Registered UK charity 328218 - Registered US Non Profit 501c3 - Tax ID: 80 055 654
What We Do
Since 1986, Save a Child has been giving deprived children in India a fresh chance through long-term sponsorship.
Today, several hundred sponsored children live in security, enjoy life and advance their education to fulfill their potential as adults. Each child has their tough life story. All share one need: to have a fresh chance. Who makes this happen? The sponsor who gives long-term support. And the general donor, who enriches that support.
Join the Save a Child family by sponsoring a child or giving what you can towards our special projects and our small administration costs.
Who We Are
Save a Child is the vital link between people who want to help deprived children and the children who need that help.
Save a Child has volunteer trustees, board members and administrators. Funds gathered for sponsorship, as well as one-off donations for programs and general work, are sent to the Residential Homes in India where sponsored children live. Save a Child requires confirmation from each Home of the end use of all funds it sends.
Save a Child’s low administration costs mean that over 93% of all funds gathered benefit the children.
The sponsored child lives in a Residential Home in Delhi, Kolkata or West Bengal, each run by professional staff. The sponsor’s money contributes to accommodation, health, clothes, education, other practical needs and, of course, to celebrating Indian festivals such as Durga Puja and Diwali. Every child’s religion is respected. Where a child has a family and home, the parents agree to the sponsorship and the child can return home for holidays.
One-off donations help pay for general projects such as ceiling fans, first aid equipment, computer lessons, learning English, or just a fun picnic outing.
Save a Child in India
The Residential Homes and the children
Children sponsored through Save a Child live in established Residential Homes in Delhi, Kolkata, Barrackpore and rural West Bengal.
The Homes receive children who may have been abandoned, orphaned or come from a poor family unable to cope. As they grow up, good grades in school open up the opportunity for further education. Equally, teenagers can learn practical skills for reliable employment. The aim is that a child leaves the Home self-reliant. Sometimes, their families’ economic situation improves and the child can return to live with them and go to school nearby. All these outcomes are success stories.
Save a Child keeps in close contact with the director and staff of each Home, so it can be involved in discussions over policy and can positively respond to a Home’s needs and concerns – perhaps funds for a computer teacher, Braille books for blind boys, or a concern about a child’s development. Being a small charity, it can focus on specific needs.
In its commitment to supporting a child for the long-term to the conclusion of education and training, Save a Child funds a number of older children who sometimes progress to college where they live in hostels - a great achievement.
Save a Child Field Trips
Save a Child funds two people to do their Field Trip, usually once a year. Representing Save a Child and all sponsors, they visit all four residential Homes to photograph and meet with each sponsored child.
This is the moment to learn, face to face and one by one, how each child is progressing in social life, health and schooling, and to take an official photograph which is a visual document of the child’s development. Field workers also see Save a Child’s general projects in action.
On return to the UK, the photograph and report are sent to each child’s sponsor.
Save a Child Residential Homes
Save a Child’s representatives visit each Home on the field trip, usually once a year, to spend time with the Home’s administrators and staff and to meet with each sponsored child. These relationships have been nurtured since Save a Child was founded in 1986. Here is a short profile on each Home.
All Bengal Women’s Union (http://www.abwu.org.in/)
President: Mrs Ratna Sen
With a long history of providing support for destitute and exploited women and children, ABWU celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 2010. Its central Kolkata campus is near the well-known Khaligat Temple. The Children’s Welfare Home houses some 160 girls between the ages of 5 and 18 who are either orphans, abandoned, abused or from destitute families. In addition, some of the girls have been through police court protection as a result of the sex trafficking or domestic slavery of their mothers or, occasionally, themselves. Girls attend primary school within the Home, then the able ones attend secondary education at a local state school.
The After Care Home on the same site provides accommodation for girls over the age of 18. Here SaC’s sponsored girls can continue their education – even sometimes to college – or train in practical skills.
In addition to sponsoring girls here, Save a Child supports projects. Artist Val Armstrong worked with the girls to design and paint a mural in their dining hall; a joint project with the Dragon School in England raised funds for insecticidal mosquito nets and fans for dormitories. In 2012, Edwin Taylor’s gift kick-started the voluntary and popular Spoken English classes which continue. In 2014 SaC initiated four-year-long support for counselling for girls in trauma due to their background or experiences. In 2015-16 Deborah Harse made a series of documentary films there.
Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission (http://www.rkvm.org)
General Secretary: Swami Nityarupananda
The Mission, also known as RKVM, was founded as a residential Home for deprived children in 1976 at Barrackpore on the banks of the Hooghly River, north of Kolkata in West Bengal. While the Barrackpore headquarters sprawl over a large campus, RKVM now also runs smaller satellite Homes across West Bengal for boys and girls, each with its own school and practical training workshops.
Save a Child sponsors children at Barrackpore and in some of the rural locations. These include Purulia in the impoverished western part of the state; and Joyrambati which is a major pilgrimage destination for the Ramakrishna Vivekananda followers. SaC also supports RKVM’s Home at Suryapur, near Barrackpore, which is for girls with visual and hearing impairments.
RKVM is mainly run by monks and nuns who follow the teachings of the pioneering and globally respected Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902). He believed in helping deprived children through two gifts: love and education. RKVM’s renowned education is endorsed by their acclaimed on-site schools; many students continue to college.
Swami Nityarupananda, General Secretary since 2013, grew up at the Mission. He understands what it is to be a deprived child arriving at a big institution, away from the village. In his devotion to give better service to the poor, he wins the help of the state government and ex-students.
In addition to sponsoring boys and girls from all situations, Save a Child is a strong supporter of Swamiji’s efforts to reach out to the extremely poor, reclusive, forest-dwelling Sabar tribe, to help their children. Other projects include spoken English and bringing therapeutic music into the dormitories.
Institution for the Blind (http://www.ifb1939.org/)
Office Secretary: Mr R D Gaur
The mission of Institution for the Blind (IfB) is to integrate the visually impaired into the mainstream of social life, so they have self-reliance, all-round personality development, and equal opportunity.
This is the oldest school for blind and partially blind boys in India, established in Delhi in 1947 having been founded eight years earlier in Lahore. Mahatma Gandhi helped IfB get its plot of land in central Delhi’s Punchkuin Road. IfB provides a residential Home and school for blind and partially-sighted boys from a wide area across north India, often from remote regions where there are no facilities for the visually impaired.
The Home’s on-site school teaches in Braille and goes up to class 8, after which boys attend a local government school. Partially-sighted boys use a prisma magnifying machine to help with reading, and most boys take computer studies. Many boys achieve high academic results and a growing number progress to Delhi University, while the less academic receive practical training. The boys are known for their considerable music and sports skills – they are invited to give concerts at major Delhi events, and their cricket team (using a ball with dried seeds inside it) competes internationally.
Save a Child supporters fund Braille text books and musical instruments – music and singing are key elements of the boys’ education and a potential skill for employment later. They also fund the salary of a music teacher, a computer teacher and a House Mother who brings a maternal element to this boys-only establishment.
