Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cheers to a wonderful year!

I take this opportunity to thank my family and friends for supporting me in this endeavour of mine. Starting the Karen Maryann Scholarship was a dream; the dream came to fruition and the first year of recepients have advanced to the next grade. The journey does not end here, rather it is the beginning.

In November 2007, I was accepted to be a mentor at the Toronto Public Library's- Leading to Reading Program. I now mentor a 7 year old boy once a week for an hour. This experience is unbelievable. I learn more every day.

I wish you the very best in 2008 and invite each and every one of you to take the time to reach out to a child in need. You could give of your time, resources or a positive word.

I am a mentor for a 7 year old child. In reality, he is my mentor.

Happy 2008!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.-Winston Churchill

It's been a while since I mentioned the progress on the Karen Maryann Scholarship. Below are the beneficiaries of the scholarship:

St. Mary's Girls High School, Mangalore

Sl. No. Name of the Student Class

1 Sajida VIII A
2 Asma VIII A
3 Anitha D’Souza VIII A
4 Shilpa VIII A
5 Ayishathul VIII A
6 Saraswathi VIII A
7 Sabeena Begum VIII A
8 Ayshathl VIII A
9 Faiza VIII A
10 Swaliha VIII A
11 Fairoza IX A
12 Marzana IX A
13 Shanthi D’Souza IX A
14 Joyline Pereira IX A
15 Diana D’Souza IX A
16 Laveena Priya D’Souza X A
17 Elvisha Fernandes X A
18 Thasleena X A
19 Nisha Pereira X A
20 Haseena Banu X A

Students of St. Mary's Girls High School- Kannada Primary

Sl. No. Name of the Student Class
1 Supriya I
2 Srinidhi I
3 Zahir II
4 Chandrika III
5 Tasriya III
6 Alimamamma Mubina III
7 Mohammed Muzambik III
8 Siddayya IV
9 Taslina IV
10 Veerish IV
11 Manish IV
12 Saphar IV
13 Sonaaz V
14 Vibha V
15 Riyaz V
16 Sudhindra Shenoi V
17 Reema D’Souza VI
18 Mithilesh VI
19 Sham Prakash VI
20 Rameeza Banu VII

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Brave New Beginnings and Remarkable Possibilities!

For it is in giving that we receive

Prayer of Peace, St. Francis of Assisi
The Karen Maryann scholarship blog has generated quite a buzz. I have received many responses from family and friends inquiring how they can help, contribute and share their resources. One of my all time favourite prayer is the Prayer of Peace by St. Francis of Assisi. The sentence that piques my interest is 'For it is in giving that we receive'. I have used this sentence in many areas of my life and everytime find a new meaning. Recently I read that 'In Giving', does not mean giving money or something tangible but also means giving of your time, friendship, a kind word, or just a ear to someone in need. I thank everyone who took the time to provide valuable feedback; for me, that was your way of 'giving'.
During a recent staff meeting, I was requested to make a presentation on the Karen Maryann Scholarship. I was delighted to share information on education in India in general. One of my Canadian colleagues informed me that in Canada, not enrolling a child in school is punishable by law. She also inquired about the reality of schooling in India in terms of accessibility as well as equality. The discussion was very interesting with key learnings of a surreal reality...for many children in rural parts of India enrolling in school, a school bag, book, slate or even access to education is a dream. Equality in education is skewed, a reality where male children are given preference to basic education than a female children. This may seem discouraging, but in India today, a large number children will realise that dream because of people's generosity in sharing their resources.
I welcome ideas and links to organisations working fearlessly to educate children all over the world. One of the organisations that has made significant strides in educating children in India, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam and recently South Africa is 'Room To Read' (
With organisations like this, the situation is not so grim after all. With your support and encouragement, this endeavor is ‘A time for brave new beginnings and remarkable possibilities!’.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Isabelle and David Drappier- More than friends

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.
Douglas Pagels
When I left Belgium, I knew I was leaving a piece of my heart behind. I knew I had so much ahead of me. Human Rights Work I wanted to pursue, things to learn and above all explore a new world. The most difficult part was leaving behind my two best friends- David and Isabelle.
On August 26, 2006, David and Isabelle got married in Belgium. They felt that they were blessed abundantly and wanted to share some of their blessings for a good cause. They made a donation to the Karen Maryann Scholarship. Today 6 students are educated in their name.
David and Isabelle are both involved and aware of the preference a male child receives in India compared to a female child. They have opted to educate 6 girls, ranging in the ages of 6-14 years.
They have encouraged me in this endeavour of mine and have been my sounding board from day one. They have always helped me to look at the bigger picture-helping those in need.
To- Nousse and Nousette (my names for them), thank you for your contribution but above all for your gift of friendship.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Karen Maryann Scholarship

Three years ago, I remember reading this Chinese Proverb again and again.
If you are planning for a year; sow rice
If you are planning for a decade; plant trees
If you are planning for a lifetime; educate people

Three years ago an idea was born; it came to fruition on January 17, 2007. When Karen Maryann Pereira passed away on October 26, 2003, I knew she wanted her legacy to live on. Her legacy lives on through her children- Kane and Candice, but more through her commitment during her lifetime to educate children.

Where: The Karen Maryann Scholarship was started at St. Mary's Girls High School in Mangalore, India. This was Karen's alma mater and where Karen studied from grade 3 to 10. This was a place where she got her foundation in faith and education.

What: This scholarship will benefit 30 deserving students from the Kannada medium, where tuition fees, school supplies etc, will be provided for the first year.

This is a small beginning but dedicated one. This scholarship will be sustained over the years as there are plans to open a trust in her name where proceeds will go to various schools all over India.

Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions, questions, feedback etc