Save the date! June 13th is Rhythm 2015, SOFKIN’s 10th annual fundraising event. Future blogs will provide more details about the event – along with stories about SOFKIN children, the reason for your donations and support - but please mark your calendars now.
This issue we’d like to highlight the accomplishments of Kranthi, one of SOFKIN’s first children. Now in his final year of a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering, Kranthi recently won first prize in a “Geek Battle” code-writing event, sponsored by Apathon and another technology event sponsored by Microsoft. Kranthi credits an internship provided by PamTen for his strong foundation in coding and his first prize. “Now I am the code addict,” he said, “I am feeling very happy.” He also thanked SOFKIN for their continuous support.
Kranthi’s academic accomplishments are all the more remarkable because he came to SOFKIN in 2007 as a shy 12 year old, who had dropped out of school to provide for his mother, alcoholic father and 2 younger siblings. At the time he was introduced to SOFKIN he was selling tea in a street shack and living with his family surrounded by poverty and drugs. Initially he struggled at SOFKIN; he spoke no English and received failing grades. But with SOFKIN’s love and guidance, he gradually began a new life, becoming the confident, compassionate, successful young man he is today.
In other news, SOFKIN enjoyed celebrating two important festivals at the beginning of the New Year. In mid-January, Sankranthi, a Hindu festival celebrated in southern India that marks the start of spring, began with the children burning wood and bringing water into the house to symbolize clearing out the darkness. They also said prayers, enjoyed various sweets and ended the 3-day festival by wearing a new set of clothes.
Holi, the ancient festival of colors that commemorates the triumph of good over evil, was celebrated on March 6. During the festival, everyone played and colored each other with dry powder and/or colored water, hugged, and wished each other “Happy Holi”. The older children and housemothers also made special sweets for everyone to enjoy.
On March 14, Sofkin children were invited to give a dance performance at the 17th Asian Musculoskeletal Conference, an international gathering of radiologists and related medical specialists in Hitech City on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The dancers, eight SOFKIN boys and girls ages 11 – 18, were trained by Master Ravi, the owner of the Jwala Dance School, who generously donates his time to give dance lessons for SOFKIN children.
Thanks to all our sponsors and donors for the continued support! Stay tuned for the next blog!