We invite YOU to play your part in making their dreams come true!
Across the world, a group of people have come together in support of these boys and the realisation of their dream. We invite you to join us.
First, meet the boys - 30 of them live happily together.
These boys came to live together because they were rescued and/or protected by Odanadi Seva Trust. Odanadi Seva Trust is an Indian Registered Charity that rescues girls, young women, boys and young men from situations of human trafficking. Odanadi Seva Trust is based in Mysore, Karnataka, South India and was founded and run by dedicated rescuers Stanly and Parashu.
Now, meet us. Our group is being lead by Tom Spencer and Fritha Vincent. Each member of our group is known as a Campaign Pillar and we are all committed to making the campaign a huge success.
The campaign pillars are Sarah Mills, Kim & Graham Spencer, Michael of Appassionata, Sarah Goodwin, Craig of Ravenwood Children's Trust, Veronika & Harneet, Aude, Owen Zimmerman, Jenny Lowenstein, Sandra Nilsson, Adventure Ashram Trustee Board and Supporters. In the last 5 years we have either volunteered at, or supported Odanadi Seva Trust, in ensuring the boys get what they need to live in safety, to thrive and face their futures with hope. At the bottom of this campaign is a short description of each of us with an explaination about how we became involved.
Our invitation to you...
The boys have the building to live in they so desperately needed - now we will raise £15,000 to help them turn the house into their home and help secure their home for future generations of boys and young men.
The situation - Human Trafficking in India is common place
"More than 150,000 adults and children are known to be trafficked within South Asia every year, but the trade is underground and the real number is likely to be much higher." Thomson Reuters Foundation
Odanadi Seva Trust is an Indian registered charity, united againist human trafficking, run by two inspirational leaders Stanly and Parashu . Their story from being young journalists to becoming rescuers of over 3,000 women and children is incredible. Having successfully built a house to protect and offer a home to rescued and protected girls, Stanly and Parashu embarked on their dream to realise the same for boys and young men. Stanly and Parashu started dreams of "the boys' place" (as they call it) over 15 years ago.
Stanly and Parashu are well known and respected leaders when it comes to the protection of children and are responsible for each boy that lives at the boys's house. In the beginning 12 boys lived on the land, now there are 35 boys.
There is currently a devastating drought affecting 330 million people in India with the state of Karnataka one of the worst affected areas. On the 4th May Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi appealed to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prioritise children and ensure they are not trafficked. The Times of India reported "As crops wither and livestock perish, tens of thousands of people are migrating in search of food, water and jobs, leaving behind women, children and older family members who are vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers."
Many people consider trafficking to be a female issue but boys and young men are also at risk, especially in poorer rural communities. There has been a 22% increase in the number of children dropping out of school and a 24% child trafficking cases. Although less likely to be the victims of sexual trafficking, 1000s of boys and young men are at risk of being trafficked into bonded or forced labour in the area where Odanadi are working and the current drought is only exacerbating the situation. A recent report highlighted how this work was spreading from agriculture and is prevelant in brick kilns, stone quarries, mines and the construction industry.
The solution - Stanly and Parashu and Odanadi Seva Trust
There are two main reasons a boy would come to live at the boys' house.
1. The boy was rescued from a situation of human trafficking and needs to stay for protection and rehabilitation.
2. The boy has been moved there for his protection. Some of the boys, had they stayed at home in their rural communities, would have been at risk of being trafficked. By going and living at Odanadi Seva Trust, they can live safely, get an education, and have the best opportunity to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.
Rehabilitation starts with unconditional love and consistent and dedicated adult figures, continues by having a safe and secure enviroment and is completed by having an education, a place to belong too and call home and hope for the future.
The boys' house = the big dream
5 years ago, there was a dream to build a boys' house on a piece of land donated to Odanadi Seva Trust by the government. There wasn't time to raise all the money needed to build the house before work needed to start because, for the land to be kept, construction needed to begin.
Picture caption: Here you can see Stanly and Parashu, some of the boys and a group of volunteers who include Campaign Pillars Tom, Jenny and Sandra. They gathered on the land in 2011 to look at the plans and make a plan of action to get the building started.
At the time there were 18 boys living on the land in two small houses.
Picture caption: 12 boys lived in these two little houses. At the weekends the boys who were under the age of six would come from the girls' house where they spent the weekdays. The little boys would cry on Monday mornings because they did not want to leave the other boys and go back to live with the girls!
Connecting electricity was the first job on the action plan. Once installed the boys could do their homework later into the evening and also have running water from an electric pump. This activity was funded by donations raised by one of our Campaign Pillars, Jenny and her friends and family. The money left over was used to dig the foundations.
Picture Caption: Foundations were mapped and dug out and then building began.
Building began in earnest but funds soon ran out and everything stopped. The boys continued to live in the 2 little houses next to the construction site. They would climb up onto the bricks and dream of the day when the house was finished and they could move in.
Picture Caption: Funds ran out and building stopped.
Adventure Ashram is a charity founded and supported by adventurers. By adventuring with purpose, they aim to improve health and education in places en route to their adventures. Some of the adventures take place on motorbikes and for years the adventurers rode past the land where the boys lived but had no idea they were there. Fritha, the Project Manager of the charity was on the look out for a new charity to support. She heard about the construction of the boys house and was intrigued to find out more. She telephoned Stanly and Parashu and asked if they would show her round.
Picture Caption: Fritha with Stanly and Parashu and 2 Adventure Ashram Adventurers.
The Adventure Ashram Trustees were impressed with the project and decided to back the project there and then. Click here to watch a video they made of their visit. They phoned back to UK and requested the funds be sent overnight. Building began immediately and the boys' house was finished.
Photo Caption: Building began again and this is what was built. The most beautiful house in the world!
