Poiple Shadow

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About Poiple Shadow

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    http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com
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    Goa, India
  1. [quote name='iwanttogoback' post='47592' date='Dec 27 2009, 06:59 PM']hi rob thanks for the wonderful update, i hope christmas went as well as you hoped.[/quote] Christmas was a blast! - Absolutely shattering, but so much fun! The play went down a treat and the children loved seeing Ali (the house parent) in dressed as the princess... Very funny... Christmas photos aren't up yet, but I have uploaded some more from Oct/Nov (I'm a little behind this year) [url="http://www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Pictures.htm"]http://www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Pictures.htm[/url] Hope everyone has a fabulous 2010 Thanks Rob
  2. Well, It's Christmas Day today (So happy Christmas everyone! ), It's been madly busy here, but wanted to let everyone know about our soon to stage performance.... Babu and the Mango Tree With the festive season fast approaching, our thoughts once again turn to our foray of theatre. After resounding success in 2007 of Cinderella, the pressure was on to put on a production bigger, better and even more humiliating for everyone involved. To make it as engaging as possible, Steve came up with the idea to perform some in Hindi, which initially was greeted with enthusiasm, a task which proved more easily suggested than performed. Having carved himself a reputation as being very much the man of the Mango House; building, fixing, acting masculine, Matt revealed a completely secret side by suggesting a number of his favourite pantomimes. Although hard pressed to choose, he convinced us that Jack and the Beanstalk was the one. Whilst at home, we are all very aware of Jacks environment; giants, giant beanstalks and golden eggs are a bit less common in this particular part of India. So before we knew it, Jack had metamorphosed into Babu, the giant into an ogre and the beanstalk into a Mango tree. With our semi Hindi panto decided on and all amendments made, all that was required was to cast. When looking around the Mango House, some of the roles seemed obvious. Whilst I would dearly love to see matt dressed in drag, being a mean, bad tempered ogre seemed like the natural choice. Besides, the ogres wife could only ever be played by Rob! Another role was for a dodgy, drunken, scoundrel who sold the magic beans, and slowly all eyes drifted onto Steve. In the few rehearsals we have had so far, he plays a convincing character. Jack had aspirations to play the lead role and lets face it, he qualified by sharing the same name, at least. He has since been talking to his agent in London (and will not let you take his photograph without written consent from the them!) A tremendous amount of effort has been made by everyone so far, none more than Heena, playing a convincing yet giggly market trader. She has made a fantastic cow costume for the Dynamic Duo ‘Lizzy and Steph’. who are trying to translate ‘Moo’ from English to Hindi as we speak! With the recent departure, of the, ‘A is for Apple, Barbara’, Anna has bravely stepped in to take on the role of Babu’s mum. She has shown particular enthusiasm when she gives Babu a good beating and clearly rules the house with an iron fist, so far we are yet to hear Sangee, (played by Paulina) speak. That could be sibling rivalry though! The pantomime really has opened our eyes to many of the Mango Houses secret talents. None more so than the angelic voice of Mareike, whose rendition of Jingle Bells will bring a tear to the eye of the most hard-nosed Scrooges amongst us. Rumour has it, that Matt has even been found sobbing in the shed, leaning against his shovel after rehearsals. You may remember, in the performance 2 years ago, one of the cornerstones of the Mango House, Ali, played the prince. In keeping with the royal theme, this year Ali convinced us that he could play an equally elegant Princess! With all those beautiful flowing locks, and sexy swagger he has been attracting intriguing glances from men and women alike! Be careful what you wish for Ali! Goodness knows what newcomer Ingrid must think, after 1 week of volunteering she’s found herself pretending to be a market trader, in a pantomime, in a tree house, with a troop of cross dressing wierdos! Just another week in the Mango house! *Unfortunately Robert had to step down as the Ogre's wife in the charity panto due to illness. We are happy to say that Jonnie Irwin was kind enough to stand in for the role. Jonnie, the presenter of "Place in the sun" on Channel 4 and the up coming BBC TV Series "To buy or not to buy" will undoubtedly fill the Ogre's wife's shoes and provide a stunning performance.
