Welcome to the website of Innergift
Since about 8 years I’ve been volunteering in India. It took me only one group-travel to fall in love with the country. The year after my first visit I joined an organisation to work as a volunteer. But it didn’t take me long to realize that the organisation used the money for their own profit. So a year later I decided to take matters into my own hands. This has led to the foundation of my organisation: Innergift. The website is set up with the sole purpose of transparency; this way the sponsors are able to follow exactly what I do, and how sending money directly benefits the children we work with.
I travel to India every year, sometimes alone, other years I take volunteers with me. We pay for our own ticket and for our own stay in Jaisalmer. Over there we work at schools where we teach English. Next to teaching a language we encourage the children’s enthousiasm for art, hygiëne, health and nutrition. We play games with them, ding songs or we organise some music or art competitions. Through the playful use of materials and assignments, we help the children developing themselfs in a creative way.
With regularity, we have a doctor coming over to check up on the children. To see if they are healthy and have a normal growth. If not, we help them with with advice about food and medication. Due to walking barefoot, abcess and sores are a returning issue too. It often leads to infection and in worse cases to amputations. Nutrition is still the biggest problerm in their health. More than 60 % of the children suffer from malnutrition. Together with the headmaster we inform the parents about their children.
The parents are very involved with the projects at the schools. They come to the information days about health, hygiene and nutrition. They frequently come and ask for information or if we have spare things for their children’s younger siblings or other family members. For us this is very important: our help isn’t only just accepted, but welcomed with open arms. This way we’ve accomplished that more than a few dozen children have gotten their eyes measured and wear glasses now, and have been able to go to the dentist. A lot of weakened women are getting medication now for their iron deficiency as well. Some of them even have been able to go the gynaecologist in the nearest big city, which is about a five-hour-travel by bus.
In collaboration with an Ayurvedic doctor, we’re also counseling the parents to fight against Malaria and Yellow fever. Due to the changing climate the amount of mosquitos are increasing, which leads to more diseases. Together we travel further into the desert to set up medical camps, where not only the locals but also Pakistan refugees get medical attention. This way we can help over 300 people in just three days. The doctor is helping on a voluntary base and Innergift donates the material.
Every year with Divali (the Indian Light festival) we work with owners of small shops. Together we make about 300 packages for the children in the slums. In the packages are the necessary things like soap, shampoo and toothbrushes. We also put in some fireworks and a Deepak (a sort of earthen lamp) with some baking-oil they can light up, so that the children in the slums can enjoy Divali festival just as much.
Each year the kids organise their own event for us: an afternoon filled with Rajasthani dance. Here they show us their traditional dancing skills. Bollywood is a very big thing in India, so together with professionals we scout for kids who are eligible for participation in a professional dance education. Innergift would like to pay for these educations so that the kids have a better future by doing something they like and are very good at.
Innergift is also busy with the education of teachers. Most teachers with a government-issued certificate don’t really go all the way for the kids. There are a lot of teachers who teach from commitment: they don’t have the qualifications so they get a bad salary but are still doing all they can to teach the children. We’re helping them to teach as effectively as possible: by playful teaching. Just reciting what you know doesn’t always do the trick, we encourage the teachers to be playful with the materials provided. This way the children enjoy learning more, and they get challenged to apply the knowledge they procure. Last year we’ve donated a few laptops and appointed an information technology teacher. Together with the teacher we set up a step-by-step-process so that the kids could follow computer lessons.
The introduction of microcredits is on the list of Innergift as well. The general idea is (for example): for Innergift to buy a sowing-machine for a woman who is good with sowing. Together we make contact with shops and wholesaler’s, so that she can start selling her products. Within a year she is able to pay back her sowing machine, and is earning her own living.
This is the purpose of Innergift: to teach people how to be self-supporting so that they can provide for their own income.
Every year we visit Jaisalmer of a period between two and three months. For the time we are back in Holland, we’ve appointed an Indian manager who keeps an eye on the projects while we are gone. He reports the progress so that we are up-to-date. If problems occur we can act immediately. By on-site monitoring, support and quick response we are really booking distinctive results in Jaisalmer. The tourism in this area is decreasing and the people in this underdeveloped area have more and more trouble to earn a living. That is why we mostly focus on the children. Good nutrition for body and mind is the first step to improvement.
We could really use your help and support! I solemnly pledge that we spend every penny, cent and/or dollar on the spot, solely for the benefit of the people we are helping.
I would like to give my strongest assurance once more: we pay for the tickets and accommodation ourselves. All donations go directly to Jaisalmer, for the support of the schools, the children, the doctors, the widows and the (set up of) small shops who are really in need of our help.
We are looking forward to your contribution on: IBAN. NL97INGB0006501930. BIC. INGBNL2A