STARTING THE YEAR WITH CELEBRATION
ELECTING TO CELEBRATE
Two important celebrations marked the beginning of the new year at SOFKIN. In mid-January, the
children celebrated Makar Sankranti, an ancient Hindu festival that signals the beginning of the harvest season in India. Because this was a five-day holiday, some of the children went home to join celebrations with their families. Those staying at SOFKIN celebrated the holiday with special sweets – Rasmali and Rasgulla – and other delicious food.
On the 26th of January, SOKFIN –along with the rest of the country - celebrated Republic Day, which honors the day when the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950. The day included a very special dance performance by eight SOFKIN children: Nevidita, Niharika, Meena, Nikitha, Veena, Keerthi, Vaishnavi and Roja. They performed Shanti Mantra, an Odissi classical dance, as part of a program organized by the Bharat Mata Foundation. They, along with other dance groups, performed in front of 20,000 students and adults from all over Hyderabad!
Another January activity at SOFKIN was the election of new group leaders. As in past years, those interested in being a group leader submitted their names to Chaya. They then made a presentation to her, via a Skype call. After Chaya finalized the nominations, all the children gathered to hear speeches by the nominees, who explained their Election Manifestoes. After all the children cast ballots, seven new group leaders were elected: Nikhil, Jagdish, Parmesh for boys and Nikitha, Niharika, Roja, Keerthi for girls.
THE KEY TO THE DREAM - OPPORTUNITY
Three young people who grew up at Maher - SOFKIN’s sister organization in Pune - are now working at the Hyderabad office of PamTen, an International IT Enterprise, Staffing and Solutions Company, and living at SOFKIN. This came about because of Chaya’s long-term vision of not just providing shelter and a loving home for underprivileged children, but also opportunities for them to excel in the world and live their dreams. Gaus Sayyad, who completed a two-month internship at PamTen Headquarters in New Jersey USA during the summer of 2017, was hired as a full-time Client Services Analyst in December. Yogesh Bhor has started a three month internship in the Software Product Development Group. Yogesh joins his older brother, Nandakishore Bhor, who became a full-time Software Engineer in 2017, after completing his internship period. We wish Gaus, Yogesh, and Nandakishore all the best as they enter the world of work!
EXCITEMENT IS BUILDING!
Over the past couple weeks, all of the children, housemothers, and caretakers of SOFKIN have visited the new building, that is now almost completed. Everyone is very excited to see this dream of new homes for the girls and boys almost realized. The children laughed and ran around the grounds, picking out spots for their new garden and play area. In the multi-purpose hall, they excitedly pointed out where they would sit to eat, pray, and have all manner of meetings and celebrations. In the first and second floor dorm rooms, they had great fun staking out where they would sleep – and by whom!
It is thanks to our wonderful donors and supporters that this dream is finally coming true. The children are so excited to be able to meet some of the people who have made this become reality at the Inauguration and Celebration of the New SOFKIN Homes in Hyderabad on March 22. We look forward to sharing news about the singing, dancing, blessings, and excitement of the day for those who are unable to attend. There’s still time to join the party! Find out more.