Lotus Flower Trust

Changing children’s lives through education.
The Lotus Flower Trust was formed to provide access to education for disadvantaged young people in remote areas of India

TFWA Care has supported its work almost since the Trust was founded. TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen and World Duty Free Group business relations and external affairs director Sarah Branquinho became involved in The Lotus Flower Trust through their son, who helped on one of the projects in India. After visiting the project and themselves helping with construction, Sarah and Erik sought TFWA involvement in the cause.

 

TFWA Care has supported a number of projects launched by the Lotus Flower Trust. In recent years TFWA Care has helped the Trust complete the construction of the International School for English Language (ISELL) in Ladakh, and the Brahmaputra Home for Railway Children in Guwahati. Other recent openings include the Nalanda Residential Primary School for boys and girls, also in Ladakh, plus a home for staff at the Ashram Shala Savada school, opened with TFWA Care’s support in 2012.

 

All the projects undertaken by the Lotus Flower Trust make a huge difference to the quality of care and teaching provided to children in parts of India where educational infrastructure is practically non-existent. As Lotus Flower Trust CEO John Hunt says: "The only way out of poverty is through the education of children! So the Lotus Flower Trust works at grass-roots level providing children with well-built schools with caring teachers and homes where the children can feel safe and have dignity.”

Project in 2017

This year, TFWA will support the construction of an accommodation block for girls at the Middle School in Nyoma, a very remote area in the Himalayas of the capital town of Ladakh where education is not a priority for children – especially for young girls.  Nyoma, located in a high altitude desert above 4,000 meters, is a very unforgiving place to live. In the winter, the temperatures drop to -30C or below and, even in the summer months, which can be very hot, there is always a penetrating cold wind blowing.  Currently, the children from Nyoma begin their education in village Kindergartens and Primary Schools. For their Middle School and Higher Secondary education they come into Nyoma where there are two large residential schools. As the only source for early education, the conditions in both schools are very rugged and spartan.  Their lessons take place in a large but rundown wooden and glass school building, and their original accommodation was in a large corrugated iron building that was built in the 1960s. 

Without the push to achieve basic education, the career prospects for the children of Nyoma are bleak.  The choices to earn a livelihood are limited: a nomadic life looking after the herds;  working as a road builder which involves lifting heavy rocks manually to repair the roads in the rough terrain of high altitude Himalaya; and lastly, joining the local army brigade ‘Ladakh Scouts’  that is currently engaged in fighting neighbouring Pakistan.  With TFWA Care’s continuing support to the Lotus Flower Trust, the drive to convince parents that in modern India, education is the only solution for elevating people out of poverty.

Nalanda Residential Primary School for boys and girls in Ladakh

The first phase of this school was funded by TFWA Care, and opened by TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen during a visit in August 2014. It continues to operate successfully, currently with 27 small boys attending. It is anticipated, and planned that this number will grow going forward.

 

Having successfully established itself as a Residential School for children who live in the remote areas of Ladakh, TFWA Care contributed to the second phase and expansion of the Nalanda Residential Primary School for boys and girls.  The first phase of this school was funded by TFWA Care, and opened by TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen during a visit in August 2014. Across the Himalayas where the traditional customs are still practiced by many, there are stringent rules laid down by religious groups.  As an example, the All Buddhist Gonpa Association Ladakh says boys and girls must not be accommodated in the same building.  As a trusted NGO, the Lotus Flower Trust, supported by TFWA Care in 2016, was able to build a separate building and allowed girls to attend the school.  Today, young boys and girls are now receiving the primary education they deserve.  

With the support of TFWA Care, a new building to allow girls to attend the school will be built during April to September 2016.

 

2014-2015 projects

In 2014-2015 TFWA Care has helped the Lotus Flower Trust expand and upgrade the Ambedkar Adarsh Junior High School in Berinaag, Uttrakhand, to the benefit of its 185 pupils and accommodating a further 70. The school is located in remote northern India, near the Nepal border, and many of its population live below the poverty line. The project has seen 4 classrooms added to the school, in addition to a Community Hall and improved sanitary facilities. A further project saw the renovation of the Ram Tirth Vidyalaya Junior High School in Dehradun, also in Uttrakhand. The school was in a poor state of repair and unable to fully meet the needs of its 190 pupils, many of whom are girls. The construction enabled 8 further classrooms to be built, plus a room for staff, a kitchen and 2 toilets. The electricity and water systems were extended.

A further project saw the renovation of the Ram Tirth Vidyalaya Junior High School in Dehradun, also in Uttrakhand. The school was in a poor state of repair and unable to fully meet the needs of its 190 pupils, many of whom are girls.

 

The construction enabled 8 further classrooms to be built, plus a room for staff, a kitchen and 2 toilets. The electricity and water systems were extended.