Shridigamber Jain Mahila Ashram
General Secretary and Treasurer: Mrs Ritu Das
This small charitable institution in central Delhi was founded in 1953 by Mrs Das’s grandmother, to give education and protection to girls and women, to provide ‘all the love and care of a family home’. For the hundred or so girls from disadvantaged backgrounds who live there, it does just that. In the pristine home, with an on-site temple, the girls take full part in the spice-grinding, cooking and cleaning. They often excel at their nearby school. Some progress to advance education while others train in such skills as tailoring and embroidery.
Outside of formal education, the girls do yoga, dance, cooking and learn how to use the Home’s computers to maximize their employment opportunities so they can be self-reliant. The Home prides itself in promoting family values and encourages girls to maintain contact after they leave.
Each year Save a Child wholly or partly funds the ashram’s trip to a different part of North India, when girls, teachers and staff all enjoy sightseeing, picnics and ice-creams as they encounter new landscapes, peoples, and customs of their great country.
The Children's Stories
Every child has a personal story – here are some from Save a Child’s 30 years of work. Long-term sponsorship to transform lives.
Shyamali was a child sweeper in a hair salon because her mother could not cope. Aged 7 she became the first Save a Child sponsored child. She lived in the ABWU Home in Kolkata and ended her schooling with a beautician course – a useful skill for village woman. Today, she and her husband, who works in a restaurant, have two children and their own home. In the photo, she is with her sister Metali, also sponsored by SaC, and their families. Louise Nicholson, her sponsor, stands behind. It was meeting Shyamali in 1985 that inspired her to found Save a Child.
Debadri Sekhar won a place at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, one of India’s best colleges, to do a PhD in zoology starting in 2016. He is the first SaC-sponsored student to achieve this. As a first-generation student at RKVM’s high quality schools, Debadri used his talents and his determination to transform his prospects. He takes Save a Child’s core mission to dynamically change a deprived child’s opportunities through long term sponsorship to its highest conclusion. Debadri also had the encouragement of his mother, despite being abandoned by her husband and bringing up four boys.
Bandana, the daughter of an impoverished rickshaw driver who abandoned his family, came to live at ABWU Home in central Kolkata when she was five years old. There, she is safe, well fed, healthy and loved. In the creche she learns alphabets, numbers, rhymes and craft. She has settled well and is happy and healthy.
Anima came to RKVM’s Home at Joyrambati as a shy 4-year-old; three years later she is settled, confident and studying in Upper Kindergarten as a first-generation schoolchild. Anima belongs to the extremely poor Sabar tribal community who live West Bengal forests – her father earns about Rs400 ($8) a month, not enough to feed his family. Today, she enjoys her studies and likes playing badminton and eating mangoes in the summer. She dreams of becoming a teacher.
Cheerful 12-year-old Dheeraj is completely blind. His family brought him to live at Institution for the Blind in Delhi so he could have plenty of professional help and encouragement, and the maximize his opportunities. In school, he is in Class 5 where his favorite subject is social studies. Dheeraj dreams of going to America to study science and technology.
Arundhati, sponsored by Save a Child for some years, lives at Jain Ashram in Delhi. She is now taking her BCA (Bachelor of Computer Application) at Indira Gandhi National Open University established in 1985 to build a more educated society by offering quality teaching through open and distance learning. Having suffered a tough start in life, she is blossoming to her full potential.
Ghanashyam is one of four children whose father, a laborer, earned so little the whole family was destitute. His parents brought him to RKVM’s Home at Purulia in West Bengal, asking them to give him a secure life and an education. Ghanashyam is in Class 6, excels at math and wants to be a math teacher. Surprising for an Indian, he prefers football over cricket.
11-year-old Riya’s mother had no option but to bring her daughter to ABWU Home in Kolkata for care and protection: having been deserted by her husband, she had to work all day. Riya is now healthy, happy, sociable and is a good student in school – she is already in Class 5.
Bappa is an articulate 25-year-old who speaks good Bengali and English. This belies his early years: he and his brother, aged 5 and 3, were left orphans by their impoverished parents. Fortunately, an uncle brought them to RKVM at Barrackpore. Bappa thrived, especially in his studies. He went to college, studied hard and became a physiotherapist.
Sneha lived at the Jain Ashram in Delhi since she was young. By the time she was 15 she was achieving high marks in science and arts. She also took part in the Ashram’s dancing, stitching classes and basketball, and loved painting. Sneha had become a confident, well-rounded, happy, healthy teenager. The contrasts with her arrival as a young child from a Bihar village where her father had abandoned the family and her mother was earning just Rs2000 (about $40) a month, inadequate for feeding three daughters. What a change in circumstances!
Born in a village in Uttar Pradesh, a state where many live below the poverty line, Ram lost his sight in an accident. His school teacher saw he was bright and suggested he go to Institute for the Blind in Delhi to have a better chance for education. Save a Child found a sponsor for him. Excelling in his studies, Ram studies at Kirori Mal College in Delhi for a History Honors degree funded by a Save a Child Scholarship.
Rimu came to live at ABWU Home when she was 10 years old because her parents could not afford to feed her. For six years she benefitted from the love, nutrition, well-ordered life and education at ABWU. In 2016 her father’s earnings improved. Rimu returned to her village to live in the joint family home with her grandmother and aunts. There, she continues her schooling in her community, building on the experiences she benefitted from at ABWU. Save a Child sees this as a success story.
Aakash is a studious 17-year-old who is originally from Delhi where he has two brothers and one sister. He is currently in Class 10 and his favorite subjects are Math and English. Since he does so well in these subjects, he hopes to become a bank manager one day. His favorite animal is a mouse because it is a little and beautiful animal. Aakash likes the film star Shahid Kapoor because he is a handsome hero. One day, Aakash hopes to go to America because it is a big and famous country. In his free time, Aakash enjoys playing cricket and kabbadi with his friends, but studying math makes him the happiest.
Chirashree is a kind and soft-spoken 9-year-old studying and living at Rama Krishna Vivekananda Mission. She is originally from West Bengal where she has one older sister. She is currently in Class 4 and her favorite subject is English. When she is older, she wants to become an English teacher. In her free time, Chirashree likes to dance and play kabbadi with her friends. Her favorite food is chili chicken and her favorite animal is the rabbit because she has a pet rabbit at her home. If she could go anywhere, Chirashree would go to America to see all of the nature there. Chirashree is the happiest when she is playing with friends.
Shntu is 12-years-old and in Class 3 at the Institute for the Blind. He is originally from Uttar Pradesh state which has no provisions for the visually impaired. English and Music are his favorite subjects and one day he wants to be a music teacher. Shntu is a very talented harmonium player. His dream is to explore the big cities of Kolkata and Mumbai, and perhaps his music skills will take him to both.
After Soma’s father, a tea-seller, died of kidney failure, her destitute mother brought her to ABWU Home in Kolkata and entrusted her to their care. Soma loves life and is now fully healthy and enjoying school in Kindergarten class.
