Kalyani Mirajkar scored
87% in class X , 148/150 in Maths, 146/150 in Science. She wants to
be a cardiologist.
Sheetal Londhe scored 83% in class IX and is presently in class X.
She wants to be a doctor.
Dinesh Rathod secured 85 % in SSC. He wants to be
a computer engineer
Every child has a right to
study. But higher education in India is still a dream for any
economically backward community. Only 7 out of 100 at this level are
able to continue their education beyond Class 10.
Every child has a
dream….The choice of converting this to reality is “YOURS“ – say
Friends of Children, a group of individuals in Pune and Bangalore
who have joined hands with various NGOs’ and generous donors for
promoting this common cause.
The aim of FOC is to help as many needy students as possible
to gain proper educational qualification in professional and non-professional streams. The
main focus of Friends of Children is to provide assistance to
students after their Matriculation. They aim to achieve this in the following
1. Providing career guidance for children.
# Regular monitoring over weekends
# Providing school/college fees and
# Providing bus pass
# Providing books and other stationery
# In some cases, health check-up and
# Funding for job oriented training
courses, spoken English etc.
# Fees for various competitive exams
like JEE/AIEEE/CET etc.
educational guidance to children on Saturdays and Sundays.
The good thing about FOC is they don’t stop
with sponsoring the education. They have a very strict monitoring
schedule for the students. Monthly meeting with all the students
on the last Sunday of every month is mandatory. Students who
miss more than three meetings in a row without informing Friends
of Children will not be supported from the next academic year.
student is associated with a mentor who will guide the student
in a right direction. So each student is getting individual
the financial assistance from FOC, I also benefit from the care
and friendship of the members. Their support has improved my
self-confidence and will power to achieve my objective,” says
“We encourage our students
from now onwards to give back to the community. Our students
have to do social service once a week. Right now our students
are helping the Blind students in Poona blind school and Pediatric
ward children in Sassoon Hospital (Government hospital)” says
Venkatesan, one of the core committee members.
They also have a group which
works towards finding the employment opportunity for the students
and arranging for vocational trainings for the students. “During
summer we sent 2 of our students for a 2 month beautician course
which they did very well and they have been offered a job by
the institute itself. We provided 8 students with tailoring
course and mehndi course for another 8 students. One of our
blind boy is attending a telephone operator course. We have
organized part time jobs for few of our students since
their family needs their financial support ” he sums up.
FOC stand different from
other NGOs as they do not have any paid employees or any overhead
costs. This means that 100% of the money raised goes to the
children. Any administrative costs are borne by the Managing
committee and Core group members.
Pune is sponsoring 50 students for the academic year 2004-05.
FOC need to raise about Rs.70000/- more by the end of
April 2005 for the college fees and miscellaneous expenses for
You can change
the FUTURE of a deserving child with Rs100 per month.
FoC encourage the donors
and volunteers to donate funds on regular basis. They ask friends
to form a group of 5 people and donate Rs 100 each per month
which sums up to Rs 6000 per year and will be sufficient
for sponsoring a student. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?
You can issue cheques favouring
Friends of Children. A/c no. 000501043959, ICICI Bank, Bund
Garden Branch, Pune. Or drop them off at any ICICI ATM
of your choice.
are also other ways to contribute” say FoC.
can join them as a volunteer and participate in their various
* You can hold seminars or workshops in communication and personality
always was of the opinion that education definitely makes a
difference in people’s lives and the things the educated could
achieve were limitless. This organization was a perfect example
of that. The satisfaction I have gotten by helping these kids
to study and actually be a mentor to some kid is very rewarding,”
says Nandini Madhan, a volunteer.