5,000 Smiles Distributed!

Dear Friends,

How are you all? So finally here we are with all the news and everything that you wanted to know! After much delay due to extreme whether conditions and a lot of waiting, the New Year Gift Distribution was finally started successfully on Saturday the 25th of January and went on until Wednesday the 29th of January 2014.

This year our festival coincided with India’s National Girls Day. National Girls Day was inaugurated January 24th in 2009 to promote national awareness regarding the plight of females in India. Annually, January 24th is now celebrated to encourage meaningful contributions of girls in decision-making through the active support of parents and community members. It is also celebrated to increase awareness regarding the inequalities faced by females in the society. Some of the problems addressed include education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, protection, honor, child marriage, female infanticide, etc. This day of awareness, and the timing of our pack distribution coincided perfectly. How apropos since we are becoming an all girls school!

As for the girls they were really excited to receive their presents after waiting for so long.

Gift packs contained:
* toothpaste and toothbrush
* soap
* woolly cap
* vaseline
* school bag (or carry bag)
* pencil / sharpener / eraser
* biscuits
* chocolate bar
* peanuts
* candies
* playing ball
NYGF 2014 Items
Total cost of distributed gifts was USD 17,651

Shouts of joy and laughter were heard, smiles and expressions of amazement on their shining faces were seen, and the festive energy was contagiously felt.
The extra packs were taken to the poor children of various surrounding village schools of Vrindavan.

The kids were overjoyed!

Thanks to you all we raised USD 17,627! That’s it from us, the pictures and video will tell the rest of the story!

Thank you!!

NYGF 2014

 

 

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Remembering Shyam Das

ShyamdasOn the 19th of January, 2014 a group of Sandipani Muni School students got together with Food For Life and Vrinda Kunj volunteers to do a clean-up Vrindavan day. The cleaning was organized in the loving memory of Shyam Das prabhu who passed away on the day last year.

Shyam Das had a long and productive relationship with FFLV, specially via his bhajan boat rides down the hudson river in NY, he loved to use the funds raised for sponsoring cleaning drives in Vrindavan and Govardhan and he loved to feed the Brajabasis. FFLV, with help from the Shyam Das Foundation, will every year organize cleaning drives and prasada distribution in the evenings in honour and loving memory of a lost friend, Shyam das. Dear Shyam das we miss you very much!

DSC09667 It was very nice for all to participate in the service together, employing team work and applying compassion to dispose of a large amount of waste and having fun in the process! We are hoping that by getting the girls involved in cleaning and maintaining this place beautiful, they will develop a desire to maintain the standards of cleanliness and to show the future generations the benefit of a clean environment to live in.

About 7 local news papers and a local news channel covered the event. They personally interviewed the children and the volunteers who were involved in the cleaning. One of our active volunteers Radha Charan shared with us that the local animal inhabitants of this city suffer along with the people when trash and plastic are tossed on the roads. The cows constantly eat the plastic that wraps discarded foods, which can cause death due to choking, children are having to grow up playing by heaps of rubbish instead of clean streets and green vegetation. By organizing such events in honor of some remarkable people, we want to give the children the gift of hope for the future-a clean, healthy environment.

DSC09649PS: Stay tuned for our newest Food For Life Vrindavan Movie starring some of our students, coming soon to the FFLV website! It depicts the fate of beautiful Vrindavan caused by the trash that continues to pile up onto the streets!

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New Year Festival 2014

NYGF update notice:
Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you so much for your wonderful contributions towards the New Year Gift Festival, that are still trickling in. We are so close to the goal!

If some of you, however, are wondering why the gift festival hasn’t begun yet?, here is why: The weather here in Vrindavan is really cold at the moment, because of that the government has shut down all the schools in the area, including us. The next proposed date of school opening is 15th of January, 2014. If there are no further changes from the government, the gift festival will be done shorty after the schools are open. We will keep you updated. Amongst all this however, the school closure bought us some more time to hit our target! Please tell your friends and family that they still have time to gift a smile to someone this new year!

