July 2, 2008

Wonderful things have happened in the village of Darmaji in this past year due in large part to the support you have given to the Ganesha Foundation.  Janice and I visited the village in May of this year to witness things we didn’t think possible in such a short time. It was May of 2007 when we first met the children and parents of Darmaji. At that time education was nonexistent, health care was not readily available and their diet consisted of a combination of corn and cassava root. Clean, safe drinking water was difficult to obtain. Life had not changed there for many generations and two years ago there was not much hope that things would ever improve. On May 15, 2007 the Ganesha Foundation agreed to fund an integrated education program designed and implemented by the East Bali Poverty Project. The promise of a brighter future was born that day.

This May we returned to Darmaji.  What we saw was 56 children attending school and a new school building being constructed!  Even though the children were still being taught in temporary classroom facilities their enthusiasm for learning was inspiring.  One teacher and one assistant in each classroom. The children were actively engaged in an educational system designed basically upon the principal of  “learning by doing”. Active competition between students is encouraged and educational games make learning not only more effective but fun.  Children, who one year before had never seen the alphabet, were now reading and constructing simple sentences.

Literacy is not the only thing these children are learning. Proper hygiene and health are also an important part of their curriculum along with nutrition and techniques for organic farming.  Hillsides have been excavated and stabilized with the use of vetivere grass and organic vegetable plots have now been planted. Due to new sources of protein, such as eggs and soy products, along with well-balanced lunches and vitamins, the children’s health has improved dramatically. This makes learning easier. The East Bali Poverty Project provides these and the Ganesha Foundations funds them. Monthly medical and dental services are provided to the 110 families living in Darmaji through visits by mobile medical and dental teams.

With funds provided by the Ganesha Foundation and the Anika Linden Foundation the village is building their new school, complete with a solar electrical system that will allow education to continue even on dark days during the rainy season. The rainy season lasts about six month a year. This is the first electricity this village has ever had!  Electricity will also provide the village with the means to charge two-way radios to contact the outside world for help in case of emergencies. Having a reliable solar power system also permits the use of lap top computers in the educational process. At the time of our visit in May most of the walls had been completed with twenty-five villagers working 8 hours a day for the past two months. By the end of July the school will be finished, the solar system installed and the children learning in their new classrooms!

The Ganesha Foundation has committed to continue funding Darmaji’s integrated education program for years 2008 through 2009. Janice and I, on behalf of the Ganesha Foundation, wish to thank you for your support.  Without it all of these accomplishments could not have occurred. It is a wonderful act of kindness to help someone who you will never meet but whose life will be changed forever because of the gift from a stranger. We hope you will continue to support us in the future so we can continue to help change the world, one child at a time. Thank you.

With gratitude,

Lawrence M. Carson
Janice H. Carson

Click HERE for the 2010 update
Click HERE for the 2009 update
Click HERE for the 2007 update