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2015 Kumar's Year in Review

2015: Kumar's year in review

In 2015 we consolidated our projects and began educating a handful more children. Our partnerships grew and we made more trips to India. New members of our team joined and our fundraising activities also prospered. Highlights from 2015 are below. 

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The Children

  • In 2015 we welcomed 4 more children on to our programme. These children were all previously going begging with their families each day. Now they are off the streets and into school, getting involved in school activities and making new friends from different communities. The total number of children in our education project is now 41.
     
  • For the first year ever we had a 0% dropout rate. This means all the children who started the year in education, finished the year in education and attended school on a regular basis, only missing days if they were poorly or had urgent family issues. 
     
  • We started our birth certificate programme, which aims to provide each child on our programmes without the necessary legal documentation with a birth certificate.  With a birth certificate a child is legally recognised by the India Government, which means they can attend university, vote, get a passport, attend university and find legal employment as an adult.
     
  • During the course of the year, all former college and university students at My Name is Kumar found employment, they are earning for themselves and are able to support their families. All these students are women who came from poor backgrounds with signifcant barriers to higher education.
     
  • Everyone's new favourite toy is the skateboard!

Organisation and Team News

  • We partnered up with Halbe Innovations, a Chennai based legal and accounting service who give us advice and help us to work with our Indian partners, CARE Foundation.
  • Our team grew from 2 to 3. In October Alyce joined us as the person responsible for communication and community, this means she takes care of the website, social media and newsletters. Next April she'll be coming to the projects to meet CARe Foundation and all the children for herself! 

  • A new partnership with a special Danish school, CSU, began. They brought a group of their students over the visit the projects in January. Everyone enjoyed meeting each other and we're hoping to organise an exchange for next year so that CARE Foundation can visit the school in Denmark! CSU dedicated a lot of time fundraising for My Name is Kumar, raising over €10,000 to support out projects. 

  • We also partnered with UWC – a school in Pune, Maharashtra. UWC visited My Name is Kumar and CARE Foundation with 12 students to see the work we do. Renee returned the visit and travelled to Pune to give a presentation to the school and it's staff about the importance of education as a tool to lift people out of poverty, and how MNIK apply this principle it's work with the Londor community. 


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Other updates

  • In November and December a terrible, devastating flooding hit Chennai (and made global news) destroying the homes of the families of children at My Name is Kumar. As a result we started housing over 200 people from the community in temporary shelter, read our blog about the floods here.

  • BUT… at the very end of 2015 we started a huge collaborative project which will make a big difference to the lives of families living in the Londor community. We will be building a group of sustainable houses and community centre plus installing solar powered lighting for the whole community! You can read more here.

  • Plus, this year we had a film made about the work of My Name is Kumar – so, in 3 and a half minutes you find out a bit more about us, meet the children and see the place where they live.