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Newsletter

Heartkids-News June 2012

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"It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect."

(Hermann Hesse, Siddharta)

Dear friends of Heartkids,

It is the beginning of June and finally, here comes the first Heartkids newsletter of 2012. You had to wait quite a long time for it ...

After returning from India I became very ill so initially I had to focus on getting well again – but now I am happy to set to work again for my Heartkids with new energy.

There is a lot of news:

We are currently in the process of buying land and have thus come an important step closer to achieving our dream of building a "Heartkids Girls Home". The Heartkids Home is bursting at the seams. This is the reason why we are so happy that we will be able to open a facility only for girls in the new future.

In everything I do I carry my beloved Gita deep in my heart. Gita was among the first Heartkids (Heartkids-Center Tiruvannamalai) and she died last winter of a serious tuberculosis infection. Gita is a victim of the attitude deeply rooted in India that it is not worth safeguarding the health of a girl. Even though we here at Heartkids had been working for years for her recovery, in the end we could not win this "battle" against the existing social structures.

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Gita's life and death have moved me deeply and opened my eyes once again for the situation of girls and women in India, thus, we want to put greater focus on supporting them in the future.

In India, there are still approx. 5,000 dowry killings recorded every year and more than 150,000 women die during or shortly after giving birth. This is also due to early childbearing. In particular in rural areas, girls are often married at 15. I am repeatedly faced with such cases within the framework my work. Especially when a girl falls in love with a man belonging to another caste, this is a reason for the parents to marry their daughter to a husband selected by them.

By founding a Heartkids Girls Home we want to concentrate more on girls and their training and accompany them on their way to an independent and dignified life. Your donations towards this cause are, of course, greatly appreciated.

We cannot change the Indian society overnight, but we can create rays of hope on a small scale and thus serve as an example to others.

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A great number of girls and women are attending our Education Center. The seamstresses of our first class have already made their "masterpieces". They did not only tailor and sew the traditional women's clothing (Chudidar) but also embroider it by hand.

Now, at the beginning of the school year, the women will learn how to make school uniforms and then, in August, they will leave the Center with their own sewing machines and hopefully go on to living an independent life.

The demand for this course is so great that we will start the next one already this month. Moreover, there are currently three computer courses ongoing each day in which girls can acquire basic computer knowledge.

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A few days ago, the five students from the Heartkids Home who are graduating from high school received their results and all of them passed. Together, we are now looking for suitable study programmes for the four girls and one boy. We will continue to support them until they are ready to fly the nest and able to stand on their own feet ;-).

We are so proud of you Jaya, Kalpana, Parameshwari, Satish and Tamilselvi.

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If you would like to support us without opening your purse you can now click on the following link before shopping online; from the site you are then redirected via Heartkids to the respective shop and we automatically receive a commission. This only takes three seconds and it is not necessary to register.

Please click here for more information!

If you would like to support Heartkids with the contents of your purse Grinsen, you can do so, as always, by making a donation to our donation account (see below) and via PAYPAL.

Heartkids e.V. is, and will remain, a great miracle. When I founded the association during my years of study eight years ago, I would not have dared to dream what would develop one day with your help. It is a great gift to our kids – and I deliberately write OUR kids as we all together are responsible for our planet and its small and big citizens. So, a big thank you to all those involved – without you we could not carry out our projects.

With all my heart, I wish you all a wonderful time.

All the best,

Judith Retz

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Heartkids e.V:

Account Number : 12215955
BANK TRANSFER CODE: 68050101 (Sparkasse Freiburg)

If you are transferring money from abroad, please use the international bank account as following:

IBAN: DE15 6805 0101 0012 215955

SWIFT: FRSPDE66

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Heartkids News December 2011

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.
(Mother Teresa)

Dear friends of Heartkids,

Greetings from the monsoon. As we have had very little rain until now, we are grateful for every single drop that falls into the wells and lakes. You only appreciate how vital water is when you are in a dry country.

At the moment I am sitting on the flat roof of the Heartkids Home and listen to the cheerful children's laughter from below. It is wonderful to hear our sixty kids play and run around happily. I can also hear the gentle splashing of the midday washing-up-water and the three-week old calf (with a heart on its forehead, of course) mooing for its mother.

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We got back to India safely. I was very moved by the colourful and rapturous welcome – it was so touching so see how much everybody here appreciates the work done by Heartkids. I am lucky to be able to experience the gratefulness right here in person, but I am only a small piece in the Heartkids structure and for this reason I would like to use this opportunity to forward the "thanks" directly to you all because without our devoted supporters all this would not be possible. Only together we can make Heartkids flourish:

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Mandala in front of the Education Center to welcome us back home

Currently, there are 22 little girls and boys in the kindergarten at the Kidscenter Tiruvannamalai. The kids are currently enjoying not only the loving care of our Indian staff but also of our two interns from Germany.

In the evenings, our gang of 150 bubbly students charges into the rooms where they are tutored and receive further support in various areas.

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Our teacher Prema with her students

Unfortunately, violence is commonplace of the daily lives of these children. That is why it is even more important for them to be able to get away from their bleak everyday lives for a few hours every day and experience loving attention.

Sometimes it seems to me as if the parents "needed" to take their frustration and despair at their hard life out on their children and that is not always easy to bear.

We at Heartkids can make a contribution to making the lives of the families we support easier but there are things which will probably only change slowly over the course of generations.

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Our little ones

A few days ago, I talked with 13-year-old Kausalya – a delicate girl who in Germany I probably would have taken to be 9 years old. She told me that her mother had been ill a lot during the last few weeks and that she had had to work in her stead as a household servant – for a tourist from Germany... She had tears in her eyes while she told me all this and it is so obvious how much she longs for an untroubled life.

In our "Tribal Kidscenter" with the native Indians we also have to fight time and again to ensure that the girls do not have to leave school early to slave away as servant for rich families for scant wages.

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Student working on a computer

We are therefore all the happier to support quite a few of "our" girls in getting a college education, thus saving them from such a life. The longer education also prevents the girls from being married off early.

The same is true for the girls and young women who every day attend our Education Center, which was opened in February. The Center has proved its worth and is attended by more than 30 enthusiastic women every day. Prior to the beginning of their training, some of the women eked out such a miserable existence in their huts that I would not have dared to dream that they would enjoy to learn to tailor clothes so much.

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The tailoresses to be

THANK YOU

In the name of our kids, I wholeheartedly thank everyone who has contributed for the successful Heartkids year 2011 and wish you all a relaxed and peaceful holiday season and, of course, a merry Christmas.

Judith Retz

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HEARTKIDS' ACCOUNT

Heartkids e.V:

Account Number : 12215955
BANK TRANSFER CODE: 68050101 (Sparkasse Freiburg)

If you are transferring money from abroad, please use the international bank account as following:

IBAN: DE15 6805 0101 0012 215955

SWIFT: FRSPDE66

 

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