Thursday, July 25, 2019

What is new at Sambhali Trust?

Text & Photos: Linda Roemer

In 2018-2019, we have experienced a number of changes at Sambhali Trust, all very positive developments for our organization.
This year, we have increased both the numbers of women and children we can reach and the quality of the lessons within the centres. 
While our existing centres continue to flourish, we have opened a new empowerment centre: Sakhi Empowerment Centre, opened in May 2018 and supported by our teachers Shenaz and Hawlesh. It had its first volunteers in January 2019 and is targeting women and adolescent girls in the local community. 


The opportunity to go to the Empowerment Centre every day brings a big smile on the women's faces

We have also collected valuable feedback from some of our international sponsors and volunteers over the year regarding the content of our lessons. With a greater focus on testing as well as dividing the groups according to levels, we are making it easier for our teachers and volunteers to track each student’s progress and see who needs additional help. Each centre has redesigned their timetable for the teachers, volunteers and students.


With the establishment of one more centre and additional teachers at our boarding homes, we have increased the total number of our local staff: Our team now consists of 41 dedicated and passionate people.


The first Aadarsh workshop was held in Sheerni
Boarding Home
A few centres plan to change their location in the following months, to provide space for more children and women and to ensure a better and more productive learning experience for everyone. We will shift the Graduate Sewing Centre to the building next to our current office, where the graduates will have more space and a more pleasant working environment. The office will be shifted to this building as well.

A new venture was founded this year, called the Aadarsh Project which is designed to teach adolescent girls and boys about topics relevant to them, such as the body change in puberty, sexual harassment, and the dangers of the Internet. We intend to take this workshop to all schools in Jodhpur, that we have connections with through our No Bad Touch Project. The first workshop was held in February 2019 at Sambhali‘s Sheerni Boarding Home.




In the Sambhali Graduate Sewing Centre, we have refined the responsibilities of the supervisors posts, so that the new graduates now have their own supervisor, Anita, whilst Pushpa and Praveen supervise implementation and quality checking of orders. 


166 women and girls received a sewing machine at the graduation ceremony held in May

The establishment of a garden for both boarding homes is in discussion for the end of 2019 – the garden should be a place where the children can grow their own herbs, fruits and organic vegetables, which would give the children valuable skills in farming and nutritious food. An extra plus is that the garden would reduce the costs for food in the boarding homes.


Furthermore, art exhibitions are organized both by British and Canadian volunteers, including members of Sambhali UK who came in February and March 2019 to do workshops with the sewing classes. 


Embroidered pieces exhibited in the UK in May

We also try to connect with newspapers and magazines more to increase our outreach and expand out public audience, to raise funds as well as awareness about our work.