Under Tong-Len’s Child Sponsorship scheme, children living in extreme poverty in slum camps in north India are given the opportunity to attend school full-time whilst living in one of the Tong-Len hostels. All money raised in sponsorship goes towards the support of the children. For most of the children, living in the hostel is their first experience of a secure family life.
Most of the hostel children attend Dayanand School, an English medium school in Dharamsala. A few of the older children in their final two years have transferred to Kangra Valley School which has good options for arts and commerce. In August 2017, Tong-Len started a school within the hostel for the younger children (KG, P1 and P2). The children evicted with their families from the Charan slum who still live in desperate poverty attend as day pupils.
The cost for one child to attend school and live in the hostel is 75,000 rupees per annum, which is about £800 at the current rate of exchange. As this is a considerable sum to seek from any one sponsor, most children have up to five sponsors.
All sponsors are given details, photos and regular progress updates of the children they are supporting and are able to communicate with them if they wish by email or post to the hostel.
Child sponsorship not only provides an education, it also provides some of the joys of childhood to children who have known nothing but the hardships of hunger, disease, begging and scavenging.
If you would like to become a sponsor or have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
See what some sponsors have to say:
‘We have been sponsoring Sangeeta since she was three. She is nine now and so are we. Because we do not speak the same language, we have talked by sharing drawings. Sponsoring Sangeeta is very important to us. We feel happy that we have helped to make her life happier. We love seeing her on Skype and FaceTime. We are trying to learn some words of Hindi and Sangeeta is learning English. When we are a little older we hope to visit the hostel to meet her.’
Caitlin and Euan Watts (aged nine), Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.
‘We became sponsors with Tong-len many years ago, to help Deepak who was a young boy of primary school age, living in Charan slum camp. It has been amazing to witness his transformation over the years and now Deepak is a personable young man, studying computer engineering, and we are extremely proud of him. It was a real highlight to visit the Tong-len project in 2011, for the inauguration of a new hostel by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and to finally meet Deepak – a very emotional experience! Tong-len is a small charity with a wonderful ethos and we know that all of the sponsorship money goes to supporting the young people. We also appreciate the personal contact and regular updates.’
David and Mary Price, South Queensferry, Scotland, UK.
‘We began sponsoring Kohinoor in November 2016 when he joined the Tong-Len Hostel. He was five years old at this time – just six months younger than my son, Marcus. Over the past year it has been truly wonderful to follow Kohinoor’s progress through the regular updates received. Most recently, we were delighted to learn that Kohinoor had joined the new Tong-Len school within the hostel. It was heart-warming to see a photo of a beaming Kohinoor alongside his classmates. Marcus loves exchanging drawings with ‘my friend Kohinoor’ and is so happy to be helping him towards a better life.’
Mira Farquharson and Marcus Boyle (aged 7), Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
‘I am very happy being here. I shared my entire time with the children, from breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everybody was so polite to me and treated me like a family member. I learnt a lot of things from them. They are really lucky to be engaged in holistic development which will benefit them in the work place, in personal relationships and for everything in their life.’
Laura Finger, Biot, France, 18 years old, visited Tong-Len and spent 2 weeks with the Tong Len children.