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RUTH ALEXANDER

An Akka Story
‘Investment in the poor’

Like Dency Michael, the director, I am called an akka, an elder sister. In fact, Dency and I are like sisters. We attended the same girls’ high school in Madurai. So when I came to join Kodai International School, Dency immediately invited me to also join the Grihini team.

What I find so unusual about the Grihini program is its simplicity. Without any fanfare or publicity, animators build a personal bond with the poor girls of the village and find ways to meet their specific needs. Without any public advertising, Grihini students testify to the benefits of Grihini by the way they live in their villages after leaving Grihini.

Something of the potential of these girls was apparent at a recent reunion of 300 Grihini graduates. In the small Grihini kitchen, the current Grihini students, without any fuss, cooked 5 meals for the 300 guests! In any private school, the cooking students would have said, Why should we bother? And who are you to suggest we should do that? This incident also suggests that the option of a catering program at Grihini is worth pursuing!

As the treasurer of the Grihini program, I would also like to stress that all the funds given to support Grihini actually reach the program. No monies are appropriated for management of administrative purposes. Why should any of us benefit from money given to empower the poor? Giving to Grihini is not charity, it is investment in the poor.

Ruth Alexander, an Akka of the Grihini Family

Ruth Alexander, an Akka of the Grihini Family

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