New lives begin…
The morning after our arrival into Delhi, we sipped coffee with Pascal Fautrat, Director of TARA to get an update on the opening of the new shelter for the “tots.”
“How shall we say…things are still a bit wild and it feels a bit like the jungle! ” he says with a chuckle. Vanshika (4) and Deepika (5) , Saira (5) and Manish (3) were admitted only 5 days prior to our arrival and are logically struggling with the concept of having been removed from their normal surroundings–however unsafe they may have been. These 4 children are still unaware of the precious gift they have been handed. In the coming months and years, they will be building new lives based on education, arts, sport, and most importantly love–healing the wounds of having been neglected and exposed to some of life’s more difficult realities.
We catch up with the boys and then take four of the smaller ones to come and meet the tots, their new family members. When we arrive, little Manish, only 3 and terribly upset about his transition, is extremely reluctant to meet his new BIG brothers. But I was amazed to see how quickly the olders took the tots under their wings–Mohid, only 7 himself, quickly clams Manish by rubbing his back and wiping his running nose with a gentle tenderness of someone who can relate to his pain. We walk across the street to a pretty green park and the tots enjoy the fresh air. But after only 15 mins the tots gravitate to my lap, emotionally exhausted. Vanshika closes her eyes and escapes into a nap.
The tots shelter is located on a residential road in a building on the first floor. It consists of 5 rooms which include 3 with ensuite bathrooms, plus laundry facilities, a kitchen and a large main living area and small garden. The feel is airy, bright and clean–a superb environment for the tots. The bathrooms have western toilets and are being outfitted with steps so the tots can reach sinks themselves. The children sleep on mattresses on the floor in one room and have large cupboard to arrange their things. It is a notable step up from the conditions at TARA boys shelter yet considerably more expensive in rent.
Beautiful warm light streams through the windows of the main area where the children will have their lessons, and various classes. It’s rather empty now but will soon be filled with tables and toys
Heather Kilian works with Vaishali in unpacking the wooden toys, clothes and books that she and Lydia brought over from the US. Thank you to all those who contributed!
MAKING A DIFFERENCE…
GoPhilanthropic’s has pledged to raise $35,000 this year towards the running costs of TARA (25k for the tots).
Two corporate sponsors have donated what is needed to outfit the new home. What we need now are funds for ongoing day-to-day needs teachers, nannies, and other staff…
Email Lydia for full financial reports on running the tots center and how you can donate various needed elements to the program
We have $7000 already in place – so we have quite a long way to go 🙂
Creative fundraising campaigns
Deanies: Nick Dean and Heather Kilian are partnering to sell “Deanies” (beanies) to Nick’s network of fans. Heather Kilian is currently knitting the hats and has plans to recruit 1-2 more knitters willing to knit for charity. The Deanies will be sold for $20 online and at Nick’s music events.
Fundraising Goal: $1500
Heather teaches Sidhu to knit – he calls it the “weaving thing.”
Director Pascal talks about the inspiration…
the tots have their lunch
The Younger TARA Boys talk about life at TARA.
Rakesh talks about why TARA is special