Celebrating A Milestone
A joyous 10-year celebration was held in Hyderabad on October 14. The event, attended by over 200 people, celebrated 10 years of SOFKIN’s work to create caring homes for destitute children. Among the guests were 12 children and adults from Maher, SOFKIN’s sister organization in Pune, including Hira Beggum, Maher ‘s President.
The 10-year celebration was organized and coordinated by SOFKIN’s children, under the leadership of Mythri Vulpe. Kranthi Kumar and Gaus Sayyad, a Maher guest, were Masters of Ceremonies for the program. A cultural show, “Scintillating Dance”, featured dances by the younger SOFKIN children, Odissi classical dance by the older children and some amazing Bollywood dances by both age groups. The children also presented a skit they had created that told the SOFKIN story. Live music, provided by four professional singers filled out the cultural show. A stall was also set up for the SOFKIN girls to sell their handmade bangles, at which they “earned a good profit!”
So Thankful for the Support
The keynote address for the celebration was given by Chaya, who talked about the journey of SOFKIN over the past 10 years, since she first decided to create a home to respond to the needs of destitute children. Chaya also recognized two highly honored supporters at the celebration: Star Hospitals team who arrange transportation and provide free health check-ups for all the SOFKIN children; and Mr. Bhagavath Varannsi, Educational Counselor, who provides consultation regarding college admissions and student course work for SOFKIN students.
Among the invited guests were local supporters and sponsors who have been so generous to SOFKIN. PamTen, an International IT Enterprise, Staffing, and Solutions company, was the overall sponsor for the event.
A Reunion of Families
A side note to the 10-year celebration is that the Maher guests included a young woman, who came with her child to search for her family in Hyderabad. With the help of with the help off Maher and SOFKIN staff, she found her family and was reunited after an absence of 6 years.
The Light of Diwali
On October 19, Chaya and the children had a wonderful time celebrating Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. The children helped to make four kinds of sweets, which they then offered to their neighbors. Chaya also cooked lunch for everyone, much to the delight of the children. As in past years, the celebration included a unique SOFKIN ritual. During the preceding year, the children put “chits” or little notes of the things they’ve done wrong or mistakes they’ve made into a box. On Diwali, instead of setting off the traditional firecrackers, the chits are taken out of the box – unopened and unread - and set afire to release the negativity.
A Warm Welcome
We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jhunu Auditto, who joined SOFKIN as a Project Coordinator at the beginning of November. Jhunu has several years of experience in the NGO sector, working with children in difficult circumstances, including underprivileged children, orphans, children infected/affected by HIV/AIDS and children of parents affected by leprosy. The children invited her with open hearts into the SOFKIN family.
Construction of the new building is progressing, with ground floor walls on both buildings nearly complete. We are still targeting completion by the end of February.
March is coming soon, and with that the need to fill the building with so many supplies as we prepare to welcome in the children. We hope you’ll be able to help in some way.
In our next blog, we’ll have more details about the upcoming inauguration of the new homes! In the meantime – save the date!