Abraham M. George
Dear Friends, I write to you today to ask for your support. For the past 12 years, The George Foundation has committed itself to breaking the cycle of poverty that impacts some of the world’s poorest children. Our school, Shanti Bhavan, has become a beacon of safety, hope and opportunity for children who would otherwise have no chance to succeed in life. Shanti Bhavan was founded in 1996 in a rural village outside of Bangalore. It is a home and an exceptional school for 210 children from India’s lowest or “untouchable” castes. The children come from families that face constant social discrimination; they are deprived of the opportunity to live with dignity, and do not have access to proper education, employment, basic health care and human rights. Shanti Bhavan, a non-sectarian institution, offers both a loving home and a world-class education for all its children. Today, we face an immediate crisis. Recent changes in financial markets have limited the extent to which our family contributions can fund the full operating cost of the school. We are struggling to maintain current services and anticipate that the next 1-2 years will be particularly challenging. It is during this period that we need the support of generous individuals like you. Shanti Bhavan is currently operating at $20,000 per month, which includes residential care, food, clothing, medical services, academic programming and administrative costs. While the staff remains dedicated to the mission, everyone is stretched to the maximum with cost cuts. With the help of several volunteers from India and abroad, we have been able to fill teaching gaps and provide adequate attention to the needs of the children.
In addition, over the past 5 months we have launched a major drive to raise donor funds. We initiated a Sponsor-A-Child program that seeks $1,500 per child, which covers all the needs of a child for one year at Shanti Bhavan. So far, we have secured more than 20 full sponsors, and an additional 50 individuals and organizations have made other contributions to the school.
Shanti Bhavan is a very special project that should never be allowed to die for want of money. The children have already proven themselves: In last year’s high school graduation exam, all of our students passed in first classes in the highly rated ICSE national examination — the first time in history that an Indian school for “Dalit” children has achieved such success. These children are a testament to the potential of quality education and care to transform the lives of India’s poor. They and future generations of Shanti Bhavan children will make a lasting impact on communities who otherwise have no means to become productive members of a global society. These children, like yours and mine, deserve a safe place to learn and grow. Please join me in ensuring that the school remains open and the children have a home. As you know, Shanti Bhavan has been the focus of my life and my familys work for over a decade. However, Shanti Bhavan belongs to everyone, and the time has come for every well-wisher to share the responsibility. We are grateful for the response from our network of friends and volunteers. It would be a great honor and joy to include your support in our efforts. Please consider making a contribution toward the annual operating cost of the school or an endowment fund whose interest would cover our needs.
I make this plea to you at a critical juncture in the life of Shanti Bhavan. You may make your contribution on-line at www.shantibhavanonline.org, or by check.
Kind regards, Abraham M. George
P.S. Checks may be made payable to The George Foundation and mailed to:
In the U.S.: The George Foundation In India: The George Foundation
121 Hawkins Place, PMB 192 316, 3rd Block, 5th A Cross, HRBR layout
Boonton, NJ 07005 Kalyananagar, Bangalore 560043