have learned to write the Bengali and English alphabets. They can also write the Bengali numbers from 1 to 5. Both English and Bengali languages are taught. Along with studies the children are also taught drawing, rhymes, dancing etc. The new batch of 12 children have settled down well in the creche. They are being told stories, rhymes etc.The teachers have a fixed syllabus which is used to teach the students. The children are served light breakfast around 9.30a.m, lunch at 1.30p.m and a fruit or light snacks at 3 p.m when the children leave. Emphasis is given to providing a nutritious diet. Milk and bread/biscuits is served in the morning while lunch usually comprises of rice with vegetables and either Egg/chicken or soyabean nuggets.

With the spiralling rise in the price of food items, it was felt necessary to increase the allocation for food from about Rs4 per child per day to Rs10 per child per day to provide nutritious food. Accordingly the increase was effected from 01April2011. We are now able to give milk every day to the crèche children.

Doctor's Check Up

A doctor visits the crèche once a week. The childrens’ weight is checked on a regular basis. The immunization records of the children are also regularly checked to ensure that the children are regularly immunized. A parent-teacher meeting is held once a month to discuss the progress of the children and to address problems if any. The children are provided free uniforms by ISSA.

The children love coming to the crèche. Small functions are held to celebrate important days of the year like Saraswati Puja(goddess of learning) Independence Day, Childrens’ Day and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday. They are taught dancing and singing to perform on the respective days. Coaching Class The coaching class caters to all the erstwhile students of the crèche. At the end of the academic session all children above 5 years move out from the crèche to join the local government school. To help them in their day to day studies, all children from Infant to Class V attend the coaching class. In the academic session2011-‘12, there are 130 students who are being taught by 5 teachers. The classes start at 6.30 am and continue till 9am, 6days a week. Weekly tests have been introduced to test the ongoing performance of the students. The children are taught in batches and have greatly benefitted from the coaching class. Light tiffin (puffed rice with soaked gram, bread with banana, biscuits etc) is served at the end of the class. We would like to extend classes beyond class V or at least reimburse the senior students the private tuition fees. However in the absence of funds the same has not been possible. On our last visit at the end of 2010, all the children of the crèche and coaching class put up a beautiful cultural programme comprising of songs, dances, recitation etc. A sit and draw competition was held for all the children of the crèche and coaching class on Childrens’ Day. Prizes for the best drawings in each group were given out by the doctor of the crèche on the day of our visit.

News Clips Courtesy of CHBC News

Canadians help to improve the lives of abandoned children in India

Since 2008, the East Meets West Orphans Foundation (EMW) of Canada has been helping to provide medical treatment and education for orphans and abandoned and destitute children in Kolkata through an agency agreement with the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption (ISSA). Spearheaded by its president, Order of British Columbia-recipient, Mohini Singh, and ten other board members, EMW is supported by Canadians from all walks of life.

A registered charity through the Government of Canada, EMW has provided over 90 children with education, essential medical care and surgical procedures; many of whom have been adopted by families in India, Canada and other countries. In 2012, EMW sponsored the “Bara Anduliya Crèche” daycare centre for underprivileged children from three to six years of age, which helped provide more than 30 young children with food, early education and medical care.

Examples of EMW’s support are ISSA’s homes Nava Jeevan (for children upto two years of age) and Nava Diganta (for children between the ages of two and 14) which provide specialized medical care and cater to development and education needs of children abandoned at an early age. Such support has recently helped provide surgery and medical care for two infants Subarna (born with a cleft palate and dislocation of both hips) and Ram (suffering from high respiratory distress, malnourishment and developed sepsis).

Through efforts such as a fundraiser organized together with the Deepak Binning Foundation, contributions by the Calgary Foundation and support from individuals such as Kelowna philanthropist Thomas Budd, EMW raised over $30,000 in 2012 and increased awareness among hundreds of Canadians to the plight of millions of impoverished children across the globe. At the Deepak Binning Dinner fundraiser to be held on 26 October 2013, together with the Deepak Binning Foundation, EMW will also raise money for cancer research and support institutions such as the Cancer Centre and the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan. With an India theme, featuring Indian music, food and attire, the event is held each year to honour the memory of Deepak, a young Indo-Canadian victim of cancer. The organization says, “It is important to help people in our new home, Canada and our native country, India.”

Meet Mohini Singh: With a long and distinguished career as a radio and television journalist, Mohini Singh is a staunch advocate of women and children’s rights both in Canada and around the globe. She has supported issues as diverse as helping victims of spousal abuse, literacy, and the plight of orphans in India. She continues to struggle to overcome challenges such as multiple sclerosis, but that hasn’t hindered her efforts. Ms. Singh was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2008 ( http://bit.ly/14tBv3Z), the highest civilian award by the Province of British Columbia. She went on to be awarded the Sarah Donalda-Treadgold Memorial Award Woman of the Year for Kelowna in 2009 and the Queen Elizabeth II diamond jubilee medal in 2012. She also became the first Indo-Canadian woman to be elected to the Kelowna City Council in 2011. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “You must be the change you want to see in the world,” Ms. Singh’s efforts and initiatives led to the creation of the East Meets West Orphans Foundation in 2008. Sharing her thoughts in a conversation with us, Ms. Singh said, "Everyone has the power to make a difference, no matter how big or small it is. When you take the first step others will follow and that will lead to change. My hope is to help people get back on their feet and lead fulfilling lives whether it is in Canada or in India. Together we can make a difference. I know what we are doing through EMW may be very small when you compare it to other organizations, but my hope is that in the long run we will make a huge difference. ISSA is an amazing organization and we are honoured to partner with them. For the future we are looking at another education project in Punjab for orphaned girls.”

About the East Meets West Orphans Foundation: With a mission statement of, “improving the lives of abandoned children by providing healthcare, education and necessary medical treatment for children living in orphanages in developing nations,” the foundation is administered by its board of directors – Vern Nielsen, Caryl McCabe, Kam Boparai,Scott Matthies,Mohini Singh, Andy Virk, Medha Prabhu,Laurence East, Harjeet Sangha, Gwen Zilm and Sharon Shepherd. Learn more about the EMW: www.eastmeetswestorphansfoundation.org About the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption (ISSA): Headed by its Founder Secretary Mrs. Saroj Sood, ISSA is a non-profit child welfare organisation established on 16th December 1975 with a committment "to help abandoned and destitute children in whichever manner conducive to their welfare; either through permanent rehabilitation or sponsorship in the form of education, medical treatment etc.”

Learn more about the ISSA: www.adoptionissa-kol.org Go to top

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