11-year-old Chandra lives at IfB in Delhi. He was born doubly disadvantaged: completely blind and very poor. Chandra is one of six children whose father, an impoverished itinerant laborer, could not feed his family. Despite these double hardships, Chandra has a lively personality and enjoys both school and the many activities that IfB offers, especially music.
Ashim lives at Joyrambati, a countryside Home run by RKVM. When his laborer father could not earn enough to keep three children, he entrusted Ashim to Swamiji’s care at RKVM. There, he grows healthier every day, is already in Class 2 and especially loves his history lessons.
Kinker, now 11, has lived most of his life in acute poverty. His father, a cultivator scratching a living on seasonal earnings, could not adequately feed his wife and three children. In 2015 he brought Kinker to RKVM’s home at Purulia, not too far from their home. Kinker is settling well, eating well, gaining confidence. He is in Class 2 at school and especially enjoys English.
Jaya lives at Jain Ashram in Delhi and has been sponsored for six years by Save a Child. Now 14 years old, she studies hard. Her dream is to be a doctor. Meanwhile, in her free time she enjoys dancing, playing the table game carom, and watching Indian movies starring the great actor Shah Rukh Khan.
News & Events
All the latest news from Save a Child and the children you support!
Breaking news! Tremendous news! We have just learnt that Debadri Sekhar has won a place at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology – one of India’s best colleges – to do a PhD in zoology.
Cycling over 2000km for SaC
Hurray for Sam! His peddling determination got him 2000km from Amritsar to Kolkata, raising funds for Save a Child.
"By cycling along the Grand Trunk Road', Sam says, "I will visit Save A Child's homes in both Delhi and Calcutta, and see first hand not only the problems of extreme poverty but also the ways in which Save A Child actively tackles them."
See his final blog here on the ups and downs of traveling in India ending with the joyful Holi festival.
Please support Sam by donating here - even a small donation makes a big difference to how much we can help the kids. All money raised is used for Save A Child work - for US tax payers this means your gift is 100% tax deductible.
SaC-sponsored Debadri Sekhar to do his PhD at IIT
Breaking news! Tremendous news! We have just learnt that Debadri Sekhar has won a place at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology – one of India’s best colleges – to do a PhD in zoology. He is the first Save a Child sponsored student to achieve this. Furthermore, he completed the All Indian Eligibility Test as qualifies for a full scholarship.
As a first generation child receiving the quality education that RKVM offers, Debadri used his talents and his determination to transform his prospects. He takes Save a Child’s core mission to dynamically change a deprived child’s opportunities through long term sponsorship to its highest conclusion. Debadri also had the encouragement of his mother, despite being abandoned by her husband and bringing up four boys. RKVM was essential, as was Save a Child’s long term assistance.
Debadri’s sponsors for many years have been a British couple who watched his stellar academic record, year on year. Debadri never knew their names, but was moved to write via Swamiji to thank them: “It is my great pleasure to inform you that I have qualified IIT-gate exam 2016 with All India ranking 209, and 97.97% in Life Sciences. Many thanks to RKVM, SaC and my sponsors abroad. Many many thanks from my heart & soul to you, ‘Save a Child’. Your program is truly helpful and remarkable. In future I will also be very happy to be a part of the program for sure, to help underprivileged children.”
All of us at Save a Child send hearty congratulations to Debadri and join in his thanks to his sponsors.
Deborah Harse returns to complete shooting her films
With huge generosity, film-maker Deborah Harse is making a film about each Home SaC works with. The first, called Playing by Ear, is about Institution for the Blind in Delhi. It was premiered at sold out SaC dinners in London and New York, and you can watch it on our website.
Next up will be the one for RKVM. We can hardly wait! Here, Deborah shares her thoughts on the project and how she keeps up her energy – and gives us a glimpse of her film.
A note from Deborah Harse: My journey into Save a Child’s world in India
The winter of 2016 marked my third trip shooting for SaC and I have now visited all four Homes twice. I have learnt much in my years of travel in India. But this is different: spending extended periods at the Homes has allowed for a deepening of relationships with sponsored children as well as remarkable staff – including the cooks.
I love food, I eat every different kind possible! At each Home I have made a special relationship with the cooks. I have Mr. Singh at IfB, Manju at ABWU and I have four cooks at RKVM. Oh, my goodness, there is a cook at the school ‘no.54’ at Barrackpore who is an ‘artiste’ in every sense of the word. She cooks dishes especially for me, really sophisticated things with soy, coconut, every vegetable. Truly, the kids at all the SaC Homes are really, really lucky to have such nutritious food and dedicated cooks!
The purpose of my films is to raise awareness and gain more sponsors for the children, and I am glad this happens after the screenings. Here is a segment from the RKVM film I am now working on. What a cool song they sing! It’s by A H Rahman. The kids sang and danced for days. It was their annual programme, competitive with a big prize giving at the end. It is part of the variety of the education they enjoy above and beyond academics.
I hope it will inspire you to sponsor a child!
Great news for Swamiji: grants from locals
A few of the Save a Child sponsored children living at RKVM’s Joyrambati Home in West Bengal. RKVM has satellite Homes across West Bengal, where the maintenance is a huge burden to Swamiji and his team of monks. One of the biggest rural Homes is Joyrambati where Save a Child sponsors many children.
It was, therefore, a wonderful moment when this month Swamiji received the good news that the Governor of West Bengal has awarded funds to repair Joyrambati’s boundary wall.
The same week a second gift arrived, this time from a Member of Parliament for building more rooms in the boys’ section there.
Save a Child does not fund capital projects such as there. It is good to know that RKVM has an international support team for its needs, and that it includes the state government and individual Indian people.
Devon Armstrong at RKVM to teach with words and signs
Under the auspices of Save a Child, Devon Armstrong – who starts at university to read religious studies this September – spent a few weeks at RKVM’s big campus at Barrackpore outside Kolkata, teaching English and theater at some of the several schools.
Devon experienced first-hand today what Vivekananda aimed to do: ‘uplift poor children through education’. She was especially impressed by girls in their mid-teens whose written English, she found, ‘astounding, so articulate and such good grammar too’; and who were so aware of women’s social issues – and wanted to solve them!
Here are three extracts from her diary:
The school at No 39, on RKVM campus:
One of my most challenging teaching tasks was with a group of 7-10-year-old girls who spoke barely any English yet. They had all been taught to say ‘Miss, can I go to the toilet?’ and ‘How are you? What’s your name?’, but they didn’t know words like ‘color’, ‘draw’, ‘copy’ or ‘sit down’, so instructing the class had to be done almost entirely through gesture and demonstration. The teachers and staff didn’t speak any English either, so I was totally on my own. First I got them to draw some animals and after a while the language barrier didn’t seem such a problem because we all enjoyed drawing and painting and we found ways to communicate. These girls really charmed me with their enthusiasm, and their pictures were wonderfully fresh.
