Buffalo Wild Wings

Help us in fundraising for One Life to Love, an Orphanage in New Delhi India! By dining with Buffalo Wild Wings on Route 1 in Princeton, July 13th, Aug.17th, Sept. 21st, Oct. 19th, Nov. 16th, Dec. 21st, and Jan 4th. Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 15% of your total bill to this Orphanage.

The One Life to Love Home of Hope focuses on rescuing children from the streets and providing them with a nurturing home where they can live the health life that every child deserves. Some are homeless, some are lost, some are abandoned, and others are victims of human trafficking. A large percentage of these children are physically and or/mentally challenged.

 

Through this home, we hope to also sensitize and educate the children’s families and communities about special needs children.

 

For more information visit: http://onelife2love.org

Direct donations: https://app.mogiv.com/onelifetolove/angelinacifelli

Contact: AngelinaCifelli10@gmail.com

 

Print your tickets here: OLTL Tickets 7.13

Puja’s Story

Puja's Story

UPDATE: Puja Was discharged from the hospital on 5th June. She is undergoing medication and doctors are confident she will make a full recovery! She is with us in our DayCare program for most of the day, but she is not safe at home. I am still searching for a Home for Puja, but I've had no luck. There is no home for Puja. So I am planning to open a home for Puja and other girls like her. Please join me in the effort to give Puja and other girls like her the safe and nurturing environment every child deserves. Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/homeforgirlswithspecialneedsGetting personal here. WARNING: some information shared may cause SERIOUS distress for some viewers.

Posted by Courtney Lalotra on Saturday, June 2, 2018

Puja’s DayCare Established

While 5 of our children are going to school, we still have 5 children who are not able to go to school and need a lot of care and attention at home. With Puja’s crisis came a revelation- we need to open our home to children in need. We are now reaching out to government hospitals and social organizations encouraging them to send children like Puja to us for DayCare. We are scheduled to hold an awareness campaign in three nearby slums to find out if there are any other children in need of care and protection. Please be praying for these events and for us to be led to those who are in need.
As we branched out, informing the hospitals and local community about our DayCare, we received a number of people who offered to volunteer their time to care for and educate our children. We also invite anyone reading this who is interested in volunteering with us to please contact us directly. We would be grateful for your services!
If you’d like to support the DayCare, you can do so by donating here: https://app.mogiv.com/onelifetolove/general

Yogesh Lalotra Certified BY IAHRW

The Indian Association of Health Research and Welfare is a group of researchers, health practitioners, social workers and students that promotes quality, indigence and cross-cultural researches, to provide research database to researchers, to build a platform for researchers for scholarly discussion to enrich thoughts for generating new ideas in psychology, education, special education and other health sciences, and to publish quality books, journals and scales and to provide them to researches at their doorstep to promote the discipline of psychology.
Recently, Yogesh Lalotra, along with other members of our In-Country Program Management Team, was certified in Autism Assessment and Intervention. Here he is seen being awarded by the founding member Dr. Neelam. Congratulations, Yogesh!

School Open for Special Needs Children

We are excited to announce our partnership with a nonprofit school located in Delhi. The students, teachers and faculty have opened their arms to our children. I was able to attend the inaugural program and share about the work of One LIfe to Love.
In India, space is a luxury. This non-profit school is already offering education to hundreds of underprivileged children and they literally had no space to fit us. They easily could have turned us down, as so many other schools have. But no. Instead, they said, “We can squeeze into one office and turn our other office into the special education room.” Then, they requested volunteers from Google India  to paint the room and make it ready for our children.
This partnership is expanding our impact. Now, not only will our Home of Hope children receive individualized special education in an inclusive environment, but poor families in our locality will also be able to send their special needs children to school. AND children who are already attending the school who have learning disabilities will get the attention they need.
Our school-going children are just so excited to wear their uniforms and mingle with the other children at school. If you’d like to support their education you can do so by donating to our Education Fund: https://app.mogiv.com/onelifetolove/letherlearn
We know this space will suffice our 5 children and maybe 3 more children from the locality. However, quoting FIELD OF DREAMS: “If you build it, they will come”. We would love to maximize our impact and provide a suitable space for well over 20 children. The cost of building a new classroom is about $20,000. If you feel inclined to support this effort, please donate to our Education Fund!

Water by Saanvi

Heat. Sweat. Exhaustion. Thirst.

Racing heart beat. Thrill. Excitement.

I feel all these things when we have a [soccer] match. When the whistle blows and the game is won, my first thought is to jump and cheer and hug my teammates. My second thought is to have a drink of water.

There we are, 11 players waiting our turn to swig from the single water bottle available on the field. I remember seeing Hollywood movies in which players would dump huge jugs of water over their coaches heads at the end of a match. I would laugh and think, “Wow, how fun would that be to do after every match.” I was almost envious of their unlimited supply of water.