Turning the house into their home
The boys continue to dream of ways to turn the house into their home. They dream of planting flowering trees and shrubs around the house. They dream of creating a level area in front of the house to play cricket and volleyball. Some of the smaller boys dream of owning their own ducks, so they can collect the eggs and sell them locally. The building of a 'farm pond' would also help to collect monsoon rain waters that can be used to grow fruit and vegetables. All the boys love to ride bikes and there are some bikes but some of the smaller boys dream of having a bike to ride that isn't too big for them!
How you can help
We invite you to join us in raising £15,000 to fund the developments the boys dream of making. By backing any reward on this campaign you will be contributing towards the overall goal.
Before we thank you for reading our campaign, there is one more thing to share, and possibily the most important aspect of this campaign. As other local people are building around the boys house, they are encroaching onto the donated land. We need to urgently build a boundary wall. The boundary wall will cover 3 acres and will cost in the region of £25,000. However, we will give as much as we can from the funds raised on this campaign to get the construction of the wall started. This will make a huge difference in protecting the land by marking out what belongs to the boys.
We now officially invite you to join us in making this dream come true.
The boys have the roof over their heads they so desperately needed and now we will raise £15,000 to help them turn the house into their home. Please back our campaign by picking one of the rewards on offer.
Let's do this!
Campaign Pillar biographies of involvement with Odanadi Seva Trust
Adventure Ashram Trustee Board & Supporters
Adventure Ashram has been supporting the boys' house development since its first donation, which enabled the house to be completed. The trustee board and supporter base visit the boys' house regularly during their Indian adventures and are fully committed to this campaign's success.
This fractional ownership company operates in Italy and is owned by a supporter of Adventure Ashram, Michael Hobbs. Appassionate has been dedicated supporters of the boys's house and contribute signifcantly to its annual running costs. Michael is also the founder of The Bullet Boys, a group of adventurers who raise funds on the back of their motorbike rides. Their fundraising was instrumental in the completion of the food hall situated next to the boys' house.
Fritha is the Project Manager and Fundraiser for Adventure Ashram and a keen and dedicated supporter of Odanadi Seva Trust. Fritha has lead on a number of successful crowdfunding campaigns and knows all about the power of mobilising the crowd.
Gordon has held a position of trustee on the Odanadi UK board and through this position developed a close relationship with founders, Stanly and Parashu. Gordon actively fundraises on behalf of the charity and recently secured funding for the bakery at the girls' house through UK organisation IPartners.
Jenny volunteered for Odanadi in 2011. Jenny led yoga classes for the young women and girls and supported the organisation of Yoga Stops Traffick in 2011. Before arriving in India Jenny raised $6,000 which helped to build the foundations of the boys' home.
Kim & Graham Spencer
Kim and Graham visited their son (Tom) in India in 2011. Whilst in india they supported Odanadi to fix old sewing machines and have continued to contribute to the work of Odanadi by organising Yoga Stops Traffick events and fundraising for key projects.
Aude volunteered for Odanadi for 4 months in 2010 and 2011. Aude supported the rehabilitation of women and girls at the Maduli girls home. Aude organised a successful craft fair where the girls and young women could sell the products they had developed and promote Yoga Stops Traffick
Owen volunteered for Odanadi in 2011. He spent time with the boys at the boys place and supported Yoga Stops Traffick 2016
The Ravenwood Children’s Trust has a passion to fund worthwhile causes both at home and abroad, primarily children based projects that can be managed in house by their dedicated team. This charity was founded by Adventure Ashram Trustee and Adventurer, Craig Jarvis. The trust donated £10,000 towards the completion of the food hall complex next to the boys' house.
Sandra volunteered at Odanadi in 2011, supporting the women and girls to stitch and sell crafts and spending time supporting one of the rescued young women, now working for Odanadi, to develop and build her confidence.
Sarah Goodwin volunteers as Secretary to the Adventure Ashram Trustee board. Sarah is also an adventurer and has volunteered at Odanadi by helping the boys plant fruit trees in their orchard.
Sarah first volunteered for Odanadi in 2008 and worked for Odanadi UK in 2011. Sarah's Masters dissertation, Human Trafficking and Gender Constructions in India, included research in the rural communities around Mysore.
Tom volunteered for Odanadi for all of 2011 as Strategy and Business Development Director. This inluded 10 months living and working in Mysore. Tom supported the development of a 3 year Strategy and worked with the house mother and Stanly to coordinate volunteer activity.
Veronika & Harneet Bajwa
Veronika has been visiting Mysore of a number of years and has volunteered at Odanadi for 2 and a half years. She has provided yoga classes for the women and young girls and supported them with their rehabiliation. Harneet also supported the chidren at odanadi. This included supporting them with their homework - espeically maths!
Campaign Questions and Answers Section
What is the budget breakdown for the total £15,000?
- Trees, flowering bushes and shrubs to be planted around the boys' house = £500
- Levelling of the sports ground with fixtures to hold the net, purchase of volley ball net, landscaping around the area £2,000
- Bikes of all sizes, bike shed, tools = £1500
- Duck/geese house, birds, small water hole, fencing = £2,500
- Foundation of and intial boundary wall (Total cost £25,000) = £8,500
Where can I find out more about the current trafficking situation in India?
Follow Odanadi Seva Trust on Twitter. Search for @Odanadi
You can read the full articles referenced in our campaign here:
Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has a message for PM Modi - India today - 4 May 2016
Trafficking risk rises as villagers flee India's worst drought in decades - Thomson Reuters Foundation - 27 Apr 2016
Trafficking of kids, workers, women thrives in Bengaluru Times of India - 5 Nov 2015
Caught in a vicious cycle of bonded labour The Hindu - 4 Oct 2015