Why I Support Shadhika
Jeanne Schapp first learned about Shadhika after being invited by a friend to a fundraiser in 2008. Having lived abroad, Jeanne was very interested in social justice issues – particularly with respect to women’s and girls’ rights. “Investing in Shadhika totally fits within my value system and long-term charitable contribution strategy.”
Jeanne now participates in Shadhika’s College Scholarship Donors’ Circle, a group of 15 donors who have made multi-year commitments of between $500 – $2,000 a year to help send Shadhika students to college. She finds participating in the circle extremely rewarding because it allows her to hear the personal stories about the girls and their families. She has found this to be a powerful and humbling experience. “The more I learned, the closer I felt to these young women, so full of aspirations, hopes and dreams. It’s been quite an emotional experience for me.”
“Educating and empowering women is the magic formula for so many of society’s ills, especially in India. And I think that approaching gender inequality from two fronts is also extremely important, so educating boys is critical, too.
“As global citizens, we should all care about the world around us. Educating women and girls and empowering them to be respected and full partners in society provides an enormous return on investment. And supporting Shadhika and its mission is one gigantic step in the right direction.”
After being involved with Shadhika as a donor and former board member, she knows that Shadhika looks for local projects that will have a significant impact in the community. “It is a highly trusted, transparent and professional organization, with family involvement and excellent project oversight. I hope that Shadhika is able to continue and expand the work that it does, helping even more disadvantaged women and girls, as well as educating boys and families.”
After more than nine years supporting Shadhika, Jeanne will finally have the opportunity to see Shadhika’s work firsthand when she joins Shadhika’s President and CEO and other donors for Shadhika’s annual donor trip to India in January 2017. We can’t wait show her the impact of her support!
Why I Support Shadhika
Marci Radin, a Radiology Administrative Assistant at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, CO, explains that her support for Shadhika stems from a blend of three aspects of her life. “My Bachelor’s degree is in Anthropology, so I’ve long been interested in cultures around the world, and, in the last several years, I’ve been most intrigued with India. Second, my parents and their siblings were all educators. And finally, I’m a member of the “boomer” generation involved in many political action movements, including female equality. Tie those three strings together in Shadhika – female empowerment through education in India. Bam!”
Marci donates both her time and money to Shadhika. She explains, “I don’t earn a lot of money at my job, but I’ve always donated generously to causes I believe in. I’m of a firm mind that every little bit helps, so I provide Shadhika with a modest monthly donation and, when I can afford it, additional money during fundraisers, either as a sponsor, or purchasing supplies.” Marci also volunteers on Shadhika’s Communications Committee, helping with the newsletter and Shadhika’s Facebook page.
Asked how she feels her support makes a difference in the lives of the girls that Shadhika serves in India, Marci reflects, “Again, every little bit helps. It’s important for every human being to know that someone cares. Through Shadhika, I hope there are several girls who know that someone half a world away cares – cares that they are given opportunities, cares that they are entitled to self-worth, and cares that they can make a difference in their lives to benefit themselves, their families, their communities, their country, and the world.”
Marci will be joining Shadhika in our Donor Trip to India this year, in which we visit our grantees. Marci notes, “I’m absolutely beside myself thrilled to see Shadhika’s work in action during this year’s two week tour!”
You can join Marci as a monthly donor to Shadhika by clicking here.
Why I Support Shadhika
Asked why he supports Shadhika, Satinder Singh Rekhi simply replies, “Because I have a three-year old granddaughter.”
Mr. Singh is the Founder and Managing Director of R Systems International Limited, a specialized IT Services and Solutions firm with offices in India, the USA, and Europe. He learned about Shadhika’s work this past year and was moved to make a $10,000 donation to underwrite the work of one of Shadhika’s grantees, VACHA, in Mumbai.
“Growing up in Delhi,” he reflects, “I know that there is gender inequality in India that should not be there. As a Sikh, my faith teaches me to give equal value to women. After all, they are the ones who give birth to Gurus and Kings.
“But many in India, they don’t want girls, they think boys are better for them, that boys get them more money. That is traditional thinking. Girls give more love and affection. I believe we should educate girls and stand up for their rights.
“So the desire to do this work has always been there for me. When I learned of the good work that Shadhika was doing and saw the level of engagement and oversight Shadhika maintains with its grantees, that gave me confidence to make my investment in the organization.
“Some are reluctant to invest in this kind of work in India because they fear mismanagement. But Shadhika’s due diligence removes this fear. It gives us confidence that the work will make an impact on the girls that are served and be well-executed.”
Other Donor Testimonies
“My husband and I were inspired by the work of Shadhika because we have a seven year old daughter. We want to ensure that girls in India are afforded the same educational opportunities, empowerment and access to sources as American children.”
– Donor, Denver CO
“Every morning, children across America wake up and grudgingly go to school. Ask most kids and they’ll tell you that they hate waking up early every day to be lectured at for seven hours about things they don’t really care about. Still, these same kids accept that it is a part of their lives. Most people in America don’t seem to realize that a good education is a privilege. They forget that an education will open up countless opportunities, but everyone seems to take it for granted.
“In India, things are different. For girls of low socioeconomic status, education is considered completely unnecessary. They are not given the same opportunities as boys since it’s seen as pointless to educate a girl. They are expected to be married off and to remain dependent on their husbands for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, this reasoning tends to stay the same even in relatively well-off communities. I once had a neighbor who said he ‘wasn’t worried about [his daughter’s] education because she’s a girl’. Sadly, this sums up most of India’s view on girls’ education.
“Shadhika is working to change this. In addition to supporting and funding many nonprofits, Shadhika empowers girls so that they can lead better lives. That’s why I support Shadhika.”
– Donor, age 14, Palo Alto, CA
“Shadhika is a grant-making organization with true heart and soul. Founder Juthica Stangl has steadfastly pursued her vision of helping the poorest of the poor in Kolkata, India — particularly women and children. I was honored to join the Shadhika Board in 2008 and served until 2012. During that time I helped with fundraising activities and worked with some of the most caring, committed and competent individuals I have ever met.
“Shadhika has always maintained close ties to its grantees and has come a long way in the past 20 years, from making its first grant of $3,600 in 1993 to distributing approximately $108,000 in 2012. Shadhika board members visit programs each year to gain greater insight and feedback from the programs, and to establish a true spirit of collaboration. As a Shadhika board member, I knew that we were funding extremely worthy projects, sometimes where other funding was limited or unavailable. The heartbreaking side of such an organization is that we could not fund more projects. I am extraordinarily proud to have served on the Shadhika Board and know that we were able to make a real difference for some of the most vulnerable in India.
– Former Board Member