A morning journey near Barrackpore:
From the Jeep driven by one of the monks I saw all life in the streets – cows, pigs, a chicken crammed into large crates, commuters in shirts and suits waiting for a bus, lots of schools, little shops frying up rotis (unleavened bread) to be served to hungry customers for breakfast, run down shacks, men in bandanas shoveling gravel into a truck, a baby precariously scaling straw bales (unknown to his mother). And the smells…wow. Such an array of different smells, every few yards a new smell would blast through my open window… some good, some horrendous. I got fresh flowers and cooking meat, rubbish and sewage, urine and mouth-watering spicy scents, petrol fumes and animal manure.
Suryapur Home for Girls:
The girls are mostly deaf or blind, and SaC sponsors a number of these doubly disadvantaged children. On my arrival, the hearing-impaired girls were very excited and signed ferociously to try and get to know me. Amazingly, it was easier to communicate with these deaf girls than with children who could speak but had no English, because they always use signs and gestures instead of words. One girl would not let go of my hand; she had been abandoned by her parents when she was only three years old, yet she was full of energy, enthusiasm and love.
I joined them for breakfast, watching the deaf girls helping the blind girls navigate up and down the steps to the canteen area. Then I attended some lessons. The deaf girls could be quite cheeky – every time the teacher’s back was turned they’d have whole conversations in sign language, and because they didn’t make any noise the teacher had no idea!
In the afternoon we watched a music lesson. The girls sat crammed together and sang in unison with beautiful, powerful voices – they were so happy to sing. Then we headed to the temple to see an incredibly vibrant dance session where the deaf girls danced in groups to music played very loudly so they could pick up the vibrations. They were fantastic dancers, full of joy.
At Suryapur, the positive attitude of these disadvantaged girls rubbed off on me. At university, I plan to find sponsors for Save a Child children at RKVM.
Why Save a Child does an annual field trip
Our annual field trip validates Save a Child and reassures you, the donor. This is how it works: volunteers representing SaC board members and sponsors go to India where they visit the four residential Homes we work with to meet and photograph every sponsored child, note the progress of the children and SaC’s special programmes, and sit with the administrators to discuss problems, needs and, of course, the wish-list for future projects!
This year, Sonia Pizzi and Julie Mehta, both from New York, led Save a Child’s 2015 field work trip in late November. Julie’s Indian origins and baskets of candies were a winner in gaining the kids’ confidence. Shortly, each SaC sponsor will receive from board member Jane Kotlyar the photograph and report for their sponsored child or children.
A big thank you to Sonia, Julie and Jane who give their time and skills with unstinting generosity.
Julie gives her summary of the field work trip
Over the past few years I have spent a lot of time in India. Each visit, I leave the country a little more humbled than when I arrived. This year was no exception.
Sonia and I started our field trip work in Delhi. First we visited the Jain Ashram to meet SaC-sponsored girls living there. Most are first generation learners, many with promising futures. This is not only a testament to the young women, but also, to their families who see the value in sending their daughters to school.
Next stop was the Institution for the Blind (IfB), a residential Home for blind and partially blind boys, with an on-site school. We met SaC-sponsors boys there and also some older students who are now at Delhi University studying for degrees. Even more impressive to me that their education achievement was to see their maturity and self-sufficiency. I watched these young men navigate through Delhi traffic on their own and make their way through the hustle and bustle of the city to the train station that would take them back to their homes. There are taxis, buses, scooters, cows, and people coming from all directions. It made me grateful for having all my senses. To be honest, I have difficulty crossing the streets in India! What may seem like a small feat to some is in actuality a huge accomplishment to others.
Sonia and I flew to Kolkata to visit the two other Homes. We were met at the airport by the monks from Ramkrishna Vivekananda Mission (RKVM) which has its expansive headquarters at Barrackpore outside the city. Meeting with younger students who come from underprivileged areas was inspiring. Although young, some dream of becoming doctors and police officers, hoping to make improvements in their villages. At RKVM Save a Child has also been sponsoring a large number of older students through college. We met with them, too, and it was in many cases equally inspiring. Some students traveled for hours to meet with Sonia and me, and we learned that many traveled up to three hours (round trip) to go to class and receive an education. This definitely puts sitting angrily in NYC traffic for an hour to go to work in perspective!
The last home Sonia and I visited was The All Bengal Women’s Union Welfare Home for Girls (ABWU). It gives refuge to women and children who have suffered all manner of abuse. Some of SaC-sponsored girls are excelling in school, while others are finding their aptitude in sports. Each has to overcome past experiences and look forward: one girls we met has overcome depression through creating art, and is now studying for a law degree with the dream of becoming a lawyer.
In a span of just thirteen days, Sonia and I met with over hour hundred children and students with diverse backgrounds. They taught me to appreciate all I have. They also gave me hope for the future of India.
Sonia shares a special memory from each residential home
All Bengal Women’s Union Welfare Home for Girls (ABWU), Kolkata
Julie and I were being given a tour of ABWU, where SaC sponsored its first children in 1985. We came to “the sick babies room”, assigned to babies from special circumstances. It contained two toddlers, a girl and a boy.
Up to now we had been meeting the smiling sponsored children who are older, settled, well-fed, going to school, have friends, passions and a life. What we saw now was the inception, the condition some children are in when they come to the Homes that SaC works with.
The girl’s right arm had been wantonly broken in two spots by her drunken father who beat her with the intention of killing her. Although ABWU can give her love and care, the girl’s legal status is such that a parent, however incompetent, has the right to take the child back home.
The boy, about fourteen months old, had just been given heart surgery. A full year earlier the police had found the two-month-old baby abandoned near a train station and brought him to ABWU. Because the baby was so malnourished, it took a year to strengthen his immune system enough for surgery.
While it was extremely troubling for us to see this first hand, it made me very proud that Save a Child is able to give woefully deprived children a fresh chance through sponsorship.
Institution for the Blind (IfB), Delhi
I was visiting IFB with my colleague Julie, we met all of our further education sponsored children (10 of them). We met them in a park right in front of Delhi University. We sat on the grass and talked to them. They each have a special talent and were not afraid to show it. While singing, their beautiful voices attracted other students, until we realized we were circled by at least 30 people. At the end everybody applauded. We were delighted to meet such talented and smart young fellows.
Even if they are visually impaired, the boys cross the street in pairs. I cannot tell you how hard it is to cross the street in Delhi, you almost need a PhD to do that. The boys travel by subway in all the directions of the city, by helping each other.
After that we headed to IFB, where the management beautifully greeted us. The children sang and played their favorite songs to welcome us. One of the songs even had the word “welcome” in English. It made us realize that singing is such an important thing in their lives, it filled our hearts with joy.
We met with ~70 children and spoke to them about their accomplishments. We were happy to find out that they still participate in cricket competitions and win prizes every year.
The children are very excited about the computer and English classes; their education moves forward with great results!
