Charity fundraising ideas to take children back to school

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A fully literate nation is a step closer to the prosperity of its citizens. As children get back to school, we can engage in some charity fundraising activities to aid their education. Here are some interesting non-profit fundraising ideas you can look forward to.

Selling handmade cards/bookmarks

Bring together children from your area to create interesting art work depicting their school life or subjects they love the most.  Let the children use their imagination and create cards, posters and bookmarks. Organise a non-profit fundraising activity in your area, school or college where you can sell the art works. Use these proceeds to sponsor a child’s education in organisations like Akshaya Patra.

Book exchange

Students in school or colleges or even working executives can be invited on Facebook to exchange their books as a charity fundraising campaign. Motivate people to give away their unused or read books that they don’t wish to retain anymore. Set a nominal fee to enroll in the activity. Inform the participants that the proceeds generated from the activity will be used to send children back to school.

Online fundraising campaigns

Browsing online for information and engaging activities has become a second nature of millennial generation. A thoughtfully created online activity can engage them easily. Use the power of online media to start a charity fundraising campaigns for non-profit organisations such as Akshaya Patra. It’s easier to create online non-profit fundraising campaigns; and if done smartly, you can raise a significant amount of funds for the cause.

Garage sale

You can simply organise a garage sale in your office or colony and ask people to donate things they don’t mind parting from. Participants can not only donate the stuff but also buy some of those that are kept there by others. Use the proceeds of this sale towards any cause related to education.

As you engage in these activities, Akshaya Patra does its bit by incentivising school children to attend schools by serving them wholesome lunch? You can also be a part of the great mission of sending children back to school by starting your own online fundraising campaign. Create a campaign today.

We are a few steps closer to being a fully literate country. Reaching there is not so tough if we come together.

Quality food produced through Six-sigma methodology at Akshaya Patra

What makes Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme (MDMP) world’s largest serving wholesome lunch? Is it the numbers? Over 1.6 million children. Or is it the demographic? 13,636 schools across 12 states in India. What truly makes MDMP, run by a non-profit organisation, large is that the meals served have become actual incentives for children in India to attend schools and achieve academic success. Children of all these government institutions don’t skip schools because of scrumptious lunch they get to relish.

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This large-scale impact, created with the help of charity donations, was made possible by streamlining a six-sigma methodology that goes into the cooking and serving of these meals every single day. The funds raised, for Mid-Day Meal Programme, help us fill over 1.6 million stomachs every day.

MDMP is like a high-scale project of a company 

Akshaya Patra functions like a private company by ensuring quality of production and delivery. The quality inspection, storage and preservation of raw materials follow the standards set by Food Safety Standards Act 2006 (FSSA); the rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India (FCI); all the kitchens follow ‘First In, First Out’ and ‘First Expiry, First Out’ methods while using the raw materials for cooking. The vessels used for cooking are made of 304 grade stainless steel. Well-trained cooks and supervisors ensure quality control while cooking for these kitchens run by the top NGO that’s on a mission to feed the children.

Hope stories testify quality 

Children usually have the habit of skipping lunch, so engrossed they are in their games and sports. But beneficiaries of MDMP enthusiastically have their lunch every day and the prospect of a nutritious meal encourages them to come to school regularly. Several hope stories we came across over the years testify how MDMP has influenced the lives of the children positively.

Initiatives that draw accountability  

Akshaya Patra keeps a strict policy of transparency to maintain complete accountability of the quality of meals being served. The non-profit organisation often engages in several initiatives to involve the society so people are encouraged towards charity fundraising or donations for the cause of food and education. These events publicly involve the society and hold the non-profit organisation accountable for quality. 

Innovative kitchens that set benchmarks

When 100,000 meals are cooked in a single state-of-the-art centralised kitchen, repeated experiments can make it possible. So Akshaya Patra partnered with Innovation Alchemy for scaling up its kitchens without compromising on the quality. As a result, these centralised kitchens have become a subject of study and research. They have been featured on National Geographic channel’s India’s Mega Kitchens. You can read about them in the book God’s Own Kitchen.

