A couple weeks ago I had a meeting with Samarthya director Hampanna to discuss the $9100 raised through our Dollars For Development campaign ($9100! That’s incredible!). Now that we’d seen how Samarthya operates and where the needs exist, Maegan and I talked where we felt the funds would be best assigned, and so here’s how they will be allocated over the next year:
1) Community Disability Clinics, Early Intervention Centre and Home based service for Children with Disability: This includes educational toys and supplies to help children with Cerebral Palsy, Cognitive Delay, Spina Bifida, Autism, and other disabilities.
Additionally, we wanted to purchase more mats for the Early Intervention Centre, and invest in a photocopier for the office so the workers would be encouraged to draw home exercise sheets and provide written recommendations for the families.
2) Support for Medical Interventions / Further Referrals: This includes financial assistance for low-income families towards advanced assessments, treatments, and follow-up consults with specialists such as neurologists and orthopaedic surgeons.
Samuha can also aid families with surgery costs (for example, a hamstring release), transport to and from the city (usually Bangalore), and staff support (so a local worker can accompany the family to the appointments to assist with the discussions and decision-making).
3) Aids and Appliances: This contributes to the funds needed to fabricate orthotic & prosthetic aids, seating chairs, wheelchairs, tricycles, callipers, standing frames, commodes, and splints. We met with orthotic technician Muttana who requested some support to purchase a lathe, vacuum for splinting, and another drilling machine for the workshop.
4) Administration: Other expenses associated with implementing and allocating these funds, i.e. accounting, audit, office/building expenses, telephone, transport and other utilities. This will be roughly 10% of the total donations.
We also took the liberty of donating a small amount to some of the families on our caseload for specific needs, like the one family of three children with muscular dystrophy who needed a wheelchair and writing tables… this still falls under #1 above, its just so nice that we were able to make that decision on the spot and help a special family that we worked with directly.
To give you an idea of how far this money will reach, $9100 = over 500,000 rupees. A pair of splints cost about 400 rupees, and a new wheelchair is 10,000 rupees.
Thanks again to everyone for their financial and moral support, and for spreading the word about our campaign. It will really make a considerable difference in so many lives.