2023 Current and Ongoing Appeal
We are delighted to launch our 2023 Appeal for a new school bus that costs £23,000. Whilst this is an ambitious target, Fr Leo believes the needs are pressing and not just mechanical. For the past 12 years the old school bus has travelled over 150,000 kms over unmade rural tracks, to reach the outlying villages. Each year repairs have been needed, but now these bills are economically unviable.
Much more importantly, and this is the key to our 2023 Appeal, as well as being needed for the normal route of villages, a new school bus with better suspension will be able to reach several new villages that have been previously unreachable by bus due to the inaccessibility of their roads. (Have a look at the video on the right).
Knowing how life-changing the opportunity to go to Loyola Kapepaladi school is for every child (and in time their whole family too), we feel that it is an excellent idea to widen the outreach to children from more remote villages. With these thoughts in mind, Fr Don has been talking to families from 5 new villages this year. So far he has enrolled 26 children, 2 of whom photographed here, who are really excited at the prospect of joining Loyola Kapepaladi school in June. These 26 children, and their families, have no idea that being part of Loyola Kapepaladi School is quite literally transformational. Over the past 15 years we have seen students who were sponsored throughout their school and university education, now in full time employment. Their salaries are good and increasing year on year, but their intentions and sense of wanting to repay their parents’ sacrifices, is inspiring. Without hesitation they send the lion share of their monthly pay packet back to their families, which helps to pay off family debts and eases day to day poverty. One former student is also paying his parents’ proportion of the school fees for his younger sister.
It is hard to imagine living somewhere so remote as these children do with roads so poorly maintained, but we have travelled along these roads in a jeep (very slowly!), and they are a reality in this part of India. I personally think it’s wonderful that a new school bus will be able to venture to 5 new villages and give the children there the opportunity of an education at Loyola Kapepaladi school in the 2023/2024 academic year. And over the coming decade, hundreds more children will follow. Fantastic!
To support our Appeal, please click https://supportingdalitchildren.com/product/donation/ and under Projects, choose the Current 2023 Appeal.
If you would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Recent Special Appeals
May 2021 Ambulance Appeal
We launched our boldest ever Appeal for an ambulance for the Pannur Health Centre. Pannur’s parish priest, Father Ambrose, became one of Covid 19’s earliest victims and needed urgent hospital care. The ventilator he needed was not available at the Manvi hospital. Fr Ambrose had to be driven by jeep to the hospital in Mangalore, 11 hours’ drive away. He didn’t have oxygen for the journey and he needed two nurses to help keep him steady for the entire journey, in the back of the pretty old and uncomfortable jeep. His lungs were, by that time, very badly infected. Tragically Fr Ambrose didn’t recover and died in hospital 2 weeks later. As a result of this terrible news and a call for help from Sister Leena, we launched the Ambulance Appeal. As always (although this is never taken for granted), so many people came forward and gave generously. The total funds we have sent to the Pannur Health Centre for the ambulance is £18,308.99 - an incredible testament to the generosity of tens of you. People have been so generous and the Jesuit Province is providing 8 lakhs, which is approximately £8000.
Since launching the Appeal, Sr Leena decided to revise her choice of ambulance to one with a slightly lower specification so that the Sisters themselves are able to maintain the medical equipment when the need arises. I thought this was a very good idea. This ambulance costs £23,000.
Since Sister Leena collected the ambulance in July, and it has already been used many times. Here is one lady who needed transferring to the hospital in Manvi due to complications in labour. Both mother and her twins are doing very well!
Any further donations received for the Ambulance Appeal will be put towards fuel and any future servicing/maintenance costs for the vehicle.
It is truly wonderful that the Sisters now have the provision to deliver life-saving care to their patients whilst taking them to hospital. Lives will most definitely be saved now. I can’t thank you enough for your loving donations.
April 2021 Medical Funds Appeal
We have also heard from Fr Anil who is in charge of the social work in the villages. He says that he and his social workers have been very busy going to all the villages giving information to the people about Covid and how best to keep it at bay. He says the people feel helpless and are frightened, so his main work is to be with them and give them encouragement and hope.
Since we launched the Medical Funds Appeal at the end of April, Fr Leo has bought oxygen cylinders, medical masks and two oxygen concentrators that cost just over £1600 each. They have bought individual items needed to make up medical kits for a fraction of the cost that the made-up kits cost, and he has also ordered extra food items for food parcels. The food aid parcels will cost around £3000.
