If you have seen the movies above or the movie Slumdog Millionaire you’ve seen the face of the children we serve in Kolkata, India. Since start we have been funding a food and basic medical programme for children that live in the gutters, pavements and rubbish piles of Kolkata. These children are surviving because of practical help given to them.
A country with such huge needs, it can seem overwhelming. Our programmme in Kolkata brings medical help and food to over 250 kids in five slum areas and it’s expanding rapidly! In the shelter where we feed the children, the food we are able to provide is often the only meal the kids will have that day.
We’ve found some fabulous people, who work in very difficult situations, to love those who may seem unlovable to others. Together we have been working on how best to serve the estimated 18 million children that live on the streets, many targeted as child workers and in danger of trafficking.
North of Kolkata, by the border between India and a little country called Bhutan, we are helping children with education and also hope to provide medical care. Bhutan has a terrible secret – it’s the source of a large number of young women, who are trafficked across this border and sold, some as young as ten years old. Partnering with the locals, Our organization is beginning the task of making some of these children at least a little safer. By providing them with a school uniform, people that care, food and a place to learn, these children’s lives have been made less desperate.
Ammar is an example of the children we help here. When we first met him in 2007, his father had just died. His mother was sick and he was only 14. We purchased him a Rickshaw, which is held in trust for him so his older brother could earn money for food. Late 2009 his mother died from an infection, and Ammar and his older brother, Ranjeet, now live on the street alone. Ammar and Ranjeet are receiving food, medical help (which they could not get otherwise, as they are considered outcasts), and Ammar is receiving a very basic education (names changed for privacy).
• 18 million children estimated living on the streets in India
• Rat bites, malaria and starvation are everyday hazards
• Medical help and food for over 250 children in Kolkata
• Education & food for children living at the Bhutan border
• Rapidly expanding with opportunity for two other slum locations open to us
This project relies on much needed acts of kindness.