Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 2011 CORDUSA News

Dr. Meera Krishna "The Village Doctor" - The Hindu

Hello there!

There is a lot happening with CORDUSA, and we want to bring it all to you. Here is my first trial through the blog. I would appreciate your feedback on this.

A big thanks to Shabana Dipchand for helping me with it.
Let us start with CORDUSA news from our US of A!

In July, Pujya Guruji sent an update regarding CORDUSA and it was followed by a survey which was sent to all centers.

I am very happy to report the results and suggestions of the survey below.  Certainly, there are several other activities we are doing under our Mission centers and we will continue to work on collecting the information and presenting it to you.

Local humanitarian projects done at the centers (descending order)
Feeding the homeless
Distributing blankets and/or coats in winter
Providing help to elderly
Mentoring/ tutoring children in the community
Helping Bhutanese refugees
Collecting and distributing school supplies
Distributing sandwich bags
Offering professional services
Creating holiday baskets



The fundraising activities for CORD at the centers (descending order)
Walk-for-CORD
Readathon
Cultural Event
Member 90th Birthday gift collection
Annual kite festival

Suggestions
Request for Poster Panels for CORDUSA activity display purposes
Need regular meeting of all the leads across the US centers for CORD USA to share ideas.


We will work on implementing the suggestions and collecting relevant information.  Now, let us take a bird's eye view of CORDUSA events over the last months...

  • The children in Virginia’s Summer Camp 2011 participated in "Love in Action", a series of seva activities.  They reached out to the needy through a sandwich drive (June 24th); toiletries drive (July 8th) and a card drive for sick children in Ronald McDonald House in Washington D.C (July 1st).  
  • In June, we organized a service visit to Sidhbari, please read about it on our facebook page and on blog!
  • Miami, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Atlanta, Portland and Ann Arbor were in the list of centers that conducted a "Walk for CORD" this year Jan-Sept.  See more on our events page.  We will also send out our progress report at the end of the year.
  • Chinmaya Mission Chicago conducted two fundraisers for CORD.

We are very glad to be part of this movement, everything you do to raise awareness and funds helps the needy

    As for what is coming up, October is a very busy month!

    • CM Minneapolis is preparing for their Walk for CORD on October 1st.
    • CHYK Austin is conducting a  seva retreat entitled "The Joy of Service",  where spirituality joins hands with service on October 1st.
    • Chinmaya Halton is doing a fundraiser  for CORD Sri Lanka on October 1st.

    Now, we will look at a few highlights from CORD Centers in India and Sri Lanka.  All quarterly reports are up on our website, on the "News and Events" page.  Here, I can only touch on some of the highlights from some of the CORD centers.  Please see the full report for more information, because there is a lot of great work happening and it is hard to list them all in a blog!

    I want to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Meera Krishna whose selfless service was acknowledged by the national newspaper, The Hindu. Please see The Hindu : Life & Style / Metroplus : The village doctor

    CORD DEULADIHA is promoting the conservation of medicinal herbs: Rauwolfia Serpetina which is popularly known as Pagal ki Dawa has been disappearing from the forests due to excessive exploitation. These herbs are especially helpful in the treatment of blood pressure, stress and  hypertension. CORD Deuladiha is working on getting local farmers trained in planting these herbs to conserve them for our future.

    CORD Deuladiha's empowering of women continues:  A new Mahila Mandal with forty tribal women was formed in the village of Tamanga. CORD Deuladiha now has 23 Mahila Mandals which brings it to 868 members.

    As a result of their self-help-group, watermelon brings additional Rs. 48 lakhs to villages.  The cultivation of watermelon took a giant leap this summer! The watermelons were transported to and sold in distant places, yielding at least Rs. 48 lakhs  benefiting around 200 households.

    CORD KAZA blossoms young minds. Aside from studying the regular curriculum, Chinmaya Vijaya children are also celebrating festivals such as: Guru Purnima, Independence Day, Krishna Janmashtami and many more. This is indeed a great way to keep our culture and tradition alive!

    CORD LATHIKATA is getting Tech Savvy:  The 4th batch of the Computer Literacy Program kicks off once again! Eighteen youths from Lathikata and a nearby village have been admitted to a three month’s computer course which will be conducted by a software professional for three hours daily, five days a week.

    They also did a Special  TREEt for Guruji’s birthday:  CORD distributed varieties of Neem, Karanja, Guava, Papaya, Lemon, Ashoka, Amla etc.  for plantation in the orchards of the villagers in Lohadar & Budhikudar. Simultaneously, they also conducted an awareness program emphasizing on the education of young children, negative effects of alcohol and the process of preparation of herbal medicines.

    As part of their work on fighting social injustice, CORD Lathikata organized a signature campaign on April 8, 2011 in support of Anna Hazare’s fast  for the enactment of  the ‘Jan Lokpal Bill’ and staged a one-day Dharana at the main market of Lathikata.


    CORD SIDHABARI is booming. As of March 2011, CORD has facilitated 1,547 self-help groups and it doesn’t stop there. CORD Sidhabari is now working with 1,311 self-help groups composed of 17,520 members. Way to go!

    They take a strong stride in curing anemia.  CORD Sidhabari arranged for the testing of Hemoglobin levels in 358 girls. Among them 70% were diagnosed with anemia. As a result, they were given iron supplements and were advised on a new diet which includes jaggery, gram and peanuts.

    CORD SIRUVANI celebrates World Anti-Tobacco day. On May 31, 2011, CORD Siruvani visited various areas and showed the villagers cds about tobacco cessation. They are also constantly raising awareness on the hazards of tobacco use and options available to stop tobacco.

    CORD THAMARAIPAKKAM is encouraging students to wake up! Choosing a career has never been easy especially for youth today. Thanks to CORD Thamaraipakkam’s Vizhithidu workshop which means ‘Wake Up’ in Tamil, seventeen experts in different fields such as law, teaching, armed services and more addressed 150 students guiding and inspiring them on different career opportunities.

    To cool off the hot summer, CORD Thamaraipakkam hosted a children’s COOL camp which is a four day non-residential camp for rural children. Around 350 students learned about spirituality and patriotism through interactive sessions, folk arts, games etc.

    CORD SRI LANKA is expanding its outreach to provide counseling and carry out visualization sessions among disillusioned men, women and children of Jaffna, Killinochi and Batticaloa to set aside past wounds and re-start their lives.

    Around 600 women in various parts of Jaffna and Killinochi were coached to form Self-Help Groups (SHG); the SHGs have now formed Mahalir Mandram (MM) groups. They have been empowered to rebuild their family lives.

    These are just glimpses of the news from India and Srilanka CORD centers.  Please get more information and full report from our News and Events page - http://www.cordusa.org/index.php/events-calendar

    You will be able to get more updates from our webpage (www.cordusa.org) as well as our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/cordusa).  As always, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, I am just an email away...

    Thank you!
    Subha