Donors trust MDMP

 It’s the transparency of the MDMP scheme that makes prestigious companies and trusted brands often lend a helping hand in terms of charity donations and fundraising. In April 2017, SBI foundation donated a generous amount to the non-profit organisation and would be invested towards 1250 hot insulated vessels to keep food hot for 8-10 hours. The insulated hot boxes would be distributed amongst Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Guwahati and Nathdwara kitchens. Apart from organisations, Akshaya Patra allows individuals to contribute smaller amounts in sponsoring a child or in simply donating for the overall cause. Due to the generous charity donations and fundraising, Akshaya Patra is able to comply with quality and hygiene standards set every day in the Mid-Day Meal Programme.

 

A sneak-peek into Akshaya Patra’s mega kitchens that feed millions of children

Akshaya Patra Kitchens

Imagine 100,000 meals being cooked in a single kitchen under strict norms of hygiene and quality control. Akshaya Patra’s state-of-the-art centralised kitchens process these meals on a daily basis. Due to their standards of hygiene and technology, they have been featured in National Geographic Channel’s India’s Mega Kitchens as well.

The kitchens follow the six sigma methodology with a pre-scheduled menu and equipment that’s relevant to the specific region. For instance, North Indian kitchens have rice and dal cauldrons with roti making machines while South Indian kitchens have rice and sambar cauldrons.

Ensuring quality every day

The NGO’s kitchens ensure quality all through its centers in India right from the procurement of the raw material. The quality inspection, storage and preservation of raw materials follow the standards set by Food Safety Standards Act 2006 (FSSA); the rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India (FCI); all the kitchens follow First in First Out and First Expiry First Out methods while using the raw materials for cooking.

All the vessels used during cooking are of stainless steel 304 food grade material. Well-trained cooks and supervisors ensure quality control during the cooking for these kitchens run by the top NGO that’s on a mission to feed the children.

Here are few photographs that give you a glimpse of our kitchens:

Big couldrons

Big Couldrons

Centralised Kitchens

Centralised Kitchens

Chopped Vegetables

Chopped Vegetables

Roti Cutting Machine

Roti Cutting Machine

The NGO also conducts training programmes for the cooking staff in various parts of India to make them aware and conscious that since they are feeding nutritious meals to the children, they need to be strict about personal hygiene. Akshaya Patra’s newest kitchen opened recently in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. The kitchen has the capacity to cook mid-day meals for 50,000 children. About 28,000 children from 57 government schools In Bhavnagar will be benefitted by Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals in the area. Now Akshaya Patra, as one of top NGOs in India, has 28 centralised kitchens and two de-centralised kitchens across India. The Akshaya Patra Foundation operates in 29 locations across 12 States in India feeding over 1.6 million children.

Feed school children this Father’s Day!

Fathers who believe in their children are those who are able to instil a strong sense of confidence among their children. Children need this. As fathers, you can feed children with values, beliefs and a sense of pride. As the world honours the spirit of fatherhood on Father’s Day, let us lend a helping hand to all those fathers who provide for their family.

Fathers Day

There are millions of children who are thankful that their fathers allowed them to go to school. These children come from humble families where there are too many mouths to feed and only few people bringing food to the plate. So a non-profit organisation in India – Akshaya Patra reaches out to help these families by feeding the children with wholesome lunch in schools. Now the fathers truly had someone to help them feed their children.

Akshaya Patra is on a mission to feed the hungry and eventually end classroom hunger. The non-profit organisation is driven by the principle – no child shall be deprived of education due to hunger. As a result, the organisation has been able to feed millions of school children by also promoting education.

This has turned out to be especially crucial in rural areas where parents cannot practically ensure that their children go to school regularly. Many of these parents are daily wage workers who may work until dusk to be able to feed the family. But when the children are motivated to attend schools due to a nutritious meal served free of cost, this solves a major part of the problem.

Feeding the children with wholesome lunch has truly turned out to be a mission of physical and mental growth of the children. Isn’t it what all fathers want for their children? You may help some of these fathers by being part of the school lunch mission. Donate to charity today.

Read our blog on Father’s Day!

Feeding children with nutritious mid-day meals in Uttar Pradesh

Jacques Diouf once said – hunger is not an issue of charity, it is an issue of justice.

Feeding the hungry, therefore, cannot be a one-time job or a temporary charity. It needs to be a mission of a lifetime till this social evil is completely erased. Akshaya Patra is an NGO that’s currently serving mid-day meals alongside the government in various schools around the country as an attempt to feed the hungry.

