New Hope Newsletter 2021
Much of we achieved in the last year was simply by the support given to our love bundle appeal. People in the greatest need were cared for in this Covid stressful time – Thank you
In the last one year – as across the world – life has changed. Our work load has been more not less as we had extra responsibilities – not just the duty of ensuring the children were safe from Covid in our 2 Home Centres. We also had additional responsibility in reaching out to aged and very disabled in the leprosy colonies.
If you are a Kondh Dongria Tribal – 90% sure you will go by New Hope Community Centre, Muniguda. Their and our friendship is party of the history of New Hope. Without ‘changing their culture’ they saw the way to adjust to child saving child birth – for mother and child. Hunter gathers – Animist in faith BUT The fear of Covid changed the whole way of life for the Kondh Dongria who still life their traditional ways. They heard of Tribals who were in the town and Covid positive and they realized they too were at great risk of this ‘evil eye’. We had the responsibility to keep the 37 villages with basic foods beyond their hunting a forest collected food. Their supply of the legume Dahl was over.
The diets are simple but the necessity of salt for example and basics of onions and potato dried up when they self imposed lockdown to protect themselves. New Hope gave out Village basics and that included of course soap. We kept their First Aid Kits updated. Organized meetings with Traditional Birth Attendants. The Government feared for this vey minority still living in a ‘yesterday world’ where even Indians are restricted from visiting. Only because New Hope gave assurance that those who came with the Immunization would be supervised by us – New Hope -irony at its core. This was done by our dedicated staff and at some risk, Day visits to villages meant overnight stops many times but as we are seen as part of their community – we accepted the situation.
NAMASTE HOUSE – Home for challenged young people
In Muniguda Community Centre, next to the Eye Hospital we have a long established Namaste House, funded many years ago by the then Treasurer of New Hope Australia – our late Janet Formby. We now have it registered as Home for Challenged Young People with Disabilities (Government rule).
The understood and follow ‘mask rules’ – It was annoying for them as they could not wander down to the Eye Hospital where they chit chatted to amost all the ‘Grans’ who came for eye check ups. They even had some Grans come and sit with them and sing in theor Namaste Houe common room. Hopefully the Hospital opens for eye surgery early 2022
COMMUNITY CENTRE – CHILDRENS VILLAGE KOTHAVALASA
THE ROELLIS GARDEN – Chickens, Goats and Cows with Bees too; it changes to suit the ‘green situation’. Part Beehives, Hens goats live in the area.. Cows next door but get Roellis Garden grass. It has Passion fruit (lost in last storm like all the vegetable garden. Wind blew down vine trellis and vine growing frames, washed away drip irrigation – still recovering.
The bee keeping and expansion has started to give a good yield and priority use is for the children and then to sell the rest.
Bee Hive Project
We did not expect a high yield in the monsoon season, but we were surprised how good it was. However there is a still a sad cloud over the Bee project. The two main persons who have maintained it – Srinu and Ramu. We made many jokes about and to Srinu having so many ‘girls friends’ – He started by jokingly saying one day ‘I’m king of the bees’. It rebounded of course. He ‘crafted’ the project and taught a younger senior to manage ‘ordinary work’ on Hives. It’s not as easy as one thinks. Ramu travelled twice a week to support the checking that needs to be done. Both were trained in Beekeeping. Sadly, Srinu passed away. No signs of Covid but he had travelled that was a little upsetting. On return he was ‘well’ Then within five days passed away. It’s similar to many senior born HIV+ to pass like this. Conscious talking in coherently to within an hour of passing. A sad and great loss as he was also our intrepid garden planner. The hives are about to expand in number with change of season and we aim for 34 hives!
SADNESS: In a year filled with so much in supporting people we work and care for we are saddened by the sudden passing of our orphan senior boy born HIV+ Srinu. It is the reality of AIDS. He, John and Ramu all went for Beekeeping and Srinu was the master of it. Srinu and his ‘girlfriends’ the ‘queens of the hives’. He set a standard and now one of our juniors is following in his footsteps with guidance from Ramu and John. (Srinu was not just ‘Bee Master’ – BUT he made the garden happen – He was so proud of the Norwegian Anna Garden. We called him many titles and made many comments to and with him. Above all he always looked out for children who were ‘not involved and got them motivated. He could describe something and I would agree. He ended such conversations – ‘Then is you like it and it good, give me the money and I’ll do it’ – He got me every time!!!!
Learning experience. When we had the opportunity to Bee Keeping training – He stepped in.
WE ARE SINCERELY THANKFUL FOR THOSE WHO FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED US THROUGH THESE TIMES. We are also truly appreciative of everyone who kept sponsoring children and people supporting new children. With schools closed for so long it was a challenge to keep up education. Seniors have gone to Junior College; Rainbow children have their own education in the Library at present. It’s a good sign that the level of infection has dropped and centers have opened with Skill training. Two senior have started a Food Craft Diploma course too – through sponsorship.
SKILL TRAINING Knowledge for life and opportunities for the future – … and in the ‘middle’ of Covid. (Masks quickly off for photo and then ‘strict rule’.
Nalani and Nani – Once in a life time chance in a Government approved College.
Please write me if you have any questions or information on a Child sponsorship. IF I have missed communicating with you. Please contact me here at New Hope India
Eliazar, T Rose
New Hope Rural Leprosy Trust