Shridigamber Jain Mahila Ashram (Jain Ashram), Delhi
We were visiting Jain Ashram in New Delhi and had a wonderful time there. The home has about 100 girls living there, right near Old Delhi. The building is extremely clean and the girls take pride in their cooking. Which I can confirm, the food was delicious. After meeting all of the sponsored girls, they themselves wanted to do something nice for us. So we celebrated Diwali, even though the holiday happened 5 days before. We lit a bunch of fireworks and took a lot of pictures; we felt welcomed and spoiled. I am thanking all of the girls for making that day special for us!
Ramkrishna Vivekananda Mission (RKVM), Barrackpore, West Bengal
RKVM is a big institution with multiple satellite homes around West Bengal. We met around 150 sponsored children and around 40 young adults who are part of SaC’s further education programs. These included the student Bappa Chaterjee who has been one of our long-term sponsored children. But we did not see him. Instead, we were given the good news that Bappa had just recently completed his education and left the program. Even better news, he has a job as a physiotherapist at a prestigious clinic in Kolkata.
I felt really happy for him. It made me once again proud of Save a Child. It was an exciting result for Save a Child’s mission to help underprivileged children get an education, a job and a better life. Job well done!
RKVM alum sponsors at his alma mata
Subhajit Sengupta and his friend Hiya Banerjee sponsor Suryamoni Sabar and Pushpa Sabar. These two girls, who come from the deprived tribal area of Purulia district in West Bengal, are now thriving at Ramkrishna Vivekananda Mission at Barrackpore (RKVM) ourside Kolkatta.
The connection is extra special for Subhajit: he himself went to a school administered by Ramkrishna Mission which launched him on a string of education opportunities so that today he is doing his postdoc at a medical research institute in Chicago.
Subhajit found Save a Child online. It precisely satisfied his desire to give back, to enable other children to make better lives for themselves through education. Recently, he returned to Kolkata to see his family and to visit Suryamoni and Pushpa at RKVM on 3rd Nov.
‘It was a very awesome experience for me’, says Subhijit, ‘meeting the kids, talking to Swamiji.’
Seeing the benefits of sponsorship first-hand
Margaret Wood writes
It was not the trip that I had expected. I’ve been a Save a Child sponsor for some 20 years now, and this was my fourth trip to visit the children I sponsor. A certain routine had developed on previous trips and I expected this one to fit the same mould. It didn’t.
On the first few visits the children had been friendly and polite, but I was an auntie from England who came bearing gifts, no more – although I did become aware that some children (I sponsor a number) kept and treasured my annual Christmas cards and the photos I sent after previous trips, which I thought rather sweet. This trip however, it hit with full force just how important sponsors can be psychologically to the children, not just financially.
I’ve been sponsoring Amit for about 10 years. I first met him in 2008 as a shy lad living at Arya Bal Griha Orphanage Home for Boys in Delhi. It was immediately apparent that he is an exceptional artist. The most stunning portraits, still life, abstracts. When I saw him again in 2011 he had grown (of course!) and his ambition was rearing its head. I suggested to him parking an easel outside a 5 star hotel and offering to do portraits of wealthy tourists! Trouble was how he would get to the hotel and who would pay his bus fare…
When I saw him on this trip he had blossomed. Thanks to the efforts of Uma Rani, who works for Divyachaya Trust with whom SaC liaises, he has now completed a Computer Graphics course and is about to interview for a job at Adobe, the global software company! I am so proud of him. To express his appreciation of my sponsorship, Amit had bought me as a gift a picture frame in which he had inserted a print of one of the photos I had taken and sent him after a previous trip…
Jharna is another 10-year-long sponsoree living at Arya. She had lived there since she was 4 years old, finished school there and when I saw her in 2011 had a job in the kitchens making chapatis. She was saving most of her wage in a bank deposit account and wanted desperately to break out into the big world. As single young woman in India, she would have needed a lot of support. We talked at length about the problems and I raised with SaC the possibility of getting her transferred to another part of the home. And she was (although not due to my efforts at all). When I saw her on this trip she too had blossomed. Her new house mother is looking to find her a husband; Jharna’s eyes sparkled!
When she took me to see her dormitory, she shyly took out a little bag from which she took a necklace that she had bought for me after my 2011 visit, confident that I would return to see her again. So moving…
Dhaneshwar lives at Institution for the Blind in Central Delhi. Despite being blind he loves playing cricket with a ball that has a little bell inside to alert him to its approach. He printed my name in Braille, punching the letters with a sharp instrument through the square holes in a hard plastic sheet that he overlays on special paper.
I then flew across to Kolkata to visit children I sponsor at All Bengal Women’s Union Home for Girls. There I met with Mina and Sima, whom I sponsor. Mina is now training to be a nurse, a job that she will do consummately well with her bright smile and engaging manner.
Young Sima is still struggling to figure life out. As a young child, she witnessed her father and brother being shot and killed, and her mother being badly abused. Sima is still an angry little girl, understandably so, but the love and patience of the ABWU team in Kolkata are clearly bearing fruit and a mischievous smile is often to be seen peeking out.
My final visit was to the Ramkrishna Vivekananda Mission at Barrackpore outside Kolkata. There I met with more of my sponsored children, whose progress is further testimony to the care and endeavours of those who have assumed responsibility for their lives. One example is Madan, now studying to become a barrister. Another is Bhadhu, who was a soulful little thing the first time I saw her, cutting paper for making exercise books. She is deaf and dumb. When I saw her in 2011 I didn’t recognise the young lady who came dancing towards me. She had discovered computers and been promoted to teaching I.T., a position she still holds as she happily confirmed to me in sign language on this trip.
What has been so lovely for me is to watch the children emerge from impoverished, sometimes tragic circumstances and to see them grow to realise their potential.
This has only been possible thanks to the endeavours of Louise Nicholson, founder of SaC, and her team – Bill Baker and the other board members in London and New York, and the staff of all four Homes SaC works with. In particular my thanks for this trip go to Swamiji in Barrackpore, Sumita Roy in Kolkata, and Uma Rani and Kamal Chugh in Delhi. I take my hat off to all of them for the wonderful job they are doing transforming lives. They deserve sponsor support.
London and New York Fundraisers
Save a Child’s dinners in London and New York on the eve of its 30th anniversary were splendid evenings full of joy. In London we gathered in Inner Temple Hall in September; in New York it was at Remi restaurant in November.
At each, we screened Deborah Harse’s film about Institute for the Blind, one of the residential Homes where sponsored children live. Louise Nicholson introduced it, saying everyone would be transported to Delhi to, as it were, visit the Home and meet some of the boys. That is just what happened, thanks to Deborah’s skills in story-telling. There was good food and wine, great raffles, and auctions that included holidays to India.
In all, we gained 42 new sponsors and raised money for our Save a Child 2014 Fund to support four programmes at Homes where sponsored children live:
Thank you, thank you, for coming, donating, and giving generous raffle and auction prizes, and for giving 42 deprived children a fresh start through long term sponsorship.