Nutritious meals

Apart from other parts of India, the NGO is serving mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh in two cities – Lucknow and Vrindavan. The NGO has ISO-certified centralised kitchens in Lucknow and Vrindavan that are able to serve a total of 2,11,680 children.

Due to these mid-day meals, the NGO is not only able to feed the hungry in Uttar Pradesh but also bring school children back to studies. The NGO’s mid-day meal menu has been modified as per the local palate of Lucknow and Vrindavan. Akshaya Patra serves roti with locally cooked vegetables in Uttar Pradesh as against its South Indian palate. The centralised kitchens that are serving these meals take utmost care in parameters such as nutrition, hygiene, quantity of food etc. This ensures that the children don’t just get a meal but are able to truly enjoy a healthy diet every school day.

The government schools that are benefitted by the NGO in Uttar Pradesh have testified a rise in school attendance due to the serving of mid-day meals. Akshaya Patra has made it its mission to feed the hungry and bring children back to school by combining the two causes intelligently.

The NGO needs more contributors in order to expand its reach in more cities in Uttar Pradesh. You can sponsor a child today.

What charitable organisations in India are truly practising?

Phillips Brooks had said – charity must begin at home but must not stay there. There are hundreds of charitable organisations in India that are taking their work to the whole world. They are making the world notice vital causes that influence mankind. One such charity in Bangalore is the Akshaya Patra Foundation that has combined the cause of education with feeding the children.

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It’s a charitable trust in India that’s dedicated to serving mid-day meals to school children. Its centralised kitchens are located in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and UP.

Charitable organisations such as this are practising fair ways of carrying out educational missions for children in India. The charity in Bangalore has set standards of transparency in terms of accounts, funding, online fund-raising and distribution of resources. Every charitable act conducted by organisations such as this has been influencing a whole life of a child.

These organisations are also setting great examples of accountability – a trait that’s especially needed in today’s world replete with corruption. Channelising technology and social media, these charitable trusts are involving people actively in their missions in India. Today, these organisations are tech-savvy bodies that move intelligently and keep their donors in complete knowledge of their processes and execution.

This is steadily building the confidence of people and encouraging them to donate towards charitable trusts in India. Education and children are the two factors that are crucial for a more intuitive and futuristic society. Investing in these is equivalent to investing in your own future. This apart from the satisfaction that you get to positively make a difference into the lives of children is personally gratifying. Donate for this charity today.

Sponsor a child on World Day against Child Labour

The International Labour Organisation had launched the World Day against Child Labour in 2002 which is observed every year on June 12th. This year as the world pledges to protect children from child labour in conflicts and disasters, let us pledge to sponsor a child in order to secure his healthy upbringing and educational growth.

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The World Day against Child Labour 2017 focuses on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour. Around 200 million people are affected by disasters every year, of which a third are children. A major proportion of the 168 million children engaged in child labour live in areas affected by conflict and disaster. The challenge is to feed the children, protect them from mental and physical consequences of disasters and provide them with the basic necessities of life.

Child labour is equally rampant in India and several charitable organisations are striving hard to eliminate the evil through awareness and protection. A lot of these children are found working haphazard conditions and are dropped out of school due to financial responsibilities. A charitable organisation in India Akshaya Patra, thus, is trying to root out this problem through taking mid-day meals to schools. That way, the organisation is able to feed the children, thereby, luring them to attend schools. The parents, therefore, understand now that the whole challenge of feeding all their children is met by simply sending their children to schools. This has significantly raised the school attendance in government schools while also reducing the number of child workers around the country.

Many charitable organisations in India are encouraging individual donors to sponsor a child by donating a meager amount. Akshaya Patra also has a simple plan for sponsoring a child by contributing merely Rs 950/- that would help feed a child for a year. As a result, the child automatically gets education since he is motivated to come to school for his share of wholesome lunch.

One of the most efficient ways to eliminate child labour would be to eliminate the reason for child labour. These reasons are orphaned children, financial responsibilities on children due to a large number of family members to feed, dropping out of school due to disinterest, illiteracy and so on. These children are often desperately put on jobs and therefore must endure the haphazard conditions, low salaries and over-work. Charitable organisations like Akshaya Patra are engaging volunteers to feed the children and use mid-day meals as an incentive to attend schools. Several stories of hope tell the tale of the success of this approach since beneficiary children are learning the importance of education and are working hard. Many of these children are learning to have dreams and aspirations in life, they are inspiring others to study hard and are bringing their siblings to school.

