January 07, 2013

Help me support Ummeed

I'm part of a fundraising effort for an organization called Ummeed. I'm doing this because I have a personal interest in this: our daughter (now nearly 9) is dyslexic and Ummeed has been a great help to us in diagnosis, treatment and advice. While I'm naturally anxious about how she will cope, Ummeed is the reason I'm confident that she will.

And this is why I think Ummeed's work is important. And yet they reach only a fraction of all the children in Bombay with developmental disabilities: the need, as ever, outstrips the capacity to serve it. And this is why I signed up to do this fundraiser for Ummeed.

Admittedly I'm no good at this. I've never done it before. I mean, I've never run/walked/biked/cartwheeled for a cause before, I've never asked for pledges/donations before, and I've never walked 55km on a beach in one day before. (About 45 km one day through the forests of Madagascar, but that's a story for another day).

But I'm doing all that now. With some 20-25 others, I'm going to walk up and down the 27km+ length of a Goa beach -- totalling about 55km -- on January 12 2013. (Five days away!)

So it's this simple: I need your support to help me complete that trek. I need your support to help Ummeed in its work. I'd be grateful for pledges/donations in any amount at all. And if you contribute, I promise to carry your name on a small label on my person. (I've stocked up on pins).

Contribution details:

Your contribution is tax-deductible.

In India: Please make your check out to Ummeed Child Development Center and mail it to Ummeed, 1-B, 1/62, Mantri Pride Building,  N. M. Joshi Marg, Near Chinchpokli Station (W), Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 011. Alternatively, you can donate online here. 

Elsewhere (e.g. USA): Please make your check out to Ummeed Child Development Fund and mail it to 218, Harvard Street, Quincy, MA 02170. Alternatively, donate online here. 

Either way, let me know if you donate, either via a comment here or on Twitter (@DeathEndsFun).

Some details about Ummeed:

Ummeed was started by someone I've known since we were both teenagers, Vibha Krishnamurthy, to work with children with developmental disabilities (which is her specialization). In the past year Ummeed has provided direct services to over 1000 families of such children. Their goal has always been to create best practices, and also work on advocacy, research, and sharing their knowledge through training.

Some Ummeed highlights of the past year:

  • They established a brand new social work team to serve low-income families, including educating them about the rights of children with developmental disabilities and taking patient advocacy to another level.
  • They benefited thousands of children indirectly by training staff of eight organizations to work with children with developmental disabilities and their families through their Child Development Aide (CDA) program and Mental Health training program.
  • They also ran several shorter training programs for schools and NGOs working with children at risk for disabilities.

However, there are still so many children and families with little or no access to care. Ummeed remains committed to reaching out to them in different ways.

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