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Summer News from Lotus Flower Trust
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Team's Trip to India Sees Results of Your Generosity

Lotus Flower Trust's most recent trip to India had its ups and downs just like any journey in the Himalayas. But the impression Trustee Richard Wollaston, and the 10 strong team of supporters accompanying CEO John Hunt, received from the local people was quite overwhelming. In Shara Sharnos, Nyoma and Mudh, all the villagers arrived to meet the team and to say a big 'thank you' for what you and the Trust are doing for their children. And some places we visited, particularly the southern Changthang Plain, were beautiful beyond belief. We were told that Lotus Flower Trust is the single largest funder of projects for children in Ladakh, undertaking projects in some of the most remote areas of this region. Read on to find out how your help has changed many lives...

"Well that was one of the most interesting two weeks of my life and an experience that I shall never forget. Sitting at my desk now, the trip to India has now taken on a slightly surreal air… did I really do that?" John Stevenson

The Lotus Flower Trust will be organising another visit to Ladakh in June 2016. If you can make a donation of at least £1,000 in addition to your travelling expenses, want to find out about our work and are fit enough to withstand the rigours of living and travelling at altitude for two weeks, please email John at johnhuntnfo@lotusflowertrust.org to discuss what could be a life-changing opportunity.

More Good News for Nuns at Basgo Nunnery

Basgo Nunnery, Ladakh, built with funds raised by students at Winchester College, UK: The team visited the building and met the nuns who are delighted with their new home, opened in 2014. Winchester College has also paid for their much needed fresh water installation, for which a bore hole of 300 ft will be dug soon. The nuns still need a further £10,000 to complete their Temple. If you can help, please Contact Us so that we can put you in touch with the nuns. 

Next Project for Boys from Winchester College

Lamdon Jamyang School, Residential Accommodation, Khaltse, to be funded by Winchester College: At a meeting with Committee members from the school, a site for the new accommodation, across the Indus River and away from the main road, was agreed. The team met with architect Rigzin Namgyal, who specialises in Passive Solar Construction, and is keen to help with plans. Currently there are 140 pupils at the school - the Committee sponsors 20 and a further 30 children are funded by local Ladakhi people. The remaining pupils pay £5 per month for their education (which amounts to a great deal for most families). The project will cost £60,000 to build over 2 years. Thirty boys from Winchester have already signed up to work on the project in 2016. 

Opening Ceremony for Shara Sharnos Anganwadi

Shara Sharnos Anganwadi, Ladakh, funded by Sharon O'Leary: The opening of this wonderful new project was attended by 100 little children and a similar number of adults aged between 20 and 80. The Anganwadi (Kindergarten) is well-built, painted white and will soon include electricity and toilets. During the event, attended by Madame Kunzus, head of ICDS (India’s Children’s Development Society), many speeches were made, all complimenting Lotus Flower and especially Sharon O’Leary and family for their generosity. The project was built in the name of Sharon's late husband Jim.

More Anganwadi News

At a meeting with Madame Kunzus (see above), the team discussed the progress of the Anganwadi in Ladakh. The Trust have so far funded 11 which will all be completed by the time of our next visit in August. Madam Kunzus is very grateful for the Trust's support and has identified a further 13 new projects to fund at a cost of £10,000-£12,000 each. They are almost all situated in some of the most remote parts of Ladakh and will help many children begin their education whilst freeing parents to be more productive in the fields. Please Contact Us if you feel you are able to help.

Saspol Anganwadi, funded by Creative Spirit, Paris, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of their business: What better way for this family-owned business Creative Spirit to celebrate their anniversary than by giving little children a start in life? The population of Saspol is approximately 1,250 and there are between 20-25 children in need of an Anganwadi. The Lotus Flower team met with the Sar Panch (Councillors) from a Committee of 5 who are in charge of the village. It was agreed that the Kindergarten will be constructed by a local builder who will employ local labourers to carry out the work. It will take 2 months to build and will be ready for the Creative Spirit team to complete in August.   

Tagazong Anganwadi, funded by private individuals: This project will be generously funded by the team who have just returned from Ladakh. The Trust will be visiting the site in August and we will be able to show some photographs in the next Newsletter. In the Nyoma area on the Changtang Plain, the village is so remote that it doesn't even appear on any map we have found!

Chumatang Anganwadi, funded by a private sponsor: The foundations have been laid and while the team were there, a Bhoomi Puja Foundation Stone Ceremony was held, with the local monk and all the Anganwadi children present. The Lotus Flower team then spent half a day teaching the children. The Anganwadi will be finished in time for Lotus Flower's next visit in August.

Funding Needed for Nyoma Girls Residential School 

Nyoma Middle School Residential Accommodation for Girls, funder required: The current accommodation and classroom facilities here are extremely primitive and totally unsuited to the climate, as the photograph of the 'crinkly tin' shed below shows. The team discussed the use of buildings available with Councillor Angchuk and agreed that the best option for the girls is not to build new premises, but to convert the current two floor classroom block and adjacent building into solid-walled classrooms and bedrooms, plus dining and kitchen rooms with toilets. John will meet with the local architect on his next visit to see the plans and discuss costs. This is an excellent project and will raise the self-esteem and motivation of the girls immeasurably. The estimated cost is £33,000. Please Contact Us if you can help. News! The Trust has recently received 2,000 Euros from Duty Free News International to buy 250 tracksuits for the boys and girls at the school. We look forward to showing photographs of the children wearing them after our next visit.
Wooden Floors for the Primary Schools in Nyoma and Mudh, funded by World Duty Free Group: The new wooden floors were installed before the harsh winter set in. Previously, in the colder months when temparatures fall to below minus 30 degrees, the children would stick to the concrete floor during their lessons! Such a simple change has made a huge difference to their lives.

New Windows Bring Warmth to English Language Students 

International School for English Language, Terrace Extension, funded by Trustees Erik Juul-Mortensen and Sarah Branquinho: The new terraced glass frontage to this hugely successful project, set up to better the prospects of employment for many young adults, has been installed. It was apparently very beneficial to the 200 students during the winter courses. The building of the new bedrooms, equipped with beds funded by Virginie Cordero and her Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) friends in Florida, and the upgrading of the kitchen and bathroom, funded by Sylvia Bairsto, Christine Mazy and Virginie, will also be commencing soon. We are considering options to enable us to keep the school open all year round. The biggest problem is finding teachers. Would you be interested in teaching in Ladakh for a few months? Please Contact Us and we will put you in touch with the school.

More Projects in Need of Funding

Water Pump Installation required in Saspol to be attached to the Anganwadi
Chhulung Kha Girls Residential School, for 200 girls over 12, on the northern border between India and Pakistan: CEO John Hunt will speak to the Chairman of the Ladakh Hill Council on his next visit to find out the cost of this very important project for girls over the age of 12 who rarely receive education here.
Women's Refuge, Ambedkar Ardarsh, Berinaag: We are delighted to announce that the ACT Foundation has offered £25,000 towards this project. We have a balance of £5,000 still to find. Work has already commenced on the construction.
Brahmaputra Home for Railway Children, Guwahati, Assam: The original building was funded by TFWA Care. Now Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) are generously fundraising for the extension so that more children can leave the slums on the railway line and go to school near the home. One WiTR member from Canada, Wendy Morley, is kicking off the fundraising by taking part in Iron Man Muskoka (Good Luck Wendy!) to support the children. The Lotus Flower team is also running a fashion show in the New Forest in November to help raise further funds. If you can help us, please give generously on our Just Giving Page. 

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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