Our special thanks to the staffs of Inner Temple and Remi Restaurant, who were exceptional.
The Save a Child field trip 2016
We have been blessed again with our volunteers! This year Cameron Lang and Anaihita Singh, both students at Durham University in the UK, spent their Christmas vacation doing our Field Trip. Between December 18 and January 9, with a pause for Christmas celebrations in Delhi, they met and photographed most of our 400 or so sponsored children and students. Each report and photo goes on Save a Child’s database record and is sent to the sponsor as an update on the child’s progress. Cam and Ani achieved this complex job with impressive commitment, energy, efficiency and smiles! We are deeply grateful to them.
Please enjoy their reports below – the overall experience and then their visits to all four residential Homes we work with.
Our field work trip – a rollercoaster experience
Having done some in-depth volunteering experiences already, we both grabbed the opportunity to work with Save a Child. We strongly believe in education as a tool for change, and it was wonderful to see this in action throughout our field trip.
It was SaC trustee Louise Sykes who suggested the idea in September. The next thing we knew our CVs were being reviewed! Shortly afterwards, we met with Louise Nicholson, Save A Child’s founder, in London to discuss the field trip’s objectives in detail – she made no bones about it being hard work but we were even more excited. Then began the preparations, ranging from acquainting ourselves with SaC’s database which we’d be using for the work to a shopping trip around Durham to buy gifts and plenty of local sweets to give the staff and children we’d be meeting.
We set off on December 18 into a real adventure! For Cam, it was a first visit to India; for both of us it was the first visit to Kolkata. The trip brought many new experiences - with a few challenges along the way. We adapted to each new situation as we went along, testing our skills, sharpening our character traits. One day, for instance, we discovered a discrepancy between our updated name lists of the children we were about to meet, fairly alarming, but by stretching our problem-solving and diplomacy skills we sorted it out. Throughout the trip, we met and worked with people of all ages, religious backgrounds and spiritual beliefs, and with three different mother tongues, so our communication skills developed hugely.
The success of our trip would not have been possible without support from many people at Save a Child and in India – we could not have done it without you! Louise and Bill at SaC: thank you for your consistent encouragement and your prompt responses to our long, questioning e-mails. In India, it was inspiring to see the wonderful work at each Home and to meet the dedicated staff; we thank them all. Uma-ji and Kamal-ji, our work in Delhi went smoothly thanks to you being by our side throughout. Swami-ji and Sujit-ji, you made our stay at RKVM very special – you took great care of us and taught us about the Mission’s work across West Bengal. Susmita-ji and all at ABWU, thank you for helping us get everything done so efficiently.
We wish every child we met the very best future. We’ve left India with many memories to treasure, and hope to return one day. Meanwhile, we hope to continue to be a part of Save a Child’s amazing work.
Institution for the Blind, Delhi
The first of the four residential Homes we visited was IfB. We were given a very warm traditional Indian welcome with garlands from some of the students, and met Mr. Gambhir and Mr. Gaur, two of the board members. After a tour of the Home, where we saw the computers whose teaching SaC funds, we enjoyed a splendid musical performance by some of the boys taught by the SaC-funded music teacher. SaC also sponsors the House Mother, a lovely lady who clearly dotes on the boys but told us she also keeps them in order! That first day we started to meet the sponsored children. The older students chatted with us at length and gave us insights into their school curriculum and day-to-day lives at the home. It was inspiring to see that many had bright future ambitions and did not let their disability hold them back from living a full life. See Deborah Harse’s film about IfB
Jain Ashram, Delhi
Here we met Mrs. Ritu Das, who oversees the running of the home – her grandmother founded it. We sipped tea while she told us about the history of Ashram, its mission and purpose. One of the SaCsponsored Further Education students who lives at the Ashram then showed us around. We were impressed by its open and relaxed atmosphere, its good maintenance and its tidiness. After a delicious home-cooked lunch – the girls help with the cooking - we got down to meeting and chatting with the sponsored girls on return from their annual school function. They told us about their progress in school, their many extracurricular activities, and their ambitious hopes for the future!
Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission, Barrackpore and across West Bengal
The Mission at Barrackpore is a large complex beside the Hooghly River outside Kolkata. We stayed in a quaint residential block near their head office building from where Swamiji and his monks oversee 47 centres throughout India! We would visit several over our eight-day stay.
Our first two days were taken up meeting with the sponsored children living at Barrackpore and nearby Suryapur. Then we went into rural West Bengal to Joyrambati to see more SaC-sponsored children. It is a very spiritual place. We attended the morning and evening prayers at local temples and the monks taught us about RKVM and the beliefs it was founded on. From here, we journeyed deeper into the countryside to Purulia, our final RKVM stop. While we stayed here, we visited a local village to understand better the conditions that lead parents to bring their children to live at RKVM Homes. It was an eye-opening, humbling experience to see how very little some families have, and yet how warm and welcoming they were to us. This visit sharpened our appreciation of what RKVM offers children of the very poor. Seeing the progress of the children in the Homes was even more uplifting and encouraging.
Back at Barrackpore, we met Swami Nityarupananda, General Secretary of RKVM. He shared with us some of the core beliefs of the mission, which mirror his own because he was brought up there. One that stuck out to us was that while RKVM obviously encourages nourishing and looking after the body by providing food, water, clean clothing etc. for these children, they put equal importance on nourishment of the mind through education and spiritual understanding.
All Bengal Women’s Union Welfare Home for Girls, Kolkata
Our last stop, right in the middle of huge Kolkata city, was ABWU. On arrival, we met Mrs Susmita Mitter who is a volunteer deeply involved in every aspect of ABWU. She told us how ABWU helps children from unfortunate backgrounds, from orphans to those who have suffered domestic violence at the hands of their own parents. Despite these misfortunes and thanks to ABWU’s staff, when we met the children we found them thriving, stable and happy. The centre-city campus is very spacious, with a lovely learning environment and space for sports. In addition, the Aftercare Unit gives appropriate care to older girls with slightly more complex troubles.
When we met with the sponsored children we were greatly impressed by their future aspirations and extra-curricular activities - which range from classical dance and singing, to state-level hockey and karate! We also witnessed two of SaC’s sponsored projects in action. At Zohra’s Spoken English class we saw her hold the young girls’ attention for an hour and a half, their eyes fixed on Zohra the entire time. With this charismatic rapport, the girls make great progress even in one lesson! The next day, we met the three counsellors part-funded by SaC to work with the more traumatized girls. They explained to us how they approach their work with the children, and what a difference consistent help can make.