  3. Hi... Just wanted to let you all know that I have uploaded a new set of photos on our website : The monsoon has never been conducive to outside play, but if the rain stops and the skies lighten we take the opportunity to get out side for a game of football, cricket or just a run round the local playing field. There's a lovely piece of land which we have 'adopted', the land ends with a stream and in the monsoon is a bright green from the broad leafed grass that grows there. Unfortunately the foot pitch has turned into a muddy brown colour from excessive use, but the children really don't care and it makes those sliding tackles even more fun. The volunteers are just as keen and can be seen giving their all, trying to beat the children at their own game. For the more reserved, small games of tig or skipping is fine to while away the time. * ( Photos courtesy of Amber Mezbourian ) [img]http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Pictures/3/S8.jpg[/img] [url="http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Pictures.htm"]http://www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Pictures.htm[/url]
  4. Hi, thank you so much for the comments, glad you enjoyed the news..., sorry I haven't kept things up to date, but I've started a blog now, so with that, the website, [url="http://apps.facebook.com/causes/323420?m=1c0c4bea"]facebook cause[/url], playing football with the kids (oohhh... I still ache!!!) I just don't get chance... Anyway, this is probably one of the nicest volunteer experiences I've ever had... So I thought I would share it with you all.... [url="http://childrenwalkingtall.blogspot.com/"]http://childrenwalkingtall.blogspot.com/[/url] Anyway, it's nearly 9pm here.. I'm off home... Goodnight!
  5. Hi, Just thought I'd update people with the latest news... New School Term [img]http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Newsletter/Pictures/09-05/Street-Children-Education.jpg[/img] School, Education SponsorshipApril, May and June at "The Mango House" has been a hive of activity as we rushed around buying the new school materials, making the school uniforms, buying and filling the school bags and visiting the schools for new admissions. Aloysius, Trupti and Savita have done most of the work, Aloysius being in charge of talking to parents and schools, Trupti our teacher has sorted all the school resources and made sure every child received the correct items depending on their standard, and finally Savita who was in charge of measuring and stitching of all the non standard school uniforms. This year we have helped around 180 children, which is more than the previous two years added together. It's a great accomplishment for us and I would like to thank everyone who helped by donating items for their school bags and those who funded the educational programme. A special thank you goes out to Chantel (Xandev) and the Herrod Foundation for donating towards the children's educational needs. One of the main reasons for children not attending school is the financial one. The government does actually provide items for the children but this is often months late. This year we provided the children with 2 sets of uniforms, raincoat, school bag, text books and a specially printed Children Walking Tall pencil case full of pencils, pens, ruler, pencil sharpener, rubber, pencil crayons and felts. Providing the resources is not the end either, we continue to track their attendance and achievements and work closely with all the schools. To encourage the children to attend we also provide extra rice quota's for the children. For children who don't miss a days school in 2 weeks we provide the family with a kilo of rice, for those who have between 1 and 3 days absence in 2 weeks the receive 1/2 a kilo. We have also started providing all the school going children in the two local slums with a cooked lunch. The food is cooked at the house and is packaged up and taken down to the slum 5 days a weeks. The menu is exactly the same menu as we provide at the house, and is another encouragement for the children and the families in the slum. [url="http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Newsletter/2009-05.htm"]More Stories[/url]
  6. We've had a bit more feedback from her and there's a chance she might return to Goa, we took the police up to see her family again and then got a call saying she might return so we'll just cross our fingers... Anyway, I've updated lots on the website, managed to get a new newsletter out (featuring the story above) and also a few new sets of photos from the last few months... [url="http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Newsletter/2009-03.htm"]http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Newsletter/2009-03.htm[/url]
  7. Vandy... Thanks for the praise... I'm used to the police trying to bully you as it's Goa and I'm always getting stopped on my bike (which I have all my papers for etc), but they still try it on! priya... It's so frustrating... I'm stumped for what to do... I can't go and 'grab' her as then it would be kidnapping, although I'm sure she'#d be happy to come, but her mother is family, legally I have no hope, the family I am sure can pressure her into saying anything even if I made a case in Marahastra, and if I was to succeed then she's stuk in some dodgy home in Marahastra where she's probably just as likely to be treated badly or abused... Any clues for the best option? UKDave... Thanks... Best of luck with your work....
