Chair for one year

Sheila has been the Chair of Scottish Love in Action for just over a year.

I’ve been the Chair of Scottish Love in Action for just over a year – and what a year it has been since last July. I thought I would take the opportunity presented by this anniversary to give you an update.

Our support in India – VOICE 4 Girls, ASRITHA Rainbow Home, Livelihoods

Last November we were delighted to welcome Anusha and Vanitha of VOICE 4 Girls to Scotland, when many of you heard directly about the work of VOICE and about the importance of Scottish Love in Action’s funding to support their work. Over the years, Scottish Love in Action has been able to support thousands of girls and boys at VOICE camps, where they learn so much about themselves and their rights which they would not otherwise know about.

During Covid when it became impossible for VOICE to bring large groups together, they used WhatsApp on mobile phones to reach young people at home. This has encouraged them to develop “Voice in a Box” which Scottish Love in Action is now supporting in addition to camps – this new programme is arranging for young woman to take the VOICE messages of empowerment directly to marginalised adolescents in communities in cities and rural villages.

The work of Rainbow Homes is also developing. We directly support the ASRITHA Rainbow Home in Hyderabad which supports girls who have been child labourers, often scavenging on the streets, bringing them into the Home where they receive education and remedial health care. Again, the experience of Covid has encouraged Rainbow Homes to extend their work into the community. Some girls continue to live in the Home, while others are now supported with food, education, and social development through hubs in the community.

We also fund Rainbow Homes in their Livelihoods programme. This programme supports girls and boys who have been in a Home from childhood to adulthood from 18-25. It provides help in finding somewhere to live, in education and training and in getting jobs. The programmes also helps them in issues as diverse as managing their money, in cooking, and in marriage arrangements, which is difficult without a family in India. One of our supporters recently visited this programme in Delhi, and was really impressed by the work.

Why India?

We hear that India is successful – but there is so much poverty. India has the largest population in the world, but also the greatest number of people in abject poverty. While we fund direct help for the very poor, we are also supporting our partners to show the impact of their work, giving them the evidence to seek funding for their work from within India.

I am delighted to report that we are currently in the process of extending our funding to India to support more young people from poverty into a successful life.

Stories of achievement are legion – young people who started scavenging on the street going to university to become doctors or nurses, or joining the police or the Indian Civil Service, or getting jobs at an airport.

Our fundraising in Scotland allows us to continue our work in India

Here in Scotland, we have been able to hold fundraising events again this year – during the last 12 months we have had the Scottish Love in Action Fireworks, the Indian Summer Fling, the Cinema Night and The Big Give. Thanks are due to the Scottish Love in Action staff and to volunteers for making these events so successful.

Watch this space to hear about these events in the coming twelve months. Please do get in touch if you would like to help with, or initiate, a fundraising event of your own. These can be quite small events, e.g. quiz nights or the like, when you and your friends can have fun, and raise funds for a good cause. We can provide you with SLA promotional materials for any event.

In the autumn we plan to look for a group of volunteers to help occasionally in the Scottish Love in Action Office – this would be an opportunity to give us some help, meet some like-minded people, and have the satisfaction of supporting the charity.

We are grateful to the many of you who make continuing regular donations to support the work of SLA. One long term supporter has recently – and wonderfully – marked his birthday by asking his friends to make donations to Scottish Love in Action.

We have recently received two substantial legacies. It is a real boost for us to receive these, and we are grateful for those who have been inspired to include Scottish Love in Action in their wills. If you would like to learn more, please get in touch.

Scottish Love in Action is keen to spread the message. If you are aware of an organisation which would like to hear about Scottish Love in Action, please get in touch and we can arrange a talk.

Thank you for your continuing encouragement and support transforming the lives of many young people.