October 2014 CORDUSA News

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It has been a while since I have written to you about CORD happenings around the world, so we have much to catch up on!
CORDUSA would like to request you to write a review of CORD to raise visibility for our work. GreatNonprofits is honoring highly reviewed nonprofits with their 2014 Top-Rated List. We have had the privilege of being listed as one of the Great Nonprofits in 2012 and 2013 and with your support, hope to continue to be recognized. All reviews will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. Please go to get started!

Rajesh Desinguwas planning to run the New York City Marathon when he had the opportunity to meet CORDUSA NY organizers He then decided to partner with them and dedicate his Marathon run to raise funds for CORD SriLanka!  Way to go Rajesh!

Kamya Chandra, High School sophomore from Portland, Oregon, will be doing her Bharaanatya Arangetram on Saturday, Oct 18 2014.  She has requested all of her well-wishers that, rather than giving any gifts for her, that they donate to Chinmaya Vijaya through CORDUSA .  We are very proud of you Kamya!
Sanjana Srinivasan, 8th grader and owner of ‘Frosted World, Cupcakes for a Cause’ bakery in New Jersey has been baking cakes, cupcakes, and cookies for a cause since she was 11 years old. She donates all her profits to CORD. Last year she donated $1,588.50 to CORD. WOW! This year she has put a goal of another $1,500 for 2015 of which she already collected $335 and she keeps baking here.
tirelessly! Help Support Sanjana and Frosted World by ordering from them. For more info see: and read her blog here.
CORDUSA-Kedarheld a successful Walkathon at the Playwicki Farm in Langhorne, PA on September 20th.  Please see the pictures here.
CORDUSA-American University volunteers spent their time and services in CORD Thamaraipakkam for 6 weeks from May 18th to the end of June. During this time they visited many villages, met and interacted with our beneficiaries, conducted English classes, visited differently-abled children, painted classrooms, and helped organized Women’s Empowerment and Girl’s Empowerment events. –all in one Summer’s work!
CORDUSA-Raleighhad a great turnout for their 5K Run on August 9th. 120 participants, 40 volunteers and the Mayor – all came out despite the rain!  It all started off with a rain dance, words by the Mayor and grace. The sponsors provided bread, smoothies, massages, face painting and origami tables for kids. It was a fun event that everyone really enjoyed. – and it was covered by TV Asia news!  Watch the clip here.
CORDUSA – Globemed GROW Team of Boston College spent three weeks this past August

learning and working alongside staff and volunteers at CORD Siruvani. Globemed is excited and ready to start their second year of a strong partnership between their organization and CORD USA!

Shivali Marwaha and Sid Chawla, both students at Langley High School in MacLean, Virginia, organized a Bollywood Bash dance with 5 other area clubs in June and raised $500 for CORD in an event that brought out students from across Northern Virginia. They hired an Indian DJ, had a photo booth, and henna tattoo booth. All had a great time! For details please read here.
Geetha Somayajuladonated her high school graduation gifts to CORDUSA in June and got a big hug from Guruji! Read her exclusive interview here!
Chethan Anant had a flute & vocal concert on June 22nd in Chicago. He also did something very special, he asked everyone to donate in the name of CORD USA instead of giving him a gift! He collected over $4,000 in donation for this event! Way to go Chethan!
CORDUSA-Bridgewaterorganized their first Walkathon on May 18th 2014. Bridgewater-Basting Ridge North Jersey Balavihar planned and participated in a walk-a-thon on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. They had a successful event, receiving much kudos from participants.
CORDUSA- Minnesotaorganized two back-to-back walkathons on May 10th and 11th in Chaska and St.Paul respectively. They raised a combined $18K! Chaska Balavihar students themselves raised $900 by selling sandwiches. With just 3 weeks to prepare they made CORD logo water bottles and healthy sandwiches for lunch. One student, Neeta, raised $830 selling jewelry. St. Paul Balavihar students got together for a Mother’s day picnic and combined it with the CORD walk-a-thon to raise money.