  8. iwanttogoback - We were lucky that her mother was supportive, otherwise we wouldn't have got anywhere I fear.... She's still with us and we'll be looking at getting her into School shortly - Which is great news... It's also great that we got a two for one offer as her sister returned too.. (who's a couple of years younger).... priya - I've just written a little bit for the next newsletter on the story of the 2nd girl (included below)... Not quite sue what's going to happen, crossed fingers though.... (This time it's not so easy as the Mother doesn't care....) Child Bride runs to Children Walking Tall.... (*name changed) Robert was at "The Mango House" one Sunday afternoon when there was a knock at the door, he went to see who was there and sat in the porch was Rachna, a 14 year old girl that had been married off two years ago when she was only 12 by her family and sent to Marahastra just like the girl in February which we mentioned in our last newsletter. Rachna was visibly upset and explained briefly that she had run away from her husband and his family who was abusing her. She had taken the 8 hour bus journey from Marahastra to Goa and her heart stopped as one of the family boarded the same bus but thankfully they did not see her at the back covered in her vale. Robert called Savita who kindly came into work on a Sunday and helped translate. We spoke to Rachna for half an hour and she had a chance to clean up and offered her food, although she explained that they had starved her also so even though she had not eaten for 16 hours she still was not hungry. We tried to call 1098, the childline number but there was no answer, we tried a few more times, one time getting through but then the phone was just put down on us. After that we got in contact with Child Rights Goa who as always were a great help and always willing to put effort in for a child in need. They agreed to meet us (on a Sunday evening) at the Women and Child police station in Panjim to meet and take a statement, unfortunately when we got there there were no inspectors to talk to so we returned the next morning. Rachna explained to the police that she was forced by both the families to marry the boy and she was being treated badly by her husbands family, she had tried to leave once before we heard but her mother had told her that she can live and die there. Her situation was getting worse as the family was putting more and more pressure onto her as she had not delivered a child yet. She said she was beaten and food withheld from her. Unlike many other young women in similar circumstances she was brave enough to take a stand and ran away and return to "The Mango House" where she had previously come for day care and food. The police requested that her mother be present for questioning, a police car went tot heir home but had just missed her as she had returned to her village, a message was sent to family to instruct her to return for questioning. The next day the mother arrived at the police station with the village elders and also a lawyer, when questioned the mother said that her daughter was 18 years old, although it was obvious she wasn't and we also had birthproof to the contary which we had on file from when she used to attend "The Mango House". According to this the girl was only 14. The police were amazed by what she was saying and when her daughter arrived she stopped speaking Hindi and spoke to Rachna in her local dialect and then said she couldn't speak in Hindi (which she had been doing for the last 20 minutes). None of the police officers could understand so continued to ask her to speak in Hindi, when she wouldn't Rachna became our translator, with the police, CRG and Savita picking out just a few words of the conversation. Eventually the mother signed a statement and agreed that she would not take Rachna out of Goa and she would live with her in Karaswada and allow her to attend "The Mango House" each day. She would have the chance to rejoin school. Wednesday was her first, and unknowingly her last day at "The Mango House", she came in the morning and had a fabulous day playing with her old freinds and even helped Robert in the garden laying out some soil for the new grass area. It was a joy to have her back, we took her home in the evening and was shocked to get a call from the slum at 11:15pm at night saying that her mother and brother had come to the slum and bundled her into a car and were in the process of taking her back to Marahastra against the decision by the police. Robert drove down to the slum, but all was quiet by the time he arrived, he then went to the local police station to make a complaint. Unfrotunately this took a long time and by the time the police had made a request to stop them at the border they were probably well past. After finishing with the Police Robert decided to drive into Marahastra with the hope of finding them... He drove to the border and was suprised to get there before the message from the police arrived. He continued and after an hours drive and nobody to ask directions and unable to read the signs that had changed into Hindi returned back unsuccessfully... The next day Savita and Robert went to the police to see if there was anything they could do and although the mother had written and signed a statement to say she wouldn't leave Goa that apparently has no effect in the courts... So we are right back at the start. Since then we have heard from her and hope she will once again get up the courage to run away, the next time we will be less trusting of her mother who really seems to have no care for her daughter's happiness or health. We would like to thank the women and child police station in Panjim, Child Rights Goa, Savita for her help and Rachna for being so brave and for choosing us.