Bill Baker, Sponsorship Director, sees the results of Save a Child’s work in action
If any of us, or any sponsor, needs to check up on the progress of a sponsored child, Bill is the person who has the answers. This March, he took a break from the database to visit two Homes we work with in West Bengal state: All Bengal Women’s Union (ABWU) in Kolkata and Ramakrishna Vivekannada Mission (RKVM), headquartered in Barrackpore outside Kolkata. Here’s his report:
Outstanding education for every child
ABWU and RKVM provide outstanding education and training for the children in their care. You cannot help but be struck the growing reverence for education in India, and the benefits that good education bring to a rapidly modernising economy and society. In each town, you see billboards proclaiming “Be a Topper! ” alongside photos of the most successful candidates for each recent state-wide exam. Outside many school gates there are gaggle of parents, usually mothers, ready to scoop up children and supervise homework. Chinese Tiger mothers: meet your Bengal Tiger equivalent!
RKVM has a very substantial educational mission with some 16,475 students on the rolls in different locations across West Bengal. Most are fee-paying, so these funds and contributions from Save a Child and other charities and individuals enable more than 1,400 orphans and other children from very deprived backgrounds to be educated and cared for free of charge. An outstanding feature of the RKVM ethos is that no distinction is made between the fee-paying children and those who are sponsored. From what I observed, all children benefit from this enlightened policy.
Rinki Das, soaring thanks to long-term sponsorship
At Barrackpore, I met Rinki Das who was sponsored through Save a Child for many years and returned there to tell me of her success. Rinki, now 25, came to RKVM as a young child, her father having died from snakebite and her mother, subsisting on meagre earnings as an ayah (nanny), unable to give her bright and ambitious daughter the education she needed. She brought her to RKVM. Rinki soared at school, then trained as a state-registered nurse at the respected Burdwan Medical College. She now works at as a staff nurse at the new Baruipur Super Speciality Hospital near Kolkata.
Thanks to her sponsor, Rinki was supported through Save a Child for her years at RKVM and then through Higher Secondary and Further Education. One of her happiest memories is when her sponsor visited India and came to meet her. Rinki works extremely hard, often on 12-hour shifts, and her good salary means she can support her mother.
More children need sponsors – including articulate and gifted teens
Later that day, I met and chatted individually with 30 children of different ages. They all need sponsorship so they can thrive and benefit from rich environment that RKVM provides. Among them was a group of older boys, immaculate in their uniform of blue shirts and white trousers, every one of them charming and articulate with proven academic achievement and focused ambition.
And yet…. each has had to overcome considerable adversity and deprivation to get this far. Today, these boys need support to reach their goals.
Typical is Debasish Halder who was a young orphan when he arrived at RKVM. Debasish, now 16, is focused on his ambition to become a software engineer and is a leader in his year at school. I asked him about favourite sports teams and heroes. In this part of India, football is as popular as cricket, and Debasish follows football. His team is England – although the usual choice is Portugal, Argentina or Brazil and the players Ronaldo, Messi or Neymar!
Who will sponsor a boy like Debasish, to enable him to reach the sort of success that Rinki has achieved?
Here are some for you to enjoy – you will really feel you are visiting the children!
‘Playing by Ear’, about Institution for the Blind, Delhi
Hearing impaired girls dance at Suryapur
‘Dance’, about the happiness it brings at ABWU, Kolkata
‘Fred’s Krva Maga Class’, about teaching self-defence at ABWU, Kolkata.
‘Saathi’, a girl at ABWU named Saathi tells her remarkable story of determination (4 mins)
‘Indiawalla’, RKVM’s ‘happy new year’ celebration, a Bollywood-style performance about Swami Vivekananda
Girls together, dancing and sharing’, about Jain Mahila Ashram, Delhi
See why our sponsors chose to support Save a Child
Whenever I visit a country I try to leave nothing but footsteps and a legacy, and take away fantastic memories. I also love children and nothing is more important than to give a child a safe and happy childhood. So after two fabulous walks in the Indian Himalayas, I decided to look for a charity that would give severely disadvantaged children long-term support to see them into adulthood. If you give a child a home, an education and love you are sowing the seeds for a productive and happy life. Save a Child seemed the best charity to provide all three and I have been supporting them since 2008. I receive regular updates and am totally satisfied that my money is extremely well spent and benefits all children concerned.
Pia — London
Out of the hundreds of organizations that I could have chosen to sponsor a child in India, I chose Save A Child America. With Save A Child America, I know that 100% of my donation goes directly to the child who I am sponsoring which provides me with confidence that my donation is being used as I want it to be. The sponsorship process is simple and quick and I was provided with the child’s picture and the biodata, which allows me to see exactly who I am helping. Most importantly, I know that the child I sponsored will be given an education that she otherwise would not have had the opportunity to have without Save A Child America’s involvement.
Joshi — New York
Of all the organizations through which one can sponsor a child, Save a Child helps children in all the ways I wish I could help them: providing stability; giving them hope by giving them a chance; and most importantly an education to make them self-sufficient. But just as important to me is seeing how much care Save a Child takes to make sure that every child is looked after well and that the funds sent to sponsor each child really do reach that child and are spent appropriately. There are so many destitute and needy children in the world. And I’ve often thought, “If I could only help one…”. What an incredible privilege to be able to help through Save a Child America not just one child, but help an organization that helps so many.
Erika — New York
Some years ago, while working in Kolkata with Louise, founder of Save a Child, I took the opportunity to visit the child I sponsor. We simply called and went along to the city-centre All Bengal Women’s Union Home. We also made a similarly informal day trip to the Ramakrishna Vivekenanda Mission on a sprawling riverside estate at Barrackpore. At both, I saw how much the children blossom in protective and nurturing Homes, and in each other’s company – in the classroom and playground. My experience of seeing children sponsored through Save a Child at work and play was so inspirational that by the end of the journey, I added another four children to my sponsored Indian family.
Penny — London
Save a Child UK was founded in 1986; Save a Child (America) Inc in 2010. They are run by Trustees (UK), a Board (US) and Supporters.
Founder and Chairman SaC UK, Founder and President SaC (America) Inc
I founded Save a Child in my London kitchen in 1985 after my first book, a guide to India, was published. The aim was to give some of India’s deprived children a better chance, and to enable other people to do the same. It was a practical way of ‘giving back’.
Save a Child has seen several hundred children gain confidence, health and happiness so they can blossom to their potential. And we want to help hundreds more. What can be more satisfying than using a small sum of money to enable a child from a deprived family to have security, food, education and become self-reliant? I have even watched some achieve a college degree.
Living in New York since 2001, I work as an arts journalist and India travel consultant and hold both UK and US citizenship. In 2010 I launched Save a Child (America) Inc, with 501c3 tax status.
The Save a Child model is long-term sponsorship. We also raise funds for special projects such as education and health. My job is to be the bridges between the volunteer UK and US boards of trustees, the sponsors of children and the children themselves living in residential Homes in India – I visit most Homes each year. I also oversee the annual visit of Save a Child volunteers to meet with each sponsored child, a key component of Save a Child’s work.
Save a Child UK
After a career in IT in the City, culminating in working as a Senior Project Manager for the Bank of England, I ‘retired’ to become a freelance Production Manager in theatre. I am now scaling back that work to focus on giving my skills to Save a Child’s administrative work and events.
