The needlewomen of the textile workshop discovered with much joy and gratitude a present in a box containing an electrical sewing machine with many more different programs than the basic ones such as buttonholes, fixing zips and making a few embroidered stiches. Sibylle and François arrived from France wishing to offer this brand new sewing machine to the association. We were all so happily surprised. Yolande who is a member of the association and who was in Cochin offered to help with some training to teach the new programs and every day she gave each woman the opportunity to have some time for training with patience and full attention to each of them. We warmly thank Sibylle, François and Yolande.
Energy and light in favour of sharing Help Fondation EDF
Thanks to Yves who is a member of the association, retired from EDF company we met Robert in charge of humanitarian projects for EDF foundation. Robert discovered our association, its projects and its actions. We have started to constitute a file to ask for a grant in order to install solar panels on the workshop's roof. This will allow us to work with solar energy with more autonomy. In Kerala we are lucky to be able to enjoy the sun all the year round so when we have built the workshop we had already thought about a photovoltaic installation and we had already prepared for this in order to fix the cables. This file will be presented to the EDF company next September. If the grant is obtained the works can start next October and it is estimated it will take about ten days.
Réma has a well deserved new start in her life
Ten years ago we met Rema, a young women who just lost her husband who died in sea, she was alone with three children and was living in a very precarious conditions. In order to find work, Rema had to leave her youngest four year old daughter with a foster family. The association was very moved by Rema's situation and has decided to employ her and give her wages for the cleaning of "Travellers Paradise" office and the workshop and also to take charge of the studies of the two oldest children. It will also pay a health insurance for all her family. Thanks to a private donation a little house has been built for her on Vypeen Island and Rema managed be reunited with her youngest daughter after three years of separation. Little by little Rema is recovering and she is more confident and financially independent. Her eldest daughter was married in 2013. Sadly Rema’s health deteriorated and she also had heart problems due to hard physical jobs. She had a course of treatment for this and at the moment she has been offered work in a state university in Kottayam. This is an ideal job for Rema, not a physical job with a good salary, health insurance and above all the possibility to have pension. She has passed all her tests and she is more than happy to announce to you she is now spreading her wings for a better life. We are wishing Rema all the success she deserves and give her all our very best wishes for happiness to her and her family.
Fort Cochin extract from an inside journey Juliette
"6th November 2015 I arrived in Fort Cochin for a sabbatical year with the intention to fill my time whilst letting things happen naturally one after the other. First moments are intense with emotions and discoveries. The loss of my points of reference took me back in my deepest inner me revealing all sorts of emotions. I have the feeling here I cannot hide behind my appearances. The aim of this journey is the meeting with my inner self, so, little by little I accept to get rid of my tendency to be on the move and to welcome everything here in my daily life. It is in this daily life that I learn to observe all what is surrounding me but also all what is happening in myself. Stopping is also leaving your head down and facing the emotions and thoughts with more serenity far away from the permanent race for activities. Take the time and appreciate each moment, each encounter with its own intensity. I take the time to discover people who are around me and the family who I am living with. All these little moments make me richer and richer. I finally spent four months in Fort Cochin where I had the impression I got nearer to my inner self; an inner journey deep in Indian culture with this lovely sensation not to have done more than just passing by...." Juliette February 28th 2016
Tranquebar: Help which give us wings
"Tranquebar, of course is the tranquility of a village of this wild coast where singing waves never stop to hum of this omnipresent nature with the multi-coloured flowers and birds with colourful feathers...but it is also a hard reality for these women who live in poor conditions sometimes on their own without any help or living with violent and alcoholic husbands. This morning I have met Manjula, she is employed at the Neemrana Hotel. As we were walking together we talked, she had so many difficult things to talk about (kidney problem, her husband died a few months earlier, she has 6 children to feed, a very physically demanding job and above all a feeling of loneliness facing so much pain) and then she started to cry. I offered her to come with me to the Centre and to meet Jude. She immediately followed me and that allowed her to express with humility all her sufferings from the bottom of her heart. She gave us the impression she was at a dead end. We spent some precious time, surely she left us a little happier. Jude asked her to return with all her medical tests and reviews and the association is going to take in charge of all her medication The most important thing is the expression of the feelings which brings out an inner breathing and a deep freedom. Many other women are helped by the association, they come and talk freely about their daily life and help is set up. Many thanks to all of you for your donations which are bringing comfort and confidence. These women can continue to educate and feed their children with dignity."
Mandala in the heart of Tranquebar school
With Isabelle and Martine we have lived a beautiful experience with the children of the school working about Mandala. Isabelle is talking about her experience: "When the meeting has been taken with the school teacher Menaga for an Art and Crafts afternoon is a lot of joy for each of us: the children, the school teacher, the headmaster, the women who are preparing the lunches, Sophie and me. We already all know that we are all going to spend a very lovely moment together. This Thursday in February there are 13 children registered. Even the ones who do not come regularly came, the message has gone through the village!! When I came into the dark room I can see smiles, hands stretched sometimes hesitating, I can hear "hello, hi, good afternoon". We smiled to each other, we laughed, some of them are more timid but I believe they are all happy. Like me they are impatient and curious to know which exercise they will have to do! Today is colouring Mandalas! Sophie gives to each of us a photocopy of different patterns of Mandalas. She explains in English to the school teacher who is translating in Tamil to the school pupils. The instructions are understood and respected. We are all sitting on the floor cross-legged making a circle. In the centre there are coloured pencils, felt tip pens, rubbers and the pencils sharpeners are in pile like in a Mikado game. They exchanged a glance, then smiles disappeared when they started to colour their Mandala. I am sitting next to them when the colouring activity starts. Martine is here also facing her Mandala. I sense their look over my page and when I choose a pencil. Very soon I notice the quietness and the silence in the classroom. I look at the children who are much focused. What a pleasure to fill with different colours all these little spaces with green, yellow, orange, rose, red, black... From time to time I feel a light stroke on my arm and when I lift my eyes I can see happiness in their eyes and I receive a lot of love from the child. Very little noise, just a few movements to catch a colour pencil. Little by little superb Mandalas with sparkling rosettes are appearing. Two or three children are around me while I am finishing my work, they love being next to us. Their little fingers pointed out the next places I have to finish to colour, they help to choose a colour and when I have finished I heard: "superb! superb!" They send me a lot of little kisses. What a grace, what a beauty being encouraged by children! They were a lot of emotions in this moment shared in simplicity. It was my first colouring experience in Mandala and I felt what the children felt: joy, love, presence... Thank you to each of you.
Good news for the school
A private donation has been given to the school so the school will renovated, the floors will be redone and the walls will be redecorated. Works will start next May. This project gives new heart to the school teachers Menaga and Baasha who wish to maintain their school in good condition. The association thanks with much gratitude these persons for their donation. Also soon there will be a mini-van to collect the children to go to school and return home. The association will contribute part of the expense which is very important for the school.
March... the return to France
Anne will return next March 11th and Jude, Sophie and Isabelle will return on March 26th.
Bloom is Blooming!
Please note the dates of the next Bloom exhibition in La Rochelle: from Thursday May 19th until Sunday May 22nd from 2.30 pm until 6.30 pm at Martine's house 23 rue de l'Escale.
All the members of the association would like to warmly thank you Eric for his huge work to set the newsletters and to update the internet site and Sylvie, Rob, Corinne, and Shelagh for the English newsletters translation. Thank you all for your love kindness, your help and your encouragements filled with compassion. Looking forward to see you in France...