This is surely a good way to eliminate both hunger among children and exploitation of children. As the world observes the day against child labour, you can choose to join the cause of feeding the children and thus indirectly impacting the cause of eliminating child labour.

Sponsor a child today. Donate for Akshaya Patra.

How do NGOs leverage social media to promote their causes?

NGO social media Banner

Techreport surveyed more than 4,000 NGOs last year across 153 countries about how they were using social media. Turns out, 92% of global non-profit organisations had a website and a Facebook page, 78% of these were mobile-compatible, while 72% used Twitter.

This report alone is proof that NGOs are targeting millennials and Gen-X that are more open to online donations or online fundraising campaigns. Donors now have a wide variety of choices to select a cause they feel most strongly for.

This blog lists some ways that are actively being used by global NGOs as they leverage social media and online channels for charity purposes, online fundraising and other such activities. We have taken the example of a global NGO in India called Akshaya Patra that’s on a mission to feed school-going children with a wholesome lunch every day.

Make success stories sharable

NGOs around the world now understand the impact of stories on social media. And since they are often involved in causes related to human rights, they often have great stories to tell. Akshaya Patra loves sharing Hope Stories that are easily sharable on social media. This encourages visitors to check their website for details such as online fundraising, sponsoring a child or sponsoring a school.

Write linkable tweets on other platforms

NGOs have learnt to leverage attention beyond their own websites and social media pages. They make themselves heard on other prominent platforms such as Forbes, The Huffington Post and others. Akshaya Patra has a small microblog on the online edition of Forbes with the Twitter icon, so that it can be easily shared. Such initiatives have helped people around the world associate mid-day meals with Akshaya Patra.

Sharing history to add credibility

NGOs are quite forthcoming these days about sharing their history and background. They choose compelling storytelling methods to talk about their history to encourage donors for donating to charity and building trust. Akshaya Patra has an interesting history that’s not only presented beautifully on their website but is often shared on various social media platforms in digestible chunks of content.

Use Youtube for visual recall

Youtube is a social channel that’s quite democratic when it comes to widespread reach. Akshaya Patra often shares video stories about important launches, events, its state-of-the-art kitchens and other aspects of its school lunch programme. Recently, noted author Rashmi Bansal’s book launch event had received considerable attention on Youtube. Her book –God’s Own Kitchen – is traces the Foundation’s journey.

Partner with others

A non-profit organisation cannot work alone. It needs like-minded partners. Akhaya Patra partners with startups and enterprises to scale up at various levels. In one such initiative, it partnered with Innovative Alchemy, which helped the organisation to develop an innovative kitchen design that helped scale up its kitchens. Partners like these often share this kind of content on their own social media platforms that further expands the reach of NGOs like Akshaya Patra.

NGOs today are more aware and tech-savvy and are clear about their target audience. This clarity often helps them increase the scope of their causes and source necessary means to implement schemes.

What happens when you sponsor a child?

Bhanupriya is a student of Class VII at the Government Higher Primary School in Jyothipura, Bengaluru. She is 13 years old now and wishes to be a doctor. This young girl loves to wear the doctor’s coat and do a mock examination of patients with the stethoscope and listen to their heart’s beats. When she grows up, she wishes to treat poor patients free of cost. This is what happens when donors sponsor a child. It is more than just a charity donation.

bhanupriya - Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Bhanupriya, who is a beneficiary of children’s charity Akshaya Patra in Bengaluru, is not alone. Like her, there are millions of children who are now motivated to attend schools regularly since they get a wholesome lunch free of cost at the premises. So families that may not be able to afford to feed their children with wholesome meals three times a day, have to simply send their children to schools. In school, there is an assurance of receiving freshly-cooked lunch!

Sponsoring a child thus has now become more than just a charity; it’s now taken the shape of a revolution for incentivising children to attend schools. The children, on the other hand, have learnt to value education like never before. They have clear goals. A lot of beneficiaries of this children’s charity in Bengaluru make their career plans when they enter their teen years.

Teachers and staff often testify about several children who have inspired their classmates about the importance of pursuing goals in life. Every school year thus brings the excitement of not only getting nutritious meals every day but also as a lucrative prospect for making and realising life’s goals for the children.

As a donor, here’s the volume of difference that a small amount towards sponsoring a child can make. All you need to do is choose to donate today.