Greeting card hand-embroidered by Preyrona 1 student Mampu
EMPOWER THE CHILDREN (ETC) is a nonprofit humanitarian organization. It addresses the social issues of poverty, hunger and lack of education among destitute, slum-dwelling and disabled children.
ETC’s primary goals:
- Provide first-time educational opportunities for illiterate children. Upon reaching age-appropriate academic levels, the children can transfer into and succeed in government schools.
- Teach illiterate women marketable skills so that they can contribute to the household income and help raise the family out of poverty.
ETC integrates disabled children into mainstream society through the annual “Celebration of Diversity” performance. These programs instill self-esteem, self-reliance and personal growth through individual and group accomplishment.
ETC serves a daily nutritious meal to 300 children at six locations.
Starting with only a small orphanage, a girls’ tutorial center and a rooftop school, ETC has expanded to the following educational/vocational programs:
- Preyrona 1 (“Inspiration”) School
- Preyrona 2 School
- Preyrona 3 School
- Dankuni 1 and Dankuni 2 tutorial centers for after-school assistance with homework and exam preparation
- Three preschools: Atmaraksha, Nehru Colony, Nevidita
- Khamargachi Tribal school, which also teaches music to help students retain their tribal traditions
- Embroidery programs for teenagers
- Tailoring programs for adult women
- Funds drama, art and dance programs at an orphanage for disabled adults
- Teaches an interactive language curriculum at a children’s hospital
- Provides holiday clothes at 10 sites
- Maintains a cultural exchange program, connecting children in India and Scotland
- Funds educational programs in Kenya, Mexico and USA
ETC co-founder Rosalie Giffoniello works directly with the people she serves. She teaches, trains teachers, administers all programs, monitors finances and annually inspires more than 50 volunteers from all over the world. Rosalie Giffoniello’s methodology is self-empowering. To paraphrase a Chinese proverb: “Read a story to a child, and you entertain the child for a moment; teach a child to read, and you educate the child for life.”