Collaboration in Rural India

by Dali Schonfelder

In the beginning of July, the Nalu team boarded our flight from Bali to Mumbai. We were joined this time by another family, Dr. Brad Glowaki and his family from Seal Beach in California, and Kathy,  founder of Moeloco - a for-profit responsible business with strong giving component in its DNA, with every pair of flip-flops sold they donate a pair of shoes to a child that attends school.

Our journey started in Ganeshpuri. We arrived at the Fire Mountain retreat centre at 4 am after a 2.5 hour journey north east from Mumbai. Fire Mountain retreat has been our giving partner in Ganeshpuri for 5 years. This is where the tribal people live, mostly in very harsh conditions, and also where we began our giving journey 4 years ago at the residential school in Parli where Pritty and Naresh were the first school uniform recipients.

This time, as Nalu is growing steadily, were we able to give to 3 more schools: the school in Ganeshpuri, the Parli school and the Saraswati school. The residential school in Parli is set up so the 900 children live, study, eat and sleep here. With 2 separate quarters, one for the girls and one for the boys, they are provided with a small silver coloured metal box to fit their belongings; one school uniform, a mat, a small blanket and a pencil and some books.

We’re really happy to find out that there has been a double in school enrolment after we started to donate the uniforms 4 years ago, the classes in this school are very full sometimes fitting in 150 students - so a new building is being made at the moment to house grades 11 and 12.

We often leave these schools receiving as much as we give; we are again humbled by their sense of community and sharing that seems so natural for them and is something that often we have forgotten. They take care of each other and seem to move, live and laugh as one. Our friend Georgia Glowaki, was deeply touched when one of the girls gave her sparkly bindi after she commented on the beauty of it!

Finn commented that he realised that although they speak different languages and have different customs, we are essentially the same; we laugh about the same jokes and want the same things in life. During a game of cricket that Finn, Luke and Georgia played with the children, he realises that one of the boys reminds him of his best friend back home in Bali.

After what has been my favourite “giving” trip so far after 4 years, we have finally come to a rest in Rajasthan. The main take away theme in this trip is collaboration. As Nalu is getting bigger that also means that we can start sharing our caring! Experiencing our journey into rural India with our friends where we visited lots of schools, through their eyes has made it even more exciting and special. So we would like to thank Dr. Brad Glowaki and his family, and Moeloco, a company that are as passionate about “business for good” as we are for joining us this time!

Thanks for caring!

Xx, Dali Schonfelder



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