Life in Kotdwara is harsh when you are impacted by poverty. It’s a vicious cycle. Poverty has tentacles that entwine and relentlessly drag you down, coming at you from all directions.
Thank you for helping the poorest of the poor. Because of your generosity and support, Kotdwarahelp brings hope and light in the midst of people's darkness and suffering. Our work is strategic. We plan, budget and respond to the many needs and challenges that we anticipate. We also budget to respond to the unexpected ... reaching out to the plight and circumstances of some beautiful people.
Floods – Thank you for your generosity
This week we have seen the ongoing devastation of the monsoon floods, which sadly have continued throughout the week. We are thankful for the many people who have been so kind and generous in donating to our floods appeal. We have raised $2380 in just one week.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
The 2 kids (top left) are Sadhna and Prachi, they attend our city centre school and they lost everything when the floods swept through their home in the middle of the night. We are helping their family and many others. We will keep you updated with how your donation will help these people.
Modern Day Slavery and a good news story
You may have heard in the news this week that the incidence of modern day slavery is more prevalent than ever in human history. A UK National Crime Agency Report released this month, estimated a significant number of people subjected by slavery across England.
“People are being exploited on an hourly and daily basis. The full scale and extent of it, we don’t know. But what we have found is that in every medium-to-large town and every city in the UK, we have found evidence of vulnerable people being exploited,”
“Human trafficking and modern slavery destroy lives. They are terrible abuses of human rights, shamefully robbing people of their dignity, causing total misery to the victims, their families and our communities. We all need to work together to stop it.” (The Guardian, 11th August)
Without a doubt the same is true in Australia …and certainly in India! The challenge in India is that slavery is deeply engrained in the culture of the place, where it is accepted and goes unquestioned by many. Kotdwarahelp helps the local anti-human trafficking police team, and this week this young man (green and blue) was rescued from a miserable circumstance. He went missing in 2015 and for 2 years he has been subject to forced labour in another town in Uttrakhand. His very poor family was tricked into believing that he was getting a very good job. Yet it was quite the opposite and he was forced to work in terrible conditions. He could not escape.
We are thankful for the police team who do an amazing job, both rescuing victims and stopping the crime, yet their resources are limited. We work with the police promoting and delivering education awareness campaigns within the slums and poor communities.
When you need to do a poo
Where do you go, when you live in a very remote village in the foothills of the Himalayas? Sadly for many people on the outskirts of Kotdwara, when you need to do a poo, you venture into the jungle... where there are creatures like cobras, wild elephants and even tigers!
It's worse if you are a child, young girl or woman. There is a fair risk that you could be raped. This is the reality of life in this part of the world and this is why we are so excited to have built toilets in the three villages where we have education projects.
We had plans to build just 3 toilets but thanks to a government grant, our money was doubled. We have built a girls toilet and a boys toilet. 2 in each village, 6 in total! They cost us $1200 ($2400 all up including the grant). We are incredibly thankful to our friend Imby Langenbach (@karmmehq) who specifically donated money to Kotdwarahelp for this purpose.
Kids and women, can now do a poo in peace and safety. The things we take for granted in Australia hey! Next time you do a poo, or girls when you change a pad or tampon, contemplate how your donation can make a significant difference in the life of someone in Kotdwara.
Thank you for being a part of our story.