Sambhali Trust Newsletter
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Sambhali Trust in October 2021
Dear friends of Sambhali Trust,

Happy Diwali! We hope all of you are healthy & well and that those celebrating the festival of light had a wonderful holiday. 

Here in India, we are a little bit afraid of the outcome of all Diwali celebrations and big gatherings. At the moment, the Covid-19 statistics still look promising with daily numbers of ca. 10,000 new cases. This is the lowest number since the second wave. Additionally, the vaccination process is going well: So far, 107.70 crore doses have been given to the country‘s citizens. 
We hope that the wedding season as well as Diwali will not have such a negative effect on our situation. The second wave taught us how terrible everything can get.

At the same time, India is facing another crisis within a crisis: First it was black fungus, now it is dengue fever. After this year‘s monsoon season, dengue cases have risen sharply. It is the worst outbreak in many years and our already strained health system needs to deal with another sudden increase in hospitalizations. Rajasthan has reported about 7,000 dengue cases since January 2021 - with nearly 5,000 cases only in September & October. 
Vector controls and reducing the size of mosquito populations are the country‘s main strategies right now. A prevention of further spreading to neighboring regions is of great importance in order to contain the dengue outbreak, especially while still facing the Covid pandemic. 
Our participants 
This month, we have a few stories of our centers‘ participants for you. All names have been changed and they have given us their consent to publish their photos and stories.

Meet Kanta, a 33 years old woman who attends our rural centre in Setrawa. She is the mother of 5 children, one girl and four boys. The girl is 16 years old and the oldest child. As both her parents are working, she can’t attend school and has to take care of her brothers at home. Her husband works in a store quarry while she cleans neighboring houses for 15-20 rupees per house. Our Team could convince her to stop by at our centre after work to learn how to sew. This way, she can earn more and work from home as well. We are happy that she is a part of our Sambhali Setrawa centre for three months already. 
Meet Reshma, a 35 years old unmarried woman who lives with her father and 3 bothers. “My father has asthma so he can’t work and has to stay at home. He is weak both mentally and physically.” Reshma joined Sambhali last month. In the beginning, she was not very interested in our program but with time, she has integrated herself and made some friends. She is becoming more self-confident and loves to learn more.
Meet Swaroopo, a 23 years old girl who joined Sambhali recently. She lost her mother when she was only 13 years old. Her father got her married and she faced many difficulties, including losing her childhood and home. Her husband is a laborer which did not improve her financial situation. When she joined our centre, she was shy and did not know how to integrate herself. Now, she is very happy about our weekly workshops where she can learn new things as she was limited to knowledge before. 
Sambhali‘s Nirbhaya Project
In October, our interns helped us to distribute more pamphlets from door to door in the areas around our centers. This way, we can inform local girls and women about Sambhali’s Nirbhaya toll-free helpline number and the project in general. We offer legal and psychological support, rehabilitation as well as short-term shelter - all free of cost.

One woman approached us this month regarding her issues with domestic violence. She told us her story and was offered counseling (consent approved, name changed): 
Ritu is married for 19 years with 2 kids but very upset with her current life and marriage. When she first came to our office, she wanted to divorce her husband. She told us that he doesn’t trust her and questions her character all the time which disturbed her a lot. Our professional team counseled her for approximately one week. Her anxiety issues related to her children, marriage and financial situations were heard and talked about. Ritu already felt safe and heard at Sambhali so she started to feel better. We then invited her husband to come to Sambhali’s HQ. At first, he declined the offer but finally agreed to a counseling session. Our team took care of him separately and listened to his side of the story. After some time and further single sessions, both Ritu and her husband were counseled together for approximately 20 days for more than 3 hours a day. In these sessions, all their matters and issues related to each other, for example their marriage & children were sorted out. For two months, a follow-up counseling was done over the phone to check if they get along with each other. 
Sambhali‘s Boarding Homes
We are very happy that all our boarding home girls from both Laadli and Sheerni are finally able to go to school again. All girls are doing well and are concentrating on their exams. These days, they are enjoying their Diwali holiday. 

This month, the Laadli girls learned many new skills in their computer classes. At the moment, they concentrate on Excel and on learning how to do the basic formulas of addition, multiplication, etc. in the program. They also work on their editing skills and on how to create presentations with own texts, songs and photographs. At the same time, the girls at Sheerni learn basic shortcut keys and how to develop their PowerPoint presentations as well as running them smoothly. In Excel, they have just learned how to create a report card. In addition to the computer classes, our Sheerni girls work hard on their sewing and hand embroidery skills. In October, they learned different types of stitches such as the bag and running stitch. They also got to know how to make sufficient masks as well as long Salwar Suits and Lehengas. 

In their Self-Defense classes, all girls from both boarding homes learned the one-hand-neck safety and the two-hand-neck safety this month. Now they know how to react when somebody holds their hand even though they don’t want them to. 
Events in October
In collaboration with the ASG Eye hospital in Jodhpur, the Trust was able to organize an eye camp for all participants of the centers and boarding homes. In total, more than 150 people benefited from this event.
Beginning of October, the Trust received 11 sewing machines by the team of the Honorable Minister of Jal Shakti, Government of India and member of Jodhpur’s parliament, Sh. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, on the occasion of his birthday. He donated the sewing machines to women who wish to start their own sewing business at home. We are very grateful and hope that our participants are able to start something small in order to become more independent. 

Since schools in Rajasthan reopened last month, we are also able to run our project “Aadarsh - Save Youth Save Nation” again. In the last weeks, our team already presented workshops on the topics cyber crime, puberty and different laws at several schools. We are happy that we can finally offer these presentations on important topics to young people again. 
Thank you very much for your endless and continuous support. 
We are very grateful and happy to know that so many people out there are connected to us and our mission. Many blessing from India, take care.
Sambhali Trust

To learn more about volunteering with Sambhali please follow the link below:
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Text by Roxanne Näschen
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