Lotus Flower Trust
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 following schools in the remote areas of India:
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.”
This year, TFWA will continue its partnership and help eradicate poverty and provide schooling in India with Lotus Flower Trust. The Trust has been tasked to fund the construction of 5 new classrooms, toilets and a teachers office in Himalayan Public School in Manali, Uttrakhand. The new classrooms will enable to increase numbers of students up to 150 children. The funding requested will cover the entire reconstruction of the only school in this very remote region.
In the province of Manali, the locals are from a poor farming community with little of no wealth. They are described as subsistence farmers, living from what they grow. Poverty is never far away, and the children suffer because of this. The only way out of poverty is through education. By supporting these poor children, TFWA Care will offer these children a chance to breakout from the current situation and one day maybe they will be able to benefit from the modernisation of India which today very sadly bypasses those that are poor.
Last year, TFWA Care continued its partnership with Lotus Flower Trust to aid the refurbishment and construction of eight additional classrooms and a new washing and toilet block for the Montessori Junior High School in the remote village of Jawasha Nagar. Its location is so far from the closest town or city that it is unlikely that the Indian government or any other local or overseas NGO will give aid to the school in this corner of the Himalayas. The local population is very dependent on this school and most of its buildings are in very poor condition and desperate need of upgrading.
In addition, with TFWA Care’s financial aid, the Montessori was also able to help its staff and volunteers. The school prioritises girls, 110 of which pay 100 rupees (£1) a month or less for their education. The boys are charged more at 300 rupees (£3). This encourages parents, who always support boys education above girls, to send their girls to school with it being the cheaper option. The parents come from the lower classes, being laborers either on the roads, in the farms, or in factories.
All the teachers have post graduate degrees but can’t get paid jobs, so they receive a poor salary from the students’ monthly contributions. They describe themselves more as a volunteer and not salaried teachers. They are traditionalists, who believe in preserving their cultural heritage. With TFWA Care’s financial support helped the Lotus Flower Trust to work on the much needed refurbishment and improved the hygiene and dignity of the children and teachers while increasing the capacity of the school to 200 and more.