We have now been at RSO for four weeks and have loved getting to know the children. As you have seen from our previous pictures, they have bright smiles, radiant personalities and sparkly eyes that make our hearts melt.
The other morning we had little Archana come up to Anita while we were eating breakfast. (See below)
Archana was starved for affection and hugged Anita for about 15 minutes. It reminded us of the effects of leprosy and how, for so many generations, leprosy affected people were shunned by society both physically and emotionally. Additional effects of this segregation were, and still are, poverty and low education. As a result of Rising Star Outreach, this stigma is changing for some of these leprosy affected children in India. Here, the children are not only loved and cared for, but are also becoming well educated and responsible which helps them to be able to break this cycle of leprosy. But, as with most non-profit organizations, without the help of people like you and me, Rising Star Outreach would not be able to provide all the education, housing, food, love and care to the 150 children that currently are under their jurisdiction.
We have decided to write this blog post about how you, our friends and family, can help a child here at RSO. If you are looking to give to a charity, there are of course many options worldwide, but we thought that our first hand experience here at RSO would give you some confidence that your money is going to the right place.
Rising Star’s sponsorship program makes it easy for you to make an impact. To see how it works, take a look at the RSO web site under “sponsor a child”, http://www.risingstaroutreach.org/sac There, you can see short bios of each child that is in need of a sponsor and then choose which child you would like to sponsor. The bios are fun to read and the current Sponsorship Program Director (Kristen, our neighbor at the Volunteer Hostel) does an excellent job. She is a natural with the children and the children love her. She knows each child personally and has written some great bios that really capture their personalities.
The cost to sponsor a child is minimal. It’s $30 per month/child and it covers all expenses from education, to food, to housing, to transportation, to supplies, etc. of that particular child.
The great thing about sponsoring a child here at RSO is that you will have a personal relationship with one of these children. The children are asked to write one letter every quarter to their sponsors while, you, the sponsor, can write whenever you please. This can be as rewarding for those that sponsor as it is for the children that receive the donation.
You can decide on the length of your sponsorship. The donation occurs on a monthly basis, but the ideal length of a sponsorship is a year or more. That way you can truly make an impact on their lives. You may like the program enough that you continue your support of the child you sponsor until he or she graduates RSO (around the age of 18).
Here are some recent pictures of the children at RSO…
Below is a picture of Rosemary, Tamil Selvi, and Ramya
Below is Ramya on the left and Sathya on the right
Sathya, the taller girl, LOVES Tal because he teaches her to play basketball. Little Rosemary is also hanging out with Tal.
The guy in blue Jazz jersey, Sathish, is the oldest on campus. He is a responsible young man and has a nice jump shot.
Below are the three Anita’s here at RSO. I don’t know how many times I have heard in India “Your name Anita? Anita Indian name!!” I am happy to know that wherever I travel, Anita is a common name of that particular country.
The two trouble makers at school. On the left is Moorthy and on the right Kanmani. But they are so cute you would never believe it.
Mymonisha, seen below, is always eager to chat with us.
Christraj loves the phone!
Let us know if you have any questions regarding the sponsorship program. Don’t feel pressured in any way, but if you have been looking to donate some money to a charity, we thought RSO may be what you are looking for.
Let us know if you do decide to sponsor because we would love to keep you updated from our perspective.