They have sponsored 50 kids through for tuition, meals and uniform for an entire academic year of “bridging school” starting in June 2013.
It was during visits to India in April 2012 and February 2013 that Mark Luckey, MD for roomsXML and WebSource, decided to formalise a longer term initiative after years of supporting other education initiatives in India.
Luckey says “My challenge in doing business in India was exposure to the divide between rich and poor; the answer was to then decide how to help implement meaningful change. Through my close friend and associate in Bangalore, Vivek Jain from StrApp, I was introduced to Mom Banerjee who left her job at Intel and founded the Samridhdhi Trust.
“I was blown away with Mom’s passion and self devotion; it was easy to decide that we would donate our time and funds towards educating the kids.”
Mom Banerjee says “Workers are migrating from the north to wealthier Southern India to work on construction projects, in many cases bringing with them children who do not have the language, educational basics or social skills to fit into mainstream school and society in the south.
“Without extracurricular support like bridging school, they fall between the cracks and have no chance for opportunity.”
“We teach the parents that “education is an investment and not an expense.” We equally share the costs of education with them to get the kids into school, thus imparting a value to the external support they receive.
“Today these children are waste pickers combing dumps for scraps… with the funding support from companies like WebSource Pacific and roomsXML Australia, they have the opportunity to become architects, engineers and electricians.”
Research shows that a completed, six-year education will deliver positive, irreversible change to current and future generations of these families. The children will ultimately fill jobs that lift the quality of living for their entire family unit and in turn provide further opportunities for generations to come.
Luckey says “It’s this six-year or 300 school years of education that we are aiming to contribute. As well as the funds that we are donating, I’m also participating on the advisory committee to apply our business skills to help on strategy, sponsorship, funding and raising awareness.
“It’s so satisfying to meet the kids who are getting an education you’ve helped provide. I can’t wait to go back again this year and over the next six years to see the students graduate.
“The clients who do business with roomsXML and WebSource are helping us fulfil our vision by doing business with us.
“It’s pretty cool to run your own company and be able to do this.”