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New School Building opens on Vijayawada City Dump, thanks to the generosity of UK donors!      
9th April 2016

A new start, a new beginning for the Dump community, as they celebrate the Hindu festival of Ugadi with renewed hope for their futures.
The school on Vijayawada City Dump was officially opened on Friday, to mark the Indian Hindu Festival of "Ugadi", by land owner Mr. Omkar Reddy and an elder from within the Dump Community, Mr Rambabu with KISES NGO founders Mr & Mrs Suram.

"Ugadi", also known as 'Yugadi' is a Hindu festival celebrated by the people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh with much vigor.  It can be likened to a New Year Celebration, and means 'new age beginning'.   This opening marks a new beginning for the community of the city dump as it represents the start of learning and support for the children and their families.

The school has been commissioned thanks to  individuals in the UK, who have sponsored some of the families and provided donations, following fundraising efforts and awareness raising  by Jem King and Meriel Woodward.   An initial £3000 was sent over in February and work started almost immediately!

The next transfer of £3000, which has been raised mostly from the Bollywood Night in Clitheroe, will pay for food, clothing, educational material, mats, tape recorder for educational stories and songs, salaries and transport.  

Further monies raised through KISES UK, registered charity 1166189 will go towards building homes, sanitation blocks and water facilities for the community.

KISES UK will continue fundraising efforts to support this project and Child's Rights activities in Vijaywada's Remote Villages.   If you would like to support, please contact KISES UK using the details below.
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Bollywood Night Sell Out Success for KISES!
2nd April 2016

A fund raising Bollywood Night on Saturday 2nd April to help children living on a city rubbish dump in India pulls together many groups across our community and raises twice as much money than had been expected.

A charity Bollywood night out in Clitheroe raised over £2,570 to help children living on a rubbish dump in India, twice as much as the organisers had hoped for.

Over 130 people turned out, many dressed in saris and Indian clothing, to the spectacular sell-out event at the Parish Centre of St. Michael’s and St John’s on Saturday.

Guests were royally entertained with a 3 course Indian meal, henna tattoos Indian style, an Asian wedding style Photo Booth, a lesson in basic Hindu, raffle prizes (donated by local businesses, and which included a year’s supply of pies!), and disco. High point of the evening was a demonstration and lesson in Bollywood dancing by Henna from the Preston Hindu Temple.

Sabden mum of two, Meriel Woodward, who has visited Vijayawada in SE India, and seen for herself the desperate plight of the children living on the rubbish dump, and who spoke at the event, said: “It has been amazing to see how a community has come together for this cause – with people supporting it from across all Christian groups in Clitheroe, the Muslim community (room decoration from Pervez from Tayib's store in Burnley and Donuts from Nazma Maaster from Simply Donuts) and of course beautiful Bollywood Dancing from Henna Soni from Preston's Hindu Temple!

Everyone had a great time. It has made a tremendous contribution to meeting my initial target to raise £40,000. As well as contributing much more than we dared to hope, the Bollywood Night has raised the profile of the challenge locally. I’m now well over half way there, but we’ve still got a long way to go - anyone out there who can help, please get in touch!”

All the money raised will go direct to projects already lined up to tackle accommodation, education, health care, sanitation, and work prospects for the children. This is being actioned through Indian based organisation KISES, and UK sister charity, KISES UK (registered charity no 1166189).
Photographs on the night were taken by

Anyone who wants to make a donation, or help in any way, can contact Meriel through Facebook or by emailing [email protected]
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Plan to end child labour at Vijayawada Municipal dumpyard closer to reality

A plan to put a stop to child labour at an Andhra Pradesh Municipal Dump-yard has moved a step closer with the start of building work on a new Child Care & Protection Centre at Pathapadu.          
27th February 2016
 Husband and wife Shoury Babu Rebba and Rajani Suram, who run a charity called KISES (Kiranmayi Socio Educational Society), formed 17 years ago to represent the most marginalised and underprivileged members of society, invited 40 families currently living on the Vijayawada dump to attend a foundation stone-laying ceremony at the site of the new school.
As part of a ground-breaking humanisation programme, KISES, supported by volunteers in the UK, will build a classroom, play area, kitchen and creche facility for around 60 children as they seek to use education as a way out of crippling poverty for the dump dwellers.
The families, who are forced to pick through mountains of waste for plastic and metal items to sell for recycling, face a daily battle for survival, many beset by health problems and malnutrition.
Thanks to KISES, they will be relocated to a new tented village, built on ground donated by local landowner Mr Omkar Reddy, and for the first time will have access to clean water, sanitation, toilets and washing facilities, as well as solar lighting and a food and nutrition programme.
The puja, which was followed by a celebration meal for all the families, was attended by KISES UK volunteer Jem King, who thanked Mr Reddy for his generosity in donating and preparing the land for building work to begin and praised the small KISES India team for reaching out to the regularly shunned and overlooked dump dwellers.
“Many of the children living and scavenging at the dump have never seen the inside of a classroom, so this humanisation scheme will be truly life-changing for them,” said Jem, a 55-year-old father of three from Cardiff, Wales.
“These are some of the world’s most vulnerable and downtrodden people who, despite all their difficulties, seem to retain a remarkably optimistic and carefree outlook on life.
“They simply accept this lifestyle as their lot, but the elders have nevertheless been quick to recognise this opportunity and the chance for the children, many of whom were born on the city tip, to have a brighter future away from the dangers of the dump.
“Those already in their late teens might find attending school too challenging, but KISES will still seek out vocational and skills training for them, while giving the younger children a vital introduction to the world of learning.
“In time, it should be possible to integrate them into the Indian education system, either in government-run schools, or special residential schools set up to offer support to some of the most severely disadvantaged children in the Andhra Pradesh region.”
​Jem and fellow UK volunteer Meriel Woodward, from Sabden, Lancashire have taken on fundraising responsibility for several KISES projects - the dump humanisation programme being the first priority - and are actively seeking trust and corporate sponsorship in Britain and beyond.
Individual donations and an ‘adopt a dump family’ campaign have so far raised more than £6,000 (INR600,000), allowing building work to commence. However, more funding is urgently required to complete the tented village, which will allow all children and families to move off the dump.
“For now, we see this as a one-off project, but in the longer term this KISES scheme could serve as a template for other cities to follow and bring lasting change to the absolute poorest of the poor,” says Jem.
“if India is serious about raising living standards for all its citizens and alleviating poverty throughout the land then what better way than to build from the very bottom up?
“Putting the caste system aside, if families like these can be integrated into wider society and go on to live worthwhile and productive lives, that sends out the message that every citizen counts - and that can only be good for the future of India.”

If you think you might be able to help by donating cash, goods, purchasing an asset like the wash and sanitation block which we would like to build next, or providing corporate sponsorship, please get in touch with Meriel and Jem at [email protected] or 07989922666 or 01282 772943