Amongst the travelling, daily electrical problems and such, I have managed to get involved with some charity work. I volunteered to be on the charity committee of the Overseas Women's Club. We meet once or twice a month depending on the need and decisions that must be made.
I've attended two meetings and I am impressed with the professionalism of the group of ten women. The OWC currently helps fund 22 charities. Right now we are revising the list, bringing on some new charities and letting go of some that do not need our assistance anymore.
We are looking at six new charities and have gone out in groups of two or three to visit each one. The two I visited were interesting. The first, a home for mentally ill homeless women. There is one room for 35 women to eat and sleep, and a tiny kitchen. I was shocked to learn that the women sleep on the floor but my co-workers explained this is quite common. So many people in India sleep on the floor in their homes. That is what they are used to and that is what they will go home to.
The second charity I visited is a home for children who used to be sex workers or are children of sex workers, ages 5 - 20. Some of them are HIV+. There are 70 children living in three houses. They are given all the basics, medical care, counselling and are sent to school or home schooled - depending on their state-of-being.
Three of us visited each house and met the children. They were so happy to see us and each one stood and said their name and what grade they were in. Given their circumstance, I was surprised at the confidence in their voices. Some of the older children are going to college and proudly showed us their uniforms and blazers. A few of the other older children are learning a skill such as weaving or tailoring so they will be able to support themselves.
Those of us on the charity committee will meet and present our findings. Once we decide which charities meet our requirements we will have their financial statements looked at by professionals. As I said, the committee takes their responsibility seriously. We go to great lengths to make sure the charities use funds appropriately and make a difference in the community.