The Consulate General of India, New York in association with the CORDUSA NY chapter organized a guitar recital by Mr. Ravi Iyer on May 09, 2014. It was a memorable experience for the guests who during the concert were also given a presentation by Ms. Supriya Krishnakumar and Mr. William Burke highlighting CORD’s efforts in improving the lives of people in Indian villages.
CORDUSA Alpharettaorganized a 5K walkathon on Saturday morning, April 19, 2014, at South Forsyth Middle School, Cumming, Georgia, in support of the CORD activities. They had food, music, Zumba dance, and several vendor showcases during the event.  The walk was sponsored by several organizations such as Suvidha, AT&T, Datum Software, Smile Magic Dentistry, and many more. Approximately 450 participants registered for this event and generously donated for the noble cause.
CORD USA-Sacramentoparticipated in the annual Mustard Seed Spin, the 20K bike ride for the school for homeless kids in Sacramento on September 28th. Look forward to hearing about the details from CORD USA -Sacramento!
Now let us look at the CORD Centers in India and Sri Lanka.
In August I had the opportunity to visit the construction site for CORD Siruvani.  It is coming up beautifully and I was so thankful to all our donors (special mention to the “Steps to Siruvani by CM Niagara Falls).  See the construction photos here.

CORD Deuladiha is for youth empowerment. They have facilitated the formation of 14 Yuvati Samooh with a totoal of 146 members. Youth members meet monthly and have completed a variety of awareness projects in the community. For example, youth have cleaned a community pond in the village of Deuladiha. CORD Deuladiha has also provided tailoring training to 52 adolescent girls as part of their income generation initiative for the Yuvati Samooh. Of these 52 girls, 9 are now earning a monthly income by making school dresses.  Read more here.
CORD Lathikatacontinues to bring awareness to health, hygiene and sanitation. They organized a program focusing on sanitation under Grama Parimala Divas at Betora, Mundojare Gram Panchayat on Februrary 20th, 2014. The program educated participants on sanitary practices like the use of contaminated water and the improper disposal of human waste. The sanitation drive was held on the sacred day of Poojya Gurudev’s birthday and involved youngsters, village elderly persons, Acharyas, Chinmaya MIssion and CORD Sevaks.  Read more here.
Awareness theme continues at CORD Siruvani :  Besides activities by the local CORD members,  many volunteers from around the globe who visited CORD Siruvani helped improve health awareness.  They interacted with the villagers especially women and children and educated them on health issues like anemia, tobacco addiction and improper sanitation.   A Waste Segregation at source initiative was introduced by volunteer Sri Parthu Reddy Kalva from UCSD, California collaborating with an NGO ‘PROWASTE’ and local vendor.  Children in rural schools were given a schedule to follow to segregate waste at their schools.  Read more here.
Going Organic, CORD Kaza is expanding their kitchen garden this year to help provide the children with nutritional food for their overall health and academic success.  A Child Development Project Officer from the Department of Women and Child Welfare visited the location and was very impressed on how the Chinmaya Vijaya is being run.  Read more here.
Women Empowerment showcased at CORD Sidhbari:  an awareness rally called “The One Billion Rising Program” was conducted to provide a legal framework that protects women from domestic violence and other similar issues.  A resolution was submitted to the District Commissioner of Kangra to provide legal aid to women as well as police appeal support in women friendly way.  In another occasion Chinmaya Navajyoti Mahila Mandal team raised their voice and stopped the use of an illegal stone crusher that was hampering the safety of the village and hindering the water flow of the river. Read more of similar achievements and other key activities in their annual report here.

CORD Thamaraipakkam – Rapidly Developing Kisan Mandals at Vadhatur Panchayat : Cord Thamaraipakkam shifted its focus to a new panchayat, Vadhatur in Tiruvallur district after being assured that Thamaraipakkam panchayat was benefitting from funding from WHO and well established CORD support clubs.  Kisan Mandals (Farmers Clubs) were set up within 2 months at Vadhatur panchayat.  Residents of Tiruvallur were quickly connected with many agricultural and fisheries experts and government officials who provided knowledge on various cultivation techniques and available incentives or financial resources.  A solar lighting system was set up as an incentive from CORD.  Members of the Farmers Club kick started some novel agricultural processes such as SRI paddy cultivation and compost production further ensuring the engagement and success of the pre-dominantly agricultural community.  To catch up in detail on the exciting developments, please check out here.

CORD Sri Lanka – Empowering Women to be Small Business Owners : With the help of SHG (Self Help Groups), quite a few women with personal setbacks and unsteady income successfully became small business owners.  This enabled them to be financially secure in managing their everyday expenses for their family.  These women received training on specific skills such as tailoring or food/snack preparation and the support sometimes included receiving a micro loan.  Please see the amazing stories of these women in here.

Big thanks to Paulomi Campbell, Samihita Kaw Bhat, Mamatha Ratnam, Teji Kanakamedala and Kapil Varma for their help with the newsletter!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, I am just an email away…

Subha Varma Pathial
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