  9. Thanks Dzibead and Priya... I never seem to get the chance to pop on here and write.... Below is one of the stories from last months newsletter, there will be another one this month too about another 14 year old girl who's been married since she was 12... unfortunately it's not got a happy ending as of yet... (working on it though!)... Rob Married at 12 to an abusive husband One of the children who attended The Mango House was married when she was only 12, just over a year ago. She was taken out of "The Mango House" and taken back to her village in Marahastra for the wedding, the whole family left and we thought this might be the last we would see of her. A year later her family returned, but she was still in Marahastra with her husband. There were a couple of reports of her being beaten up by her 'husband'. We got in touch with her mother and asked if she would be willing to come with us to take her out of this abusive and illegal union. Her mother was thankfully as eager as us to 'rescue' her daughter from a life of abuse. We set of early one Saturday and headed off into Marahastra. Aloysius (Our Indian House Parent/Social Worker) and Rob were accompanied by the girls mother, elder brother and friend who knew where she was living. It took around 4 hours driving to reach the village. We arrived around 11 in the morning and found her small corrugated hut. She looked better than we had thought but was eager to get away. Unfortunately her surrogate family were less keen and our planned quick exit was not possible. As the mother spoke in their local language we encouraged the girl to come to the van but as we wasted time talking, more and more family/villagers came to prevent our exit. In the end about 30 villagers were there, preventing the girl and us from leaving, and after 30 minutes the police were called. A policeman arrived on a motor bike and wanted Robert to come with him to the police station. He didn't seem interested in anyone else, perhaps it's because Robert stuck out as the only white person in miles... Robert politely said he would follow with the others in the van and we drove the short distance to the police station. Once there, we were shown into see the Police Inspector who said we were being charged with kidnapping which came as a little bit of a surprise as we were with her legal guardian and she was a minor. We explained this but the local officers had no interest. The inspector said she was married and that was it (even though the legal age for marriage is 18 and we had her birth proof saying she was only 13). Both Aloysius and Robert were threatened with the kidnapping charge and would be required to wait for the courts to open on Monday. The police were quite eager for us to forget all this hassle and just leave the girl with her abusive husband. We stood our ground and said that if that's what it takes then 'so be it'.... The police officer then wanted to speak to Aloysius alone and try and convince him to let it go and no charges would be brought against him, but we still did not budge. After this another officer said we would just have to pay a fine, which was quickly replied to with a confident 'No!'... After a lot of talking (3 hours or more) the police eventually realised they could not bully or intimidate us so they wanted us to sign a statement written by the locals in Kannada, Aloysius speaks many languages but could not read Kannada. As the police wanted us to sign something we could not read, another confident 'No' was the reply... In the end we were let go and we even managed to keep the girl with us and return to Goa. After such a hard day it was a joy and a relief to be able to bring the girl back to Goa with her family. We had been away for nearly 12 hours as we dropped them off at home. Since then both the girl and her sister have started back at "The Mango House". After being away for a year, the girl is being taught sewing and catching up on her studies and will return to school in June, her sister was accepted back in school straight away and is now there every morning and coming to the house in the afternoon. It has now been a month and the difference is amazing! She returned a hollow shell and now her childhood has been returned. Robert would like to make a special thank you to her mother for supporting us and wanting the best for her daughter and to Aloysius for all his help in some difficult circumstances. Since then we have heard that the husband's family still wants her back and has asked the family to give 5000 Rs/- or they will come and take her back. This threat was taken seriously and a petition was made to the local police station. where Robert was interviewed and also her mother, the mothers statement was then taken. An emergency contact number was given in case of need.. We would like to thank the police sub inspector at Mapusa for all his help and understanding in the matter.
  10. Hi, Best wishes to you also, in fact everyone on this forum... Have a great New Year! I managed to update the last few photos of Christmas, we ended up giving out probably 1100 christmas presents, the idea was to have a break over Christmas but it didn't happen so I ended up giving mor out on the 26th, 28th and 29th... It was a really good Christmas and as we were down a couple of people things went suprisingly well (one staff ad a baby on the 22nd and another was on her honey moon after getting married on the 7th!! Here are the last two sets from Christmas, thank you to everyone who donated the presents, I hope the pictures say how much the children enjoyed them! [img]http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Pictures/9/S1.jpg[/img] [url="http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Pictures9.htm"]http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Pictures9.htm[/url] [img]http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Pictures/1/S4.jpg[/img] [url="http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Pictures1.htm"]http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Pictures1.htm[/url] Thanks Rob
  11. Just a quick one to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I have uploaded two sets of photos from the last few days when we have given out 1000 presents in the slums of Goa. It's been a hard but fulfilling experience. Today (Christmas Day) will hopefully be less tiring but probably as noisy as we give 'our children' their presents today at "The Mango House"... [url="http://www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Pictures7.htm"]www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Pictures7.htm[/url] [url="http://www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Pictures8.htm"]www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Pictures8.htm[/url] Best wishes for the new year Rob
  12. Hi all, I've uploaded our most recent newsletter now too... Enjoy! [url="http://www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Newsletter/2008-09.htm"]www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Newsletter/2008-09.htm[/url] Merry Christmas!
  13. Priya, thanks for the comments, sorry it's taken s long to reply, I've just been so busy and looks like a will be for a while lng (maybe Christmas!!!),. Anyway, I have been doing work on the website so there's a few new pictures and also a video of the work we do (you might be interested) on our homepage... [url="http://www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com"]www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com[/url] Thanks
  14. Hi All.... It's becoming very quiet on here... Not a lot happening at all... Anyway, I've been busy doing the newsletter and a few more photos, all of which are now available online... (the photos are available via the newsletter) so here's the link for anyone who's interested [url="http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Newsletter/2008-07.htm"]http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/Newsletter/2008-07.htm[/url]
  15. Hey, just put some photos up from Independance day... Yes I know I'm a bit late but it's been ab busy time down here in Goa.... [url="http://www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Pictures.htm"]www.ChildrenWalkingTall.com/Pictures.htm[/url] Thanks