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Happy Christmas and a Big 'Thank You' from the Children of India

Wow! What a year! Lotus Flower Trust has now completed 34 projects, with 5 currently under construction. We have altered the course of many childrens' futures and we have seen their lives change, thanks to all your help and support. In our last 2 visits to India, we delivered 250 tracksuits to Nyoma, opened 3 new schools, plus a Skills Centre at our home for children with Special Needs. And for the first time, staff from Sky in the UK and India teamed up to build an amazing school in Tamil Nadu.

Sky Staff Unite and 'Reach for the Stars' for Children of Tamil Nadu

KM Johny Memorial School, Paravour Village, Tamil Nadu, funded by Sky staff in the UK and India: for the very first time, a dedicated team of staff from Sky, in the UK and India, joined forces to raise more than £90,000. With this magnificent sum, the Lotus Flower Trust was able to fund and build the KM Johny Memorial School in Paravour Village, Tamil Nadu, for 250 children. The two Sky teams recently visited the school and completed the project by painting the classrooms, making lasting friendships and attending the incredible inauguration ceremony pictured above. One of the UK team brought with her 150 pairs of shoes for the children, who were delighted to receive and wear them. We cannot thank the Sky teams enough for their hard work and generosity. They continue to fundraise for the first floor extension so that the school will eventually accommodate 350 children. This is a truly inspirational project. See our Projects page for more details, and please watch the following two films showing what teamwork can achieve: Painting ParavourReach for the Stars

Tracksuits go the Distance to Reach Kids at Nyoma School

Tracksuits for students at Nyoma Higher Secondary School, funded by Duty Free News International and Martin Sergeant: for the first time in their lives, 250 students from a very deprived school for nomadic children in India, received a present. Due to the recent devastating floods, in order to reach the village of Nyoma, Trust CEO John Hunt travelled 170 miles over the highest navigable roads in the world, and back, to deliver the tracksuits to the delighted children. The new Headmistress of Nyoma Higher Secondary School, Mrs Banu, said: “Nobody has ever done anything like this for the students before. These students could be described as 'orphans' because they only see their parents for 15 days of the year!” Traditionally, only 5% of local children go into further education and the remainder become ‘coolies’ working for the Government, either for the Army or as road labourers, or become unemployed. 

John said: “The spectacular, if not a little hairy, journey, which took in mountains, wolves and nomads, was well worthwhile, especially when you could see the delight on the children’s faces.”

The tracksuits, which have a warm lining, were made by Mr Jat, a friend of the Trust who provides clothing made at his factory for children at the Janet Sheed Roberts Residential School for Special Needs Children in Ramnagar, another project funded by the Trust. The girls at Nyoma also received a t-shirt for extra warmth. All the tracksuits have a Lotus Flower Trust logo on the front pocket. The entire school wore them for the India Independence Day parade.

French Sponsors use their Creative Skills at Saspol

Saspol Anganwadi, Ladakh, funded by Creative Spirit, Paris: what better way for this family-owned business, Creative Spirit, to celebrate its 20th anniversary than by giving little children a start in life? The population of Saspol is approximately 1,250 and there were between 20-25 children in need of an Anganwadi/Kindergarten. In June 2015, the Lotus Flower team met with the Councillors, a Committee of 5, who are in charge of the village. It was agreed that the Anganwadi would be constructed by a local builder who employed local labourers to carry out the work. The building took 2 months to complete and the Creative Spirit team recently visited their project to paint the interior and exterior.

Projects Opened by Lotus Flower Trust Team in October/November

Skills Centre, Janet Sheed Roberts Residential Special Needs School, Ramnagar, Uttrakhand, funded by Delhi Duty Free: built on the roof of the groundbreaking JSR Residential School, the incredible new Skills Centre is now complete. This is the first time that the Trust’s work has been funded by an Indian business, and we are extremely grateful to Delhi Duty Free for their extraordinary generosity. Thanks also to Indigo Airline who very kindly donated sports equipment to the JSR children. The Skills Centre was completed in November when a very colourful opening ceremony was attended by the Trustees. Besides teaching life skills to the special needs children, to ready them for leaving school and returning to their communities, it will be used to offer useful work skills to children from the home, the adjacent secondary school and villagers; skills which include soap and candle craft, mobile phone repair and the use of computers. The village ladies have also volunteered to teach sewing and cooking here.

