July 3, 2009

In 2007, when we first visited Darmaji, we saw not one smile on a child’s face. We witnessed suspicion, apprehension and little sense of hope for the future. Janice said, “if we return here and see children smiling, this project will be a success.” On our last visit in May of 2009, what we saw certainly qualified as success! Just the prior May, the school was still under construction, classes were being held in temporary classrooms with the original 50 students and still no electricity. This year we were greeted by 76 happy, clean, smiling students studying in their new, shining six-room school, complete with a solar electrical system! Upon our arrival, we were treated to a presentation of children performing traditional Balinese dancing and singing, followed by a karate demonstration with both boys and girl participating. The suspicion and apprehension was gone, only happy, engaged kids with a new hope for the future. We saw classes conducted in each classroom with a teacher and an assistant. Nutritious, balanced lunches were being prepared and children were harvesting organic vegetables grown from their gardens.

Many of the children in Darmji live in isolated pockets throughout the mountainside. They had little contact with other children except their siblings. Since starting school they have had the opportunity to make new friends and form close relationships with one another. These social interactions are very important in a child’s development. Learning to share, work together and cooperate is what makes a society function. When asked how long they wanted for their school holiday they unanimously answered, “We don’t want a school holiday; we want to go to school all year long!” When education has been denied in the past it becomes a treasured gift not to be taken for granted.

In June of 2009, the Ganesha Foundation has provided continued funding of 2009/ 2010 school year. Costs have increased due to increased enrollment, inflation and an expanded curriculum. We are now paying the cost of the physical education karate program and organic garden education program as well food, vitamins and teachers’ salaries.

Janice and I, on behalf of the Ganesha Foundation and the children of Darmaji, wish to thank you for your past support and hope you will continue to support us in the future. It is easy to feel we cannot make a real difference in the world but I can assure you, you have. Thank you.

With gratitude,

Janice & Larry Carson

Click HERE for the 2010 update
Click HERE for the 2008 update
Click HERE for the 2007 update