Moving Toward Sustainability
Our interest is to always seek the root cause of any problem we face.
Clearly sustainability of any so called ‘charity’ is essential if we are to make a real difference to people’s lives. It is not easy to continue to gain funding for the care of our children. But our vision to to move beyond this dependent state as quickly as possible.
Our core vision is of course focused on the creation and maintenance of the shelter and natural school for up to 150 homeless children. (Currently there are 86 being cared for here).
But as you explore our site you will understand that the Shikshan Gram Shelter vision is wide and deep. It includes the Strong Village Project which is designed to address the roots of poverty and homelessness by building strength in the villages of rural India.
The adults in the villages are often alcohol and tobacco addicted, inclined to violence and living with little or no understanding of basic hygiene and health care. As a result their children have very poor role models and to address these issues the basis of the project is education, development of community initiatives, parent training and of course training in essential health care.
How is it proposed to do this and for Shikshan Gram to become self sustainable?
The methodology is sound. The Shikshan Gram Shelter has been donated 4 and a half acres of land on the edge of a village. An amazing amount of work has already been done on the major part of a large construction which is to house the children (150) and be a residential ongoing training facility for young adults in karate and self discipline skills.
Satish is 6 months into an intensive residential one year training of 30 young people – volunteers from all over India who are being groomed to become leaders, educators and role models for the village children.
Their training is being overseen by Sensai Arybal a black belt 2nd Dan Karate master and in is conjunction with Shaolin Kung Fu Master Shifu Shi Yan Du (Kanishka Sharma).
Once these people are trained they will work four days a week in their selected villages first gaining the trust of the children, and creating programs for them and then working with the adults as well.
The cornerstone of the project is education – and of course education leads to better healthcare – hygiene standards and parenting skills.
Residential parenting skills weekends will also be held and Satish has already been approached by members of the corporate field interested in team building residential workshops as well.
Hence the training arm of the Shikshan Gram Project is a viable and very interesting aspect to this work with the children. They are always at the centre of the Project – and the training facility and students will become the income generating source.
We will also target overseas Shaolin Kung Fu students to attract them to the one year program. This is an intensive residential training which is unparalleled value for those wishing to train under the true lineage of the Chinese Shaolin Grand Masters.
As a side project we have begun the development of an organic garden to provide healthy food to the children and the training participants. 250 fruit trees have already been planted with this in view. The excess produce from this initiative will be marketed for additional support income.
Where are we now?
The progress that has been made in the past 12 months is incredible. As well as the extensive main building, construction has been completed on accommodation suitable for a number of overseas visitors who are being attracted via the Sage Journeys to India as well as other volunteers who are placed here for experiential work.
This exposure to visitors from overseas brings greater international awareness to the project as well as allowing the children to have contact with many different types of people which builds their confidence and contact with the world around them.
If we do not care for rural India, and give these people an opportunity to be educated and to move up out of the poverty range, hospitals will continue to be overloaded with those who become sick because of the inability to care for themselves as a result of the poor standard of living and education. And those who have fertile minds, simply awaiting the good nutrition that creates healthy brains and bright thinking – will be unable to lift themselves into an educated state.
We believe that the ills of this world are rooted in lack of education at a very basic level – including terrorism and starvation. A population who are well fed, and who are educated do not take up arms or commit self harm or violence to those around them.
Our Requirements to complete the building project:
Currently we are in shortfall of 40 lacs (approx AUD 80,000) to complete the main body of this project and move into a state of self sustainability.
These funds are required to get the building to the standard needed to house the children (currently in rented accommodation) as well as develop the required accommodation facilities for the residential training programs. A complete breakdown of the requirements and the estimated costing is available for examination if required.