Ram Tirth Fanya Vidvalaya Girls School, Dehradun, funded by TFWA Care: the extension to accommodate the 200 girls here, many of whom are orphans and walk 2 hours each way to school each day, is now complete. The Trustees attended a joyful opening ceremony during which Erik Juul-Mortensen, President of TFWA, cut the ribbon. Toral Sharan, a business woman living in Dehradun who volunteers her time to help the school, has managed to raise funds from the local community in order to sustain the girls' education which is fabulous news for the future.
Ambedkar Ardarsh School Extension and Women's Refuge, Berinaag, funded by TFWA Care, the ACT Foundation and a private sponsor: the new extension to this thriving school, in a remote Northern Indian village, means that more than 300 children can now attend and improve their chances of escaping extreme poverty. New classrooms have been built and a further 3 classrooms, currently used as sleeping quarters by destitute women, will soon be returned to classroom use, as the new Women's Refuge, under construction, will be opened here shortly.

Cheers to Funder of a Long-Awaited Temple at Basgo Nunnery

Basgo Nunnery, Ladakh, sponsored by Winchester College, Temple funded by Aspall Cyder: in June and August 2015, the Lotus Flower team visited the building and met the nuns who are delighted with their new home. Winchester College has also agreed to pay for a tractor and bowser so that the nuns can collect fresh water regularly from the army. The tractor can also be used on the farm the nuns are developing on site, producing apples, apricots and vegetables, as a way of providing an income for themselves. The nuns are very grateful for the donation of £10,000, from Des Smith of Aspall Cyder, towards building their Temple. Following the floods it has been decided to construct the building on top of the main dormitory block. Work will start in March 2016. We have just heard that the Nunnery has plans to take in more poor, destitute girls, providing them a home, education and a loving environment.

First Floor Provides Room for More English Speaking Students 

English Speaking School, Stok, main funders TFWA Care, World Duty Free Group and Friends of the Trust: built to better the chances of employment for school leavers in Ladakh, by making them proficient in English, the school has already welcomed more than 180 students over the last 2 years. The new first floor construction of this already impressive project, well on the way to completion, will accommodate 80 students. A new kitchen, bathroom and the upper floor were funded by Virginie Cordero, Sylvia Bairsto and Christine Mazy from Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) and by World Duty Free Group. The new terraced glass frontage has also recently been installed, which allows teaching to continue for the 200 students attending courses during the harsh winter months, when temperatures are consistently in minus territory. This was funded by Trustees Sarah Branquinho and Erik Juul-Mortensen. 
A Very Big Thank You from more than 3,000 Happy Children in India
Lotus Flower Trust continues to raise money for the Brahmaputra Home for Railway Children in Assam (thanks to WiTR, Sunil Tuli of King Power Hong Kong, Frontier, Godiva and Metropolis for your support for these desperate children), Accommodation for Nyoma Middle School on the Changthang Plain, for several Anganwadi/ Kindergarten for pre-school aged children and 3 new projects in Ladakh. If you can help us with any of these projects, please make a Pledge or Contact Us. Meanwhile, we would like to thank everyone who continues to help us in our work with the poor children of India, more than 3,000 of whom have benefited from your generosity. We hope that with your help we can make many more dreams come true in 2016...
!!Calling all Wykehamists!! Students from Winchester College who have been on a life-changing Lotus Flower Trust adventure to India, please join us for a reunion on 14th April 2016. This will be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and find out all the latest news on the projects you worked so hard to fundraise for and build. For more details, please email: laura.cowdery@yahoo.co.uk 

!!Calling all Fulcrumites!! We hope you are receiving our Newsletters. Do Contact Us if so - we'd love to hear from you! If you are in touch with other Fulcrumites, please ask them to contact johnhuntnfo@lotusflowertrust.org as some of the Scottish Fulcrumites are keen to set up a reunion in 2016. We would also love to involve you in the work of Lotus Flower Trust.

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To see more images, find out about projects, how to help or even join us on a life-changing trip to India, visit www.lotusflowertrust.org or email johnhuntnfo@lotusflowertrust.org

Copyright © 2015 Lotus Flower Trust, All rights reserved.


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