“It was, of course, wonderful to see the children,” remarked Chaya Pamula, SOFKIN’s founder, about her recent visit to the SOFKIN home. “I also got a lot accomplished.” Chaya was in India from April 16 – May 2.
A first priority was to develop and finalize college admissions for four older SOFKIN children. Chaya explained that “I first sat with the children to discuss their interests, aspirations and goals. I then met with college guidance counselors to explore possibilities and finally tried to find the best match for each child.” The result of this extensive process was that two students are submitting applications at a poly technical institute – and are currently studying hard for May 21 entrance exams. One student will apply to a college with a strong science program in order to prepare to be a veterinarian and one student will pursue a Bachelor of Arts in social welfare. They are all proud to be college-bound, thanks to the support they have gotten for their studies while at SOFKIN.
Another important goal was to have a meeting with the parents and guardians who came to SOFKIN to pick up their children for the month-long school holiday starting April 26 – part of SOFKIN’s effort to help the children retain family bonds and stay in touch with their roots. Chaya also gave the children assignments to work on during their holiday, including:
- Complete current school homework.
- Create or make something to bring back to share with the other children.
- Pick out a favorite book to take home, read the story, and be prepared to make a book report when they get back.
- Keep a daily journal in which they write something about what they did each day.
Chaya tended to two important administrative matters related to the financial health and wellbeing of SOFKIN. With the help of a loaned accountant from PamTen, Inc., accounts for the 2014-2015 financial year were finalized and tax returns were filed for the organization. She also completed documents for a tax exemption certificate, which would allow SOFKIN to issue tax exempt receipts to donors within India. SOFKIN is already a 501(c)3 organization in the US.
Lastly, Chaya also worked with an architectural firm on the final design of the new building. We will be excited to unveil the design at Rhythm 2015, SOFKIN’s 10th Anniversary fundraising event on June 13. We hope you’ll join us there!