Donate today!

You can help! Your donation helps to improve the future prospects of people in need.

Vienna, September 2021

After this very challenging year, our greatest concern was and is, for the children of Balashram. They have all - and especially the youngest - been through incredible experiences during the past year, and a challenging school year lies ahead of them. But in this issue of our newsletter, you can also read that, thanks to your support, 80 percent of the children are now back at Balashram. The relief and gratitude in our hearts growing with each child that comes back "home" through the gates of Balashram, cannot be described in words. We are very grateful to all of you!

In spring 2004, 40 small children celebrated their first day of school or kindergarten at Balashram and, since then - Hand in Hand and day by day – the school motto has been fulfilled for more than 500 children: Make your Dream a Reality. A goal to pursue even after this past troublesome year.

The Corona crisis has eclipsed everything we have done since Hand in Hand was founded. After 20 years of effective help, we were suddenly confronted with helplessness. We watched helplessly as - in both the first and second lockdowns - one child after another was taken away by relatives following the govern-ment’s instructions. The school had to close and our concern for the children grew with each passing day: Where were they sleeping? Did they have enough to eat? How were they doing?

Especially after the second wave, last April, hit the country with unimaginable harshness. We literally feared for the lives of the children. The number of infections in the surrounding villages increased rapidly and, due to lack of medical care, so did the number of deaths. Going to the market to buy food was dangerous, and the school administration was very worried not to be able to get enough food for the 200 children who were allowed to stay at Balashram during the lockdowns, because they had no relatives who could have cared for them. But the more difficult the situation became at Balashram, the greater the help which was coming from you!

Thanks to your support, food supplies for the school could be organised, so that no one had to leave the Balashram campus. We were able to implement effective prevention and hygiene measures and equip the school's Health Centre for cases of infection, as well as provide for the children’s general health care upon their return to Balashram. These measures allowed us to keep the school Corona-free to this day!
After an intensive exchange, were also finally able to convince the authorities that the safest place for the children – especially during the pandemic – was Balashram. We therefore received silent permission to bring the girls and boys back to Balashram ahead of schedule. The school administration and all Balashram staff are doing their best to work with the children through the experiences of the past year and to catch up and make up for what they have missed, in order to help them move up to the next grade.

However, for the new children, the youngest ones, we do not yet have permission to admit them to school. In the meantime, there are two cohorts, 2020 and 2021 at the school. We are currently waiting for the updated guidelines from the government and are preparing for an extremely challenging school year with 80 kindergarten children, for which we do need additional resources.

We ask you to, please, stay on the ball with us. Please support the children according to your possibilities, or take over one or another co-sponsorship for a class of children

  • With 35 Euro you support the all-round care of 1 child of a class for one month.
  • With 420 Euro you support 1 child of a class for one year.

A better world for the children is a better world for all of us. Caring for the children means realising our common dream of a beautiful future. Now!

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you! Yours,
Peter van Breukelen

Hand in Hand - film english

Hand in Hand - film english