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Mul Mantra by Maya Fiennes, ©2006
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Sponsors Take Step to Save a Life

Sponsorship at Ekoankar can sometimes lead to other opportunities to help those in need. On a recent sponsor visit to India, Bill and Kati Pizer saw the opportunity to help a sibling of two of our students. Pankaj (pictured second from right in the photo) is 17 years old and Jyoti and Deepak’s older brother. He is in dire need of a kidney transplant and has been suffering for a few years with a condition that if left unchecked will end his short life. Enter Bill and Kati Pizer, Jyoti and Deepak’s sponsors. With the Pizer’s financial assistance and love, Pankaj is in the hospital receiving daily dialysis to prepare him for a kidney transplant very soon. The tests have shown his mother is a direct match, and the family is looking forward to the surgery and the positive changes it will bring to Pankaj’s life and the wellbeing of the entire family. None of this could have happened without the generosity of the Pizers. Thank you to Bill and Kati!

Ekoankar Building Awareness of Human Trafficking

When you sponsor a child at Ekoankar, you are helping a child achieve not only self-sufficiency, but independence and safety.

"After learning more about the topic of human trafficking, I feel good knowing what we are doing at Ekoankar is helping children have a future where they are in charge of their own lives and bodies. Defraying the cost of these children’s education will help keep their families out of the desperate situations that can lead to selling or giving away their children. It can also prevent children from being lured into dangerous situations leading to their enslavement."

-- Lileen Coulloudon, Board Member, Ekoankar




While traveling to India on American Airlines this fall to visit the children and the school, I read an interesting and heart wrenching story in the American Way in-flight magazine about the cost of human trafficking. I could not get the image out of my head of the little girl, called a “Karaoke baby,” mentioned in the story. This little girl had been abandoned by her prostitute mother and was living under the porch of a house. The mother’s hope was that the people living in the house would take care of the child, but they were too poor to do so. I have seen so many similar children during my trips to India. Children from impoverished families in India and many countries can fall prey to those looking to exploit and profit from their vulnerability. Poor families can become so desperate they sell or give away their children just to have one less mouth to feed.

Upon my return to the US, I felt compelled to learn more about human trafficking and most important, how we can help.

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Fortunately, I located Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) and their founder, Nancy Rivard. AAI is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the United Nations and recognized by the US Congress. It began as a network of airline employees using their pass privileges to help others and has expanded into a network of students, medical professionals, families and retirees who volunteer as "Ambassadors of Goodwill" in their home communities and abroad. The American Way article I read featured Nancy’s organization.

Recently, a few of us on the Ekoankar board attended a presentation by Nancy where we learned more not only about AAI, but about how to recognize and combat human trafficking on a local, national and international level. We learned some startling statistics and anecdotes about just how widespread this problem is and how it occurs under our own noses, during our travels, and in our neighborhoods!

Along with Nancy, we were fortunate to meet and hear from Deena Graves, the founder of Traffick911. Her organization is a team of passionate people driven to stop the sale of American children into sexual slavery for the profit and pleasure of their perpetrators. Deena provided valuable information on what occurs during Super Bowl related to sex trafficking.

When you sponsor a child at Ekoankar, you are helping a child achieve not only selfsufficiency, but independence and safety. After learning more about the topic of human trafficking, I feel good knowing what we are doing at Ekoankar is helping children have a future where they are in charge of their own lives and bodies. Defraying the cost of these children’s education will help keep their families out of the desperate situations that can lead to selling or giving away their children. It can also prevent children from being lured into dangerous situations leading to their enslavement.

Read the article that started it all:

http://www.americanwaymag.com/ed-note-09-15-2010

Read more about Nancy Rivard and Airline Ambassadors International:


See a video interview (CNN) with Nancy:



Learn more about Deena Graves’ efforts and Traffick911:



2010 Sponsor Trip Report

This note to you comes on the heels of another wonderful trip to India and a visit to the school and children’s homes. There were 4 sponsors on this trip in addition to our Chairman, Tej and myself. The sponsors were able to meet their children and families as well as visit their homes.

The highlight of this trip was a concert by the school in honor of our Chief Guest Captain Bill Pizer and his lovely wife Kati. Rajesh, the school’s director, and all the teachers made this year’s visit special by helping the children prepare a program of song, dance, recitations and general fun for our benefit. All the children from ages 5-13 participated. Their talents and happy faces will remain in our memory forever. It was a wonderful display of love and gratitude for all that 2010 has brought for them. A gift of education. Captain Bill Pizer addressed the kids emphasizing the importance of education in reaching the highest goals and visions of our lives.

"Every life's journey begins with one small step. Every accomplishment begins with one small bit of knowledge. Education is the key for success" - Captain Bill Pizer

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We thank Captain and Mrs. Pizer for their vision and dedication to the cause of these young children. You both are a true inspiration to all of them.

As always, the children are continuing to grow not only physically, but are increasing their knowledge. We visited English, geography, math and science classes in session.

In attendance were the parents and guardians of our sponsored children. They were recognized by Tej for their efforts and dedication to furthering their children’s education. We applaud the families of our sponsored children. Without their support, their children would not be attending school and making a better life for themselves and their families, but would find themselves in dangerous situations or working menial jobs.

This year there were two new additions to the school. One is a small computer lab in one of the classrooms. This will help students gain basic technology skills needed in today’s workplace. Another addition is a 7th grade class. There are now 4 students in this class. Before, the school only went up to 6th grade. Congratulations to the school on these accomplishments!

As a side note, the van purchased by our sponsors last year is transporting students to and from school and has been a great help. Other noteworthy news is the increase of Ekoankar’s international sponsor presence. In addition to sponsors from various states in the U.S. and France, we have now added sponsors from Sweden. If you have friends or family in other countries who could help the needy children of Ekoankar, please encourage them to visit our website.

As year 2010 closes we hope that this letter finds you and yours healthy and happy. We and the children of Ekoankar appreciate your continued support and wish you a prosperous New Year! 

Wheels Come to the School

Two of our sponsors, Kati Pizer and Michelle Clark who have sponsored 2 girls Jyoti and Rekha, went the extra mile and bought the school a van to transport the kids back and forth from home.  While we were there, we got the opportunity to see the van.  Owning a van will now mean that 16 children can be transported to and from school.  Before they had to hire individual auto-rickshaws to pick up and deliver the children who live too far to walk to school so this will save on costs.  "The children needed basic transportation, something we take for granted in the U.S.," said Michelle. 

Thank you to our generous sponsors, Kati and Michelle!


Visit India and meet with your Sponsored Child 

Enjoy meeting with your sponsored child and visit Exotic India during our Sponsor Trip to India. Click here Sponsors' Annual Trip to India or on the Navigation bar on left side of Home Page for details.