Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Worthy Project to Change Lives

My nephew in Raleigh, N.C. started Friends United about a year ago, a non-profit organization devoted to developing opportunities for people in poor communities. Recently Friends United partnered with an organization called Brahmi, an NGO (non-government organization) in India. The founder, Dr. Channa Raju, founded a school in the community where he grew up. This school provides education to children in a very poor community who otherwise would lack access to it.

Dr. Raju wants to start a computer lab at the school, but the area only gets 3 hours or so of electricity a day. Friends United and Brahmi partnered with SELCO Energy, a socially responsible solar energy provider, to install solar panels at the school and use solar energy to provide not only lighting at the school, but the electricity necessary to power the computer lab. This will help these kids take the ‘next step’ in their advancement.

The total project cost is 15K. They have already raised 5K and are using the Global Giving challenge to raise the rest. The Global Giving folks have approved the project, and now they need to raise at least 4K through 50 different donors. If they are able to do that, not only can the school project be finished, but their organization will be given a permanent spot on Global Giving's website, giving them access to a national audience of philanthropists who can continue to help.

You can go directly to the Global Giving site to learn more about the project and to donate. (100% of all donations from the Global Giving challenge will be used toward this solar project at the Anjana School.)


The following site shows a video produced about the school and this project when Board members visited the school in December. http://www.youtube.com/user/FriendsUnite2010?feature=mhum#p/a/f/0/u3eb33w0364

And at the following site, you can read about Manjula, a former student at the Anjana school who is now giving back to her own community by teaching at the same school.


What we take for granted is life-changing opportunity for others. Please do visit these sites. Thanks.


Lydia Kang said...

What a good cause. Thanks for the links, I'm going over to check them out.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Lydia!

J.L. Campbell said...

Wow, we tend to take so many things for granted. I can't imagine what I'd do without electricity for most of the day. Wonderful that the school is getting this assistance.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Yes, J. L., I am so proud of my nephew for taking this on.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That really is wonderful that he started such an organization. I hope it continues to do do well and help others. :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Jennifer!

Lauri said...

This sounds amazing! Thank you for the information.

Peter said...

Great job friendsunite. We should also know what looks greener is it really green?