In 2004, one of our members began sponsoring the education of a six year old girl he met begging on the streets. This child came from an extremely poor family and had never been to school. His friends in Australia were inspired by this story and many of them also began sponsoring children in Bodhgaya. Since then, Kusala Projects has facilitated dozens of student sponsorships, initially at Shanti Buddha Public School and now at Sant Moggallana Public School.
Kusala Sewing Centre
Kusala Sewing Centre was opened in 2008 to provide young women with vocational training as a means to independent livelihood and to help alleviate conditions of poverty within their families. In India and especially in Bihar, many poor lower caste girls remain illiterate and enter marriage as young as thirteen. Sometimes, by the age of eighteen, they will have three children. If they do obtