Holistic education

A School Visit

Dynamic, fearless, humble, ready to do any thing with a YES mind” is what I can say about children at our schools. Raising funds for Care for Children for the past 3 years during Mothers day event, my children were curious to meet the school kids, which led me to explore a school in the outskirts of Hyderabad, India.

We visited Sri Sri Gyan Mandir, an Art of Living school surrounded by 10 villages below poverty line. The school hosts over 750+ children from grades KG to 8th. Their day begins with yoga and Sudarshan Kriya. Then a healthy breakfast, morning classwork, afternoon meals with freshly cooked rice and dal served for all kids (yummy dal I have ever had!), recess, afternoon meditation and classwork.

Text/note books, class supplies, two pairs of school dresses are provided for kids. Every child is so bright and healthy with a big smile, very impressive to see the kids growing up surrounded by wisdom.

We met children from all grades, and spent 2 hours with 5th graders for an art project. My kids and their cousins were awe stuck, watching children filled with gratefulness and contentment for what they received. The teachers are local volunteers, very humble and loving. It is beautiful to see how Art of Living course donations and Care for Chidlren donations flow into these welfare projects. By registering for an Art of Living program not only do the participants benefit from the learning, the course fee feeds iso many service projects.

Today, Art of Living Foundation runs 600+ schools, with 65,000+ children living below poverty line. I feel very inspired visiting the school, there are several schools in tribal areas throughout India. Amazing volunteers who are selflessly serving, bringing light into many lives!

-By Pavitra Anne

California girl’s initiative helps underprivileged kids

Are you a parent who wonders how to raise compassionate kids in a place where they never meet anyone going through poverty and hardship? The story of Amisha, a 7th grade student living in Santa Clara, California is an example of how a kid living in USA can feel connected to and impact underserved parts of the world on another continent. Last year, her dad Nilesh Acharya told her about Care for Children and what it does for underprivileged kids in India who are able to go to school because of the funds raised by Care for Children in the US. After becoming aware of CFC's cause, she realized that the education she and her friends take for granted, is not even available to many kids in other parts of the world. She felt that every child should get an education because knowledge helps children come out of poverty and ignorance, so she felt strongly that she should do something to help the kids.

Brahma Kamal growing this year

Brahma Kamal growing this year

She came up with an idea which she could easily do at home. She started growing exotic plants which are difficult to find at local nurseries. Her mom Nivedita encouraged and helped her in this endeavor. She started with two types of plants: Nishigandha (Tuberose) and Lemongrass. Tuberose is a rare plant hard to find in local stores. Lemongrass is used in Thai food and tea. It also has medicinal value in curing cough and cold. Once the plants were big enough to be sold, she started telling family friends about her cause and posted pictures of the plants on Facebook. She told them about the schools and how they can help by buying her plants. She received good response from her friends and family and was able to sell around 18 plants for a profit of $151. She donated all the proceeds to Care for Children. Encouraged by the results, this year Amisha is even more enthusiastic about growing more plants. She started planting seeds in March and she already has orders for July 2017. This year she is growing more varieties of plants, such as, Brahma Kamal, Soantakka and Michigandha in addition to Tuberose and Lemongrass.

When asked how she feels, she said, “Knowing that I have helped other children feels really great. It makes me happy and proud.” She would like to visit one of the schools one day and meet some of the children.

Soantakka in Amisha's garden

Soantakka in Amisha's garden

She would like to share this message with other children like her all over the world: “We take education for granted. We should realize how lucky we are. When my dad told me about kids who are not so fortunate, it really made me think how we can help those children. After doing my volunteer fundraising, I can say that volunteering and helping others brings confidence, develops leadership qualities and brings meaning to life.”


If you would like your child or teen to volunteer for CFC or have an idea to help underprivileged kids, get in touch with us at careforchildren@artofliving.org

By Manisha Verma