But isn’t every drop special and priceless? Doesn’t every drop of water make an impact?

In our villages, water wells and pumps are built in the center of town, proving how instrumental they are to the community development. Everyone gathers every morning and evening to collect their daily water needs. If someone doesn’t turn up, then we will bring water to their home and check on them and make sure they aren’t sick or in need of any help.

In some of our villages the nearest water supply is miles away. Usually women will make the daily journey. Some see it as a STRUGGLE, and YES, it is very difficult to live without a nearby water supply. However women mostly enjoy these daily walks where they can chat with their friends, hear the latest village gossip, share their struggles and seek advice and support from one another.

In the cities, we sometimes struggle from water shortages in which there is low or no supply. We sometimes have to wait a day or two before there is running water again, which is difficult if you have not stored any emergency supply water in your home.

During these days you see people carrying empty buckets to their neighbors’ homes and leaving with full buckets back to their own homes. Water trucks come and everyone gathers with their buckets and wait their turn. The children especially enjoy the water trucks as they splash around in the water that leaks out.

And then, here we are, on the field, under the hot sun, after a tenuous and triumphant match. We 11 girls wait our turn to drink from that one single bottle. That one single bottle is beautiful. It is life-giving.

Not one of us takes more than our share. Not one of us drinks without thinking of the other girls who are waiting, just as thirsty and tired. And everyone gets their fill. Everyone is satisfied.

This proves how amazing water is, whether in excess or in limited supply. It gives life and builds community.

-Saanvi, age 11

_____

Saanvi’s essay was published in Bright Lite Magazine’s Water Issue http://www.brightlitemag.com/

Saanvi is a grade 7 student in

One Life to Love’s education program

Missing the Moments

Maybe this is why… Maybe this is why we aren’t raising the funds we need? Because every time I come to the orphanage to try to get some work done, send emails, make phone calls, there is need all around. We are out of milk, the TV isn’t working, we can’t find the key to the store closet, roti’s are burning on the stove, there’s a package that needs to be signed for, and kids…Cute little kids… EVERYWHERE.

Some need to be brought to the bathroom, some want a drink of water, some are fighting over a toy, some need their hair combed, some need their clothes changed, some are about to miss their school bus. And then some just want to be held, like this, in my lap. To have me wrap my arms around them. To be tickled under their chin, to be told they are loved. To be held, hugged, and smiled at and told how special they are. Some…no not some…ALL.. of these children just want to feel the love of a mother, a sister, a brother, a father.

How could I say no? How could I shut the office door on the face of a child in need of love? I can’t. Instead I let him climb onto my lap at my desk and wonder at my computer screen. So maybe that is why I am falling behind on emails, unable to raise the funds needed for the year ahead, reaching the ends of my rope.

 

I don’t write this to try and gain sympathy or make people feel like we are starving here, because we are not. In fact, One Life to Love is impacting more lives than ever through our education program, orphanage and relief services.

The truth is, I write this to share my inner struggle. I see myself almost as the sole provider for 500+ children. My job? To tell their stories in hopes of rallying people who will provide moral and financial support so these children can live the healthy, happy and successful lives that every child deserves.

I know that this pressure at times weighs heavy on me, often setting in feelings of failure, especially in regards to my responsibilities as a mother to a sweet 1 ½ year old and wife to the most supportive and loving husband. Of course my husband refutes these feelings. But still. The guilt is there. Am I failing? Am I letting the responsibilities God has given me, whether of the 500+ children we support, or my own family, slip through my fingers, by trying to do so much? Lord, help me not.

I’ve always had a strong conviction to reach out to those that cross my path; to meet a need impressed on my heart. But I remember once becoming so focused on results that I lost sight of what really mattered. At that time, we had two children in our orphanage and 17 girls in our education program. I had just given birth to our son, and was still adjusting to being a new wife and mom.

There were people who made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough. Actually, they told me I wasn’t doing enough. They told me I should be ashamed for asking for funding for “only” two orphans and 17 girls, regardless if we needed the money or not. And I let their words fall deep into my heart and resonate as truth. I became so obsessed with “reaching more children” and my efforts were useless. I was running around in circles. One day I realized, all the time I spent running in circles, I was missing out on moments with the ones God placed before me- our two boys in the orphanage, the 17 girls in the school, my husband, my son. I was so sorry, and knew that I robbed myself of those moments.

I kind of took an oath that day, to never make the same mistake. That is why I started writing this here. Because I guess I started feeling the pressure again, to run in circles, to raise the funds we need. But the reality is, God provides. He has in the past. He is now. And He will in the future. So I refuse to miss out on the moments.

