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.

Our Children Shine, So Does BRIDGE

My dear friends,

The emotion that I experience as I write this mail is that of a proud
parent whose eyes well up with happy tears when he sees his children
excelling in academics. I am happy and proud to share the news that 12
of our students, across different states in India, who had appeared
for their Class 12 and 10 exams, cleared them in flying colours, two
of them scoring top grades. This is a proud moment for all of us who
have been part of their journey providing them emotional and financial
support. Thank you everyone for standing solidly behind BRIDGE.

Some of our students are preparing to join nursing courses and others
are learning German language to try their hand abroad. Vocational
training is what we are focusing on so that they can secure jobs at
the earliest and support their families. Let us keep them in our

As I promised in my previous mail, let me introduce some of the new
families that we have helped in the past few months:

We met this family in Bangalore a couple of months ago after a friend
of mine narrated the hardship faced by it. The man in the family who
had been doing odd jobs to support the family was diagnosed with
damaged kidneys and had to be on regular dialysis. His wife took over
the mantle by working as a maid in various houses to eke out a living
and support her husband and a school-going son. As if the struggle
wasn’t enough, the lady who had been suffering from breathing issues
was soon diagnosed with lung cancer shattering the family’s hopes.
BRIDGE has begun releasing a small amount every month for their

Ajitha from Villoonni is a much-distressed lady who has been running
from pillar to post ever since her breadwinner husband became a cancer
patient and is in advanced stage. This was just a year after her
daughter had joined for a course in Bangalore. The medical expenses
and her daughter’s college fees were too much for her to handle as she
had exhausted all their savings. BRIDGE joined the efforts of a few
good people and we have begun supporting her, albeit on a small scale.

The case of Asha, a widow from Shimoga, was brought to our notice some
time ago as she was struggling to pay the fees of her daughter whose
school authorities had threatened to deny her permission to write her
Class 9 exams as she had not paid the school fees for the current and
previous years. Asha’s only income is her occasional job as a home
guard. BRIDGE has part-paid her fees and thanks to which she was able
to write the exams and cleared the same.

There is another case of a hapless lady from Thiruvananthapuram who
has been facing physical assaults from her husband and who stays in
and out of their house for some years and finally deserted her and her
two daughters. The lady has been surviving on a small job as an
attendant in a shop earning around Rs 6,000 a month. Her elder
daughter is doing her 2nd year nursing course in Karnataka and the
younger one is in high school. When she could not pay the fees of her
elder daughter, BRIDGE and a few others pitched in with financial aid.
Adding to her problem was the hysterectomy surgery that she had to go
through. The lady called me the other day that if it were not for
BRIDGE, she wouldn’t know what her future would be. We are in touch
with the family and have assigned a benevolent teacher of her second
daughter to be in touch with the family on our behalf.

Another case of a family from Thiruvananthapuram in which a girl and
her mother live in abject poverty after they lost their breadwinner
was brought to our attention. The girl who is in Class 12 is doing odd
jobs to look after her ailing mother. We have added the family in our
Livelihood scheme under which a small amount gets transferred to them
for their sustenance every month.

There are a few more families and individuals for whom BRIDGE became a
beacon of hope. I am unable to write about them for fear of making it
another long mail. I cannot express well my gratitude to you my
friends for being part of this effort to rescue them out of troubled

AN APPEAL: As you know this is the season for paying the fees of our
students. To tell you the truth, our finances are currently stretched
as the number of families under our care — under scholarship and
livelihood schemes — have increased. Contributions have not grown
proportionately. Due to my busy schedule at my office and my personal
life, I have been unable to contact many people to raise funds. We
have just about enough in our account to service our monthly
Livelihood commitments for just one more month. I would appreciate it
if you could request your contacts and talk about BRIDGE. I am not
overly concerned as my experience of the past six years assures me
that all would be well.

Let us keep the BRIDGE children in our prayers as they begin their new
academic year.

Thank you once again dear friends for your constant support and
encouragement which is the fuel for BRIDGE’s growth. God bless us all!

A BRIDGE Over Troubled Waters
The Anchor for the Anchorless