I grew up with tales of India, my Father having been posted to India during the war when he was in the air force. One of my great-great grandfathers helped bring education into the villages of India during the late 19th Century – an ideal very close to his contemporary, Swami Vivekananda’s, whose Mission at Barrackpore is one of the four Homes where Save a Child supports children. My own first visit to India was in 1980, when travelling overland from Nepal to London. More recently I returned there twice on Louise’s tours to North and South India. Given my family connection with education in India, I am keen to continue the work through Save a Child’s mission to transform deprived Indian children’s opportunities through quality education.
Deputy Chairman, Sponsorship Director & Trustee
Although American born and largely American educated, I have worked in the City of London for over 25 years as a fund manager and consultant. I bring to Save A Child my financial experience.
My first trip to India was during my gap year with a rucksack on my back. The fact that I traveled overland through Iran, Afghanistan and down the Khyber Pass tells you how long ago that was! Since then, I have been interested in and intrigued by India, its peoples and its cultures. I have traveled widely there and maintained close links.
I have sponsored children through Save a Child for many years during which India has changed immensely. It is pleasing that the second chance Save a Child can give to deprived children can often mean a real step up to a full education and thus the ability to earn a living and enjoy a standard of life far in advance of that which their parents have experienced. The Indian economic miracle has left many millions behind, hungry for that second chance which Save a Child can provide.
I am a barrister specialising in employment law, particularly discrimination and equal pay. I first went to India when I was 20 and have been going back ever since. I had supported Save a Child for some years, but it was only when I was invited to become a trustee in 2009 that I became aware how much work this charity does and how many children we can help by ensuring that they receive a good education and are equipped for a future as young adults.
It is such a pleasure when I visit the Homes and see how the children are growing and developing though the assistance we can provide for them. I hope to persuade new sponsors to sign up because of the real effect a small amount of money can have on the lives of these children.
Treasurer & Trustee
I am currently Global Head of Transfer Pricing at XL Catlin, having previously worked in the banking and technology sectors and at PwC where I specialised in finance and tax. I have lived and worked in many European and Asian countries during my career and bring experience of working in diverse cross-culture teams, with a focus on getting things done.
I first came to know Save a Child in 1990, in a newspaper article written by Louise Nicholson. Since then, I have sponsored three children through to the end of their education. What has struck me most about SaC is the strength of the personal connection that sponsors can feel with their children.
As a Trustee, I bring my professional skills to help SaC’s volunteers in the UK, US and India. I help them gain strength in our cross-culture teamwork, so we can increase the number of sponsors for needy Indian children to benefit from a good education and vocational opportunities that will allow them the best chance in adult life.
Save a Child (America) Inc
CPA, Board member and Treasurer
I have sponsored a child through SaC (America) Inc since 2011, when I also joined the Board of SaC (America) Inc and became its Honorary Treasurer.
I am currently working at Ellington Management Group. I have held multiple controller positions in not-for-profit organizations in addition to working over six years in public accounting and tax practice. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and am a Certified Public Accountant licensed in New York State.
I bring my Indian heritage and Indian philanthropic experiences to SaC (America) Inc; I am a founding Board member (2010). When I am in India I can liaise with our Indian colleagues and sponsored children; during my New York stays I offer an up-to-date cultural connection between the West and India. Through SaC (America) Inc my husband and I sponsor a number of children and a House Mother at the Institute for the Blind in Delhi.
I was raised in India and hold an MA graduate in business administration from Rutgers University. I have 20 years’ experience as a consultant in the non-profit sector. Today, I live in New York, London and New Delhi. I have worked with the Rajiv Gandhi Foundatin, INTACH (Indian National Trust for Architectural Conservation and Heritage), and Spic Macay. I run the Trisaraa Trust set up by MGL Corporation, whose mission is to encourage the classical performing arts in general and those of Tamil Nadu, my home state, in particular. In addition, I am actively involved in primary education and health care through the humanitarian work of the Mata Amritanandamayi Trust.
Having a deep commitment to helping give children the opportunities for a better life, I chose to join the SaC Board because its mission is precisely that. Like all Board members, I sponsor a child and then also give my skill set voluntarily.
With my knowledge of communications and social media, I handle the postings in social media, help with organizing events, and liaise with our sponsors. I have a MBA from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies in Romania. My career has been in marketing and advertising. In the US I work for fast-growing companies such as Vector Media, Titan and Omnicom.
In 2015 I was one of the two volunteer field workers who visited all four Homes and met with their staff and most of the SaC-sponsored children. I use that experience to contribute to Board discussions and advise future field workers.
Beth Rudin DeWoody
I have been to India several times and seen the many needs that exist there, especially of deprived children. I believe strongly in the importance of taking care of children worldwide, that every child deserves a good chance. I support SaC (America) Inc in these efforts, most especially in encouraging sponsors to commit to long term sponsorship and leading by example – I sponsor several children through SaC (America) Inc. I am a founding Board member (2010).
Born and raised in New York, I am President of the Rudin family foundations. These support many educational and children’s charitable organizations, focusing on giving practical and responsible help to children. I also sit on various philanthropic boards including The Whitney Museum of Art (Chairman of its Education Committee), New School University (Trustee), New Yorkers for Children, Inc (Board member).
My passion to help children has grown since I have known Louise and learned about Save a Child. I believe we all have an innate desire to help others. So, what better than to sponsor a child long term and see that child’s mind be opened to education, sports and other interests, and then watch potential be realized as the years progress?
Save a Child is a great gem that I stumbled upon. I want to do more than sponsor. As a Board member my aim is to showcase the work it does and to help spread knowledge to my young generation about its mission – giving deprived children in India a fresh chance. Using my management and communication skills gained in the real estate business, I want to arouse the seed of humility that lies with each and every one of us.
I sponsor a child through SaC (America) Inc, and give my skills in finance and banking. Having been raised in India, I have an insider’s understanding of Indian culture which leads me to be committed to working towards providing opportunities to children in India for a better life. With my relationships in banking in the US, I can be instrumental in giving financial advice to SaC (America) Inc and in raising awareness of SaC’s initiatives in the financial world. I am a founding Board member (2010).
I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Bombay and an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business, New York. I worked for 10 years in Corporate Finance in India, and have been in New York since 1995. My career in banking in the US includes 8 years with GE Capital in Corporate Lending, 4 years in Leveraged Lending with Allied Irish Bank; I am now with TD Bank.
Sponsorship & Donation
Your act of kindness changes the child’s future. You lift a child out of poverty to live in an established children’s residential home run by local people.
A £216/$300 a year sponsorship will fund most of a child’s needs.
That is around £4/$6 a week to change a child’s life forever.
Sponsor a child through Save a Child UK or Save a Child (America) Inc now and make a real difference.
You can pay in GBP sterling or USD dollars – just complete the appropriate forms below.
Sponsor from the UK
You can sponsor or make a donation by completing and returning the forms below.
You can also sponsor or make a donation online via Just Giving.
Sponsor from the US
You can sponsor or make a donation online via the Network For Good.