I believe, as God sees each ONE of us as precious and invaluable, He also sees the MOMENTS as precious and invaluable. He can do marvelous works through one person, and He can do marvelous works through one moment.

So, Shivam is now sitting on my lap again as I write these last sentences, probably wondering what in the world I am doing, probably keeping me from some “important” work I could be doing. But he is smiling…not smiling. He is beaming and glowing. He feels loved. He feels important. And he is. Way more important than any email or phone call or crowdfunder. Way more important than my “To Do” list.

And, the best part is, he knows it.

Love & prayers,

Courtney

 

P.S. If you’d like to contribute to One Life to Love, to help us meet our financial goal so we can continue our work in India, please donate here: https://www.mogiv.com/onelifetolove/general/

You Can Change the World

If you have love in your heart, you cannot sit and watch and do nothing to help someone who is hurting. Love is a verb. Without action it is irrelevant. This verse from the Bible has always been dear to my heart, “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

 

It is easy to go about our daily lives and pretend like everything is fine. But the truth is there are 66 million girls out of school, 21 million girls being trafficked, and 39,000 child marriages happening every day. When we hear these statistics they seem so foreign; like they can’t possibly be factual in this world today. But it is fact. It is raw ugly fact.

Then our hearts break. And we feel helpless. What can I do? I’m just one person, and the need is so much bigger than me. Then we shrug our shoulders and move on with our privileged lives, maybe say a prayer or just hope that everything works itself out somehow. Hope that someone bigger than me can do something about it.

 

Reacting in this way will only leave us feeling empty, dissatisfied, like something is missing from our lives. And something is missing: Love.

 

Since 2013, I have been working with slum dwellers and street children. By the grace of God I have been able to rescue 10 boys, each with severe physical and mental disabilities, from the hands of traffickers, abusers, neglecters, and death itself. I have seen miracles take place in their lives. They have taught me so much about hope love and grace. They are my children, and I can’t imagine life without them.

 

Then, in 2016, a need so great was impressed on my heart- to give girls the basic right that has been taken away from them- EDUCATION. I took a leap of faith, and again by the grace of God today we sponsor the education of 400 underprivileged children.

 

I’m telling you, I never imagined that I would be responsible for so many precious lives. I never imagined that our impact would be so huge. And I have no idea where we will be next year, two years, not even two months from now. I do this by faith, with belief that if I just reach one child with Love and care, then I am changing the world.

 

So my friends, I urge you to stop getting overwhelmed with the world’s problems and then shrugging them off so you can get through the day. I ask you to take on a cause, a person, and a need. Take on the weight of it, with faith that you, tiny little you, can make a difference in this world, if even in just one person’s life.

 

If you don’t already have a list of causes or needs to sift through, I invite you to join our cause. Fight side-by-side with us to bring love, care, education and relief to poor children in India. Join our movement. Share on social media. Write for us. Come meet our children in India. The opportunities to put your love in action are endless.

 

One Life to Love was founded on the idea that we have only ONE LIFE and we are not really living it to the fullest until we LOVE, and LOVE in action, not words. And by doing this, by loving one child at a time- one needy underprivileged neglected child- we are literally changing the world. I invite you to join our latest campaign “Let her Learn” to help us raise awareness and support for girls education in India.

Contact us to see how you can get involved.

 

Love is… Ensuring her voice is heard

In India, only 1 in six girls will live to see their 15th birthday. When you talk about a statistic like this in a populated place like India, then you’re stating that millions and millions of girls are dying from preventable causes. It is staggering and heartbreaking.

 

From the time they can walk, girls are taught that they are not as important as their brothers. From the time they can speak, they are told their opinions are not important. Undervaluing of girls is so intricately interwoven in this remarkable culture that it is difficult to make these young ladies see differently. When you add to this the lack of education and the common practice of keeping girls in the home, then you realize why we struggle even more to help girls understand their great worth and abilities. This is why they are often insecure and subdued, and very vulnerable in life.

 

Manisha, for instance, was one of the saddest little girls I ever met. She was so unsure of herself that she never spoke. If the teacher called on her for an answer in class, you could see her humiliation as she hunched over in her chair. But the thing is she probably knew the answer every time. She is a brilliant student, top in her class. But she lacked any confidence to speak up.

 

We were able to spend a lot of time one-on-one with Manisha, building her up, helping her see how amazing she is. And in just a year’s time, we have seen outstanding changes in her demeanor. She is more confident in her self and knows where she excels. This past month, she actually raised her hand in class to answer a question!

 

If not for our education program, Manisha would lack the platform in life from which she could come into her own.

 

I am asking you to please consider sponsoring the education of a young girl in India. For just $100 a year, you are ensuring that each of their voices is heard.

https://www.mogiv.com/onelifetolove/loveis/