Last Saturday after a tiring and emotional morning when I had to play the flute on a funeral, we drove to the other side of Belgium. On a fundraising charity pasta dinner organised by friends of Jan, I got to know more about the Indian project "Ruchika". I had already heard about the project, but didn't know the details about it.

I must say that I was very impressed by it all. It was much bigger than I expected it to be and they've just won the international "The World's Children's Prize for The Rights of The Child" in Sweden. More about the price here. The concept is to bring the school to the children of the slumps if they can't go to school. 20 years ago the volunteers of Ruchika started teaching street children hanging out or working in and around the platforms of the train stations. Then they started open air in most of the slums in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India. The older children could get vocational training, so that they could get a real job later on , rather than sorting out trash.
During those last 20 years, they've also built shelters now for abused children, they setup sanitory projects together with the people from the slums and lately they are helping handicapped children to get the government help they are entitled to, the get them schooling as well, etc etc...

It really seems that they are doing a good job in Bhubaneswar and that they are reaching 4500 children in their slum schools every day with a lot of motivated volunteers.
The Belgian support branch of Ruchika is also sending out physiotherapy trainees, educational volunteers etc... One of Jan's good friends is leaving tomorrow for 3 months of volunteering work. She'll record her stories over here, so lets all support her.

For those of you who get inspired or like to donate money to services where you know what specifically will be done with your money:
For Belgians: check out this or for more international friends: here


leen said…
he, wat leuk,
ik zie je post nu pas! en nu ik er ben kan ik vertellen dat het nog veel groter is dan ik had gedacht: het is over de ganse stad verspreid, met een uitgebreid netwerk van vrijwilligers in goed uitgebouwde projecten...

groetjes vanuit bhubaneswar

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