Friday, November 6, 2015

October 2015 Highlights

A few highlights from our Facebook posts in October 2015.

You can "like" us here:

October 20

Our Fall 2015 e-newsletter is out. Hope you enjoy the updates!

October 18

"In one village, I asked a large group of men about rape. They insisted that they honor women and deplore rape — and then added that the best solution after a rape is for the girl to be married to the rapist, to smooth over upset feelings."
The father of one of our kids actually said the same thing to us. He told us how, years ago, his niece was raped and that he helped get her married to her rapist to solve the problem.

October 16

Happy bright pink Dasara from Suma, Prema, Manjula, Sulochana, Shwetha, Anitha, Pooja, Rani, Netra, Divya, Renuka, Mamatha, Shilpa, Sumitra, VJL, Pallavi, Swarana, Shanti, Lalitha, Nagu, Dhanalakshmi, Chinmaye, Thanmaye, Jyothi, and Sowmya, Vinutha, Latha, and Lalita!

October 12

Great videos. In all languages spoken in India -- 

October 4

Siblings on Ganesha day.



October 3

"Enormous Thanks to the students who came yesterday to ‪#‎PracticeForSita‬! It was such a special one ! You've been so generous . I'll keep you posted of what is happening to Sita. Your amazing energy made that last day at YogaSearcher, unique, bright and so meaningful émoticône smile Love you All. I'll miss you. But see you next season:-)"

Thanks, Flora and friends.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

In honor of our mothers

We wish the mothers in our programs a very Happy Mother's Day and Happy Mother's Day to all mothers throughout the world who work hard everyday to be there for their children.

Most of our mothers have suffered tremendous trauma and emotional and physical pain in their lives, and they entrust us with their kids in the hope that they will have a better life than they did.

We are constantly amazed at the resilience of our mothers, who have suffered horrible diseases like tuberculosis and HIV, have been beaten, shamed, told they were useless, and are often taken for granted. 

We only wish the best for them, and our goal is to help them become strong women in their own right. Many of them are on this path.

We support the mothers of our kids with medical assistance and guidance and counseling when needed or requested. 

Our mothers are a big part of our Operation Shanti family and we have watched them grow and change over the past ten years.

To our mothers, thank you for being there for your kids even though they may no longer live with you. Your influence on your kids remains the strongest of anyone.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Indestructible play balls for our kids! Coming to Mysore in 2015?

FYI - we got 61 play balls for our kids!

If you donated a ball to our campaign, thank you very much! We aren't able to get a list of donors from One World Play Project, but we want to say thanks to everyone who donated a play ball.

These balls are really great (the kids currently have one). They don't deflate, which means there's no need to keep pumping them with air -- and the way our kids play, that means pumping all the time (and a lot of damaged balls).

 These balls are also indestructible -- perfect for the terrain at our kids' home.

We'll be receiving the 61 balls at our San Francisco address in mid-March, and we are looking for people who can carry one or two (or more?) balls in their luggage when they come to Mysore. Let us know at if you know of anyone from the U.S. who is planning a trip to Mysore in 2015 and we'll get a ball or two to you to carry over for us.

They're the same size as regular soccer balls.

Because the balls will be with us in the U.S. (San Francisco), better for the carriers to be from the U.S. We plan to keep 20 or so balls for kids and then distribute a few to their schools and a couple other children's homes in Mysore.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

“The soul is healed by being with children.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Five years ago, in November 2009, one of our friends from the U.S. was visiting us in Mysore and she met Adeline and Shirly from Singapore at a cafe in Gokulam. Adeline and Shirly were in Mysore to practice at a yoga shala, and Marianne proceeded to recruit them to paint some of the bare walls at our children's home -- Adeline is, after all, a fabulous artist! 

Since then, Adeline, Shirly, and Jo-Anne (their friend from Singapore who comes to Mysore to drive rickshaws and practice that other yoga) have been transforming our walls during their visits and, along the way, have captured our kids' hearts.

In November 2009, they started with our first ABC Room -- a little hut we built as a small classroom and spare room.
That's Shirly inside, mixing paint, with Lokesh and Venkatesh filling in Adeline's ABC sketches.
The ABC Room.
Then, the women came again in December 2010 and painted our cat room (the open classroom/activity room where the kids' three cats live) with playful animal figures. Great looking walls, yes?

Adeline sketches, the kids color.
Adeline came in December 2012 and was around for Christmas and Chinese New Year -- she had her themes!

A nice background for taking photos!
Just like the snowmen in Singapore... ;-)

The women arrived in Mysore in December 2014, and the painting started again (yay!). This time, they tackled our new ABC Room -- a more spacious version of the original ABC Room.

During the project, the women learned Hindi and Kannada!

 Many other activities were going on, including super-fun arts and crafts by Jo-Anne,

Five hyperactive happy kids quietly enjoying themselves. 
Raju and the very very long necklace that he made.
Mohan coloring with precision (wish he was this quiet and focused all the time!). 
taking trips with the kids, 

The Adeline "wefie" photo -- Bylakuppe with the kids.
and just hanging out.

Christmas 2012.
The girls bindi-ed Shirly.
The other day, a mutual friend commented, "What should we call them -- the three women from Singapore? They're so great. They need a stage name, you know, like ... 'three sisters'?" 

How about, simply, Hao Peng You. Good friends.

The paintings, and their friendship, brighten our living environment.
Over the years, these three women have touched the lives of our kids in many ways -- through their artwork on the walls, their genuine, kind, thoughtful, practical nature and desire simply to help, and the time they spend with our kids and on their behalf both here and in Singapore. We hope that all kids everywhere get the chance to have great friends like Joanne, Shirly, and Adeline!

"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted."
--Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our strong women

This is one of our cooks. She's from a very poor background and has struggled with great burdens in her home life, as many Indian women do. She has two great kids -- attestation to her fabulous skills as a mother despite her hardships -- and cares for our kids as if they are her own. She's very close to our older boys, which helps tremendously as they make their way through their teenage years.

The younger woman in one of the photos is our housekeeper, whom we've known for 10 years. She's an amazing and strong woman who left an abusive husband, got her act together, and has transformed her own life for the better.

We and our kids are really lucky to know such women.