We are waiting for the festival as eagerly as the kids are!! Aren’t you? :)

Sincerely
Rupa Raghunath Das

 

Dear Friends,

Web-Indicator-2014FFLV New Year Gift Festival its here again. Thousands of very poor children every year on the first of January receive a gift pack from us. Last year we did 5,000 gift packs. This year we hope we can do the same.

It cost US$ 6 for a gift pack, which includes a school bag, pencil, sharpener, toothbrush and toothpaste, a ball, chocolate, toffees and biscuit, a woolly hat for the coming winter and some hope…

It is this time of the year again when we call upon you to help us gift smiles to Vrindavan’s poorest children. You know very well, we are their only hope!

During this festive period, giving is on everyone’s mind, making someone happy is a treasure to share. And it’s only a $6! We are not asking for the moon, just your pocket change to make a poor child happy, like he has never been before.

Send in your contribution today and please forward this message to anyone you know. We are confident that with your help we can do it again this year.

You can donate online at: www.fflvrindavan.org/nygf or you can email to: nygf@fflvrindavan.org

Please, download the slideshow now and forward it to you friends. We still have a long way to go and a little time left…

Yours in service of Vrindavan poor children
- Rupa Raghunath das

NYGF2014
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Successful Vrindavan Temple visit tour

Tempel Tour 26Nov2013 (9) Tempel Tour 26Nov2013 (15)Current volunteer Anne Schi of Germany invited Radha Madhava to give a presentation about the Sandipani Muni School to a class at Chemnitzer Schulmodell in Chemnitz, Germany in the summer of 2011. Inspired by the presentation, the students decided to write letters to our 8A class at the Sandipani Muni School. The two classes have been in correspondence through letters and videos discussing their cities, schools and homes.

As their relationship grew, the students at Chemnitzer Schulmodell had the desire to raise money to sponsor a lunch at the Sandipani Muni School. The students created a bazaar where they sold sweets and raised 270 euros. The students at the Sandipani Muni School decided to use the gift for something special.

The class of 8A received new sweaters for the winter and took a temple tour with the money from the students at Chemnitzer Schulmodell. Volunteer Anne Schi, Radha Madhava and two Sandipani Muni School teachers were also present on the temple tour.

Tempel Tour 26Nov2013 (48)The students first ate a special breakfast at the school; from there they visited ISKCON Vrindavan Sri Krishna Balarama Temple, Prem Mandir, Durga Temple and Akshapatra Temple. The visit to the temples enriched the student’s spiritual education and left all with feelings of warmth and gratitude. As an expression of their gratitude, the class of 8A at the Sandipani Muni School pulled together their own money to purchase a gift for the students at the Chemnitzer Schulmodell. The students at the Sandipani Muni School are looking forward to seeing how their relationship with their new friends at the Chemnitzer Schulmodell continues to grow.

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Kartik Purnima festival at Brahma Kund

_MG_9130Sunday the 17th of november marked the end of the kartik season in Vrindavan,a month of celebrations which includes the Divali festival and many other local religious events,which sometimes means school holidays for the children at Sandipani Muni school during certain days.

_MG_9258In order to conclude a wonderful time of celebrations,on the last night of Kartik,FFL Vrindavan in conjunction with Vrinda Kunj ashram(a local  ashram which was founded by H.H.Paramadwaiti Swami,where he resides with most of his disciples who come from Latin america)and Gangotri exports organised a well attended festival at Brahma Kund,an heritage location here in Vrindavan,which is normally hardly visited but well worth checking out for its appeal,historical significance and spiritual atmosphere.

It was  a very enlivening evening,a successful collaboration between two organisations which share a lot of goals,mostly regarding protecting the local environment and informing and educating the local Vrajabhasis.

_MG_9154The whole place was surrounded by lights and decorations,the full moon was shining above the Kund,spiritual music was playing and some of the girls from Sandipani muni and from the Vrinda Kunj ashram were dancing in tune to the music all around the pond.

Around 200 prasadam packets were given on the evening(sponsored by Gangotri exports),the idea to have the festival at this particular location was to increase awareness of the place.

Due to the success of the event,it is planned to have such festival at least once a month.

 

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