Shared Vision also supports an orphanage where more than 150 children live. With funds donated by two Dutch organizations, Vidomes (a social housing organization) and Cordaid (a Catholic charity) our foundation has rebuilt the kitchen facilities and given new bedding to the children.

School girls at blackboard P1000065Further construction activity for a new dining facility is underway and there is an urgent need for new computers and computer education, and teaching of English language to the children. This will help them to find jobs when they leave the orphanage.

The orphanage is managed by a Board of Governors from the local Arya Samaj community and its educational program falls under the State Education Authority to ensure that it meets the standards of public education in the State of Rajasthan.

Boys dorm 2005-11-17 India II 213Despite the fact that supporting an orphanage is not the main focus of Shared Vision Foundation, there is a very personal connection to this children’s home: the founder of Shared Vision, Dr. S. Shivananda, spent a few years of his childhood at this orphanage in Ajmer after the death of his parents. After living and working in America and Europe for many years, he returned to India for the first time in 1990 and visited this institution again. His observations were that the institute hadn’t changed much in 50 years and he found that the living conditions and building structures required much improvement.

He brought this matter to the attention of Vidomes Director of Business Affairs Mrs. Marja Duiverman (whose husband Mr. Gerard Beunk is on the board of Shared Vision) and a catholic charitable organization called Cordaid based in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Mrs. Duiverman approached her own organization (Vidomes is a large social housing organization in the Netherlands), presenting the poor condition of the orphanage building. Consequently Vidomes offered EUR 5,000 which was highly appreciated and put to work to renew the kitchen and sanitary facilities of the orphanage. In addition, Cordaid followed this and kindly supported the orphanage with EUR 6,200. Mrs. Duiverman and her colleague Mrs. Marjan Kruijdenberg both traveled to India and presented the check personally to the orphanage management on November 6, 2005.

Waving girls in orphanage 2005-11-17 India II 108The Shared Vision Program Officer was delegated to start the re-construction project. He efficiently managed the finances, achieving great results such as renewal of the kitchen, including food storage and cleaning areas, water tanks, gas installation, ventilation, tiles, floors and walls. As a result there is now a beautiful new kitchen, a food storage facility and a dining room for the 40 girls. All this was realized with a minimal amount of resources, directly targeted where it is needed and managed with low overhead – it is unbelievable how much one can achieve with so little money!

Extra funds left over from this construction project has been used to purchase new bedding (approximately EUR 19 per set) for all the children – boys and girls. This change was long overdue as the bedding they had before was old, torn and sometimes even flea-infested.

How your donation can help

We already have done a lot for the 40 girls and 110 boys who currently live in the Dayanand Balsadan orphanage in Ajmer, India. Many more things need to be taken care of – and many more children will pass through the care of the orphanage in the coming years, requiring even more loving attention and care.

The most pressing issues we would like to address with your donation are:

Dining room for the boys:
The most pressing need at the moment is for a new dining hall for the 110 boys. Right now the boys have to sit in long rows on the floor when they take their meals. Protection from the hot sun in the summer (which can reach well over 50 degrees Celsius in this area) and the freezing cold in the winter is essential. The construction cost for a new dining hall would be approximately EUR 8,500. One of our benefactors, Cordaid, has donated EUR 5,100 of this cost. The hall is now under construction.

Sleeping Facilities:
There is an urgent need to expand the sleeping facility in the boys and girls side of the orphanage. At the moment 10 girls have no individual beds – so they sleep two in one bed. Similarly, on the boy’s side 16 boys have no bed of their own. Obviously, this is not a good situation.

Computer Education:
In order to give the children the best education possible to they also would need to be exposed to the world of IT. Therefore, we need to buy some new computers and to appoint an English and computer teacher.

Cleaning of toilets and washing areas does not meet hygienic standards. Therefore, extra manpower is needed. This problem could be solved at the cost of 450 euro per year.

Classroom lighting:
The school classrooms have poor lighting. This needs to be improved.

SOS – UNICEF Structure:
We also wish to set-up a SOS-UNICEF structure at the orphanage where each child will have a family-like structure with a local family and a SOS mother, sister and a brother to go to. This will give the children love and affection they miss from the loss of their parents and not having a home and a family of their own.
We need EUR 25,000 to bring about the above-mentioned improvements. Just to give you an idea what your money can do in detail: For example, for EUR 200 handicraft material can be bought for the girls and for EUR 1500 we can pay the salary of a qualified English or a Computer teacher for six months that will give the children a valuable education. This will help them rise above a poor orphan’s status, get a good job, and will have an enjoyable life.