Letters from the Founder

BRIDGE being a close-knit family, its founder Shibu Joseph makes it a point to regularly communicate with all its members updating them on every development — progress of each beneficiary family, new additions to the family, funds raised, their utilisation and future plans of the organisation. These letters are very personal and touching even as they provide its readers a glimpse into the depth of the involvement of its members. We present you some of these letters.

BRIDGE-ing the Divide

Dear friends, 

It’s been a while since I wrote to you last. The past couple of months have been quite hectic as I kept myself busy visiting some of the families and checking on the academic progress of students under the care of BRIDGE. To avoid making it a long mail, I shall update you with our progress as briefly as possible.  

I am quite happy to inform you that one of the students BRIDGE has been financing has graduated after his hotel management course. He has bagged a job in a mid-level hotel as a trainee chef. We have been donating Rs 5,000 every month to his family from August last year. The family is grateful to BRIDGE for coming to their aid at a crucial time of their life (the family had lost its breadwinner a little over a year ago). Thank you everyone for making a difference and putting smiles on the faces of this family.  

I have also obtained the mark sheets of most of the students we have sponsored during the past year. All of them have been promoted to higher grades with 60 plus per cent and some even secured above 80% in their final exams.  

The month of May has been a bit tight for BRIDGE financially as almost all the student sponsorship commitments came up for renewal ahead of the start of the new academic year 2017-18. I requested some school managements to accept the fees in instalments and they have obliged us.  

I wish to introduce to you four new families BRIDGE has helped in the past two months.  

Family of Bindhu

Bindhu lost her husband in September last year after a prolonged illness following kidney failure. She and her daughter live in a one-room house in Anepalaya. Her daughter studies in Grade 10. Bindhu works as a nanny and struggles to make both ends meet. After visiting their home and understanding their situation, BRIDGE talked to the school management of her daughter (Christ School, Dharmaram) to waive her fees in view of the family’s distress. The principal agreed to waive the fees but not the books and uniform expenses. BRIDGE has paid for these by donating Rs 10,000 to the family.  

Family of Wilson 

This family consists of Wilson, his mother, his wife and three children studying in Grade 9, 7 and 2. Wilson couldn’t continue in his job due to ill health and was struggling to eke out a living when BRIDGE volunteers met the family. As an immediate relief, BRIDGE has donated Rs 5,000 to the family. We are trying to arrange some more financial aid. 

Family of Shanti

Shanti has two school-going children, a girl and a boy. Her husband left her some years ago and since then she has been working in a garment factory. She has been complaining of a lump on her breast for some months. For fear of the worst and due to shortage of funds, she has been avoiding to visit a hospital. Some of our BRIDGE volunteers came to know of her situation and on our insistence she was taken to Kidwai Hospital near Dairy Circle, Bengaluru. BRIDGE paid for the associated expenses of around Rs 5,000. She was diagnosed with an early stage breast cancer and is undergoing treatment.

Nagaraj family

Nagaraj was an autorickshaw driver, until a few months ago when he became a kidney patient. He has two children Sachin and Sagar studying in Annie Besant School in Magadi Road, Bengaluru. We found him knocking on the doors of people to find money to pay for his children’s education. He says he is not bothered about his illness but wants to ensure his children receive good education. BRIDGE has part-funded this year’s school fees by paying Rs 10,000 to his school in the name of his children. 

Guys, it would not have been possible for BRIDGE to reach out to so many people if it were not for the generous contributions of our Associates and well-wishers.

Hats off to all of you for your generosity.