It is great to see such direct action from Fr Leo and his team in both Manvi and Pannur, which will give emotional, practical and medical help to literally thousands of helpless Dalit families.
Once again we thank you for all your support, whether financial or practical, and for your love for the Dalit people.
December 2020 Solar Panels
Father Leo has been in negotiations with a solar power company to supply and fit solar panels at Kapepaladi school and the hostel. He has also arranged for solar-powered street lighting in Pannur, primarily to benefit the children walking to and from school. We have received a very sizeable donation from a primary school in Surrey who had nominated Supporting Dalit Children as their international charity and had been fundraising for 2 years. We discussed ways in which their donation could help, and they liked the idea of contributing towards the solar energy project. As a school the Deputy Head said how important it is to think about ways of improving their carbon foot print, therefore helping Kapepaladi school to do the same made a common theme across both schools. The photographs show the solar panels being blessed; this is done for any new piece of equipment at the Pannur Manvi Mission. I have to say that I am constantly overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people towards the Dalit children!
April 2020 Rice Appeal
Whilst we are locked down and unable to be with friends and family, we have been thinking about the Dalit families whose situations are far worse than ours. We have been in regular contact with many people in India and the good news is that at the moment, Coronavirus hasn’t reached Raichur District which is where all our school children live.
Please forgive me for writing on Easter Day, but I have just received an email from Father Arun asking if we could help to buy rice for 1000 families who are suffering because they haven’t been able to work for a month now, and the government is not yet helping them with their hand to mouth needs. Hopefully this situation will change regarding government aid. The migrant workers who were sending money back from the cities to their families are not able to work either, so the situation is more difficult than ever. The temperature is in the early 40’s and due to the scarcity of water, the subsistent farmers are not able to do any cultivations for their next crop. The future for these families is not looking good at all and for this reason Father Arun would like to buy bigger bags of rice than previously, he would like to buy 32.5 kgs costing £9 each.
It would be wonderful if we can help with this emergency Appeal. If you would like to donate but need further information, please let me know.
September 2018 Rice Appeal
The whole of North Karnataka is reeling under severe drought and the farmers are waiting for rain. Usually there is some rain in August and September but this year there has been no rain at all. All the fields are just vacant.
Ramappa a small farmer with two acres of land at Umbli hosur village in Manvi has taken 20 acres on lease from the village landlord at Rs. 6,500 an acre annually. He has sown cotton on 10 acres. Sowing is yet to be done on the remaining ten acres. The germinated cotton seeds died due to heat stress. Mr.Ramappa has taken a loan of Rs. 1 lakh from a trader on the condition that the crop would be sold to him. He does not know how he is going to feed his six-member family and repay the loan.
Hanumanthappa, another farmer in the same village, owns eight acres. He has taken another 16 acres on lease at Rs. 7,000 an acre per year. He has sown red gram in eight acres and cotton in another eight acres. While his cottonseeds have died, the young plants of red gram are counting their days. "But, I will not commit suicide. I will face the situation,” he said. He is preparing to leave the village either for Bengaluru or for Pune, along with his wife and children, to work as a construction labourer.
These are not isolated and rare cases. The main effects:
- People in many villages are facing severe drinking water crisis.
- There is no fodder for domestic animals. due to this the income, which used to come from the milk and drastically reduced.
- Mass migration is seen everywhere. Many are going to any place that the work is available.
- The worst hits are women and children. they are at the receiving end
- Two of our children from Kapepaladi have already migrated to Bangalore. Many more from other schools have already left
- We have accommodated many now in the hostels too.
Everyday people come and ask us to help them with food or work. They say give us work and pay us so that we can at least have a meal. This has been increasing day by day. To be in solidarity with poor and hungry this year we request you to provide them with some immediate help may be a bag of Rice or two, which will be of more use to them. With the bag of rice, at least we could expect smile on their faces. We have about 1080 women. The rates of everything have gone up. Therefore, a bag of rice is 25 kilos. Per kilo, it is 32 rupees. Therefore, we need 1080x25x32=8,64,000/- We need this much amount for the SHG women alone. This would be a big contribution from your side for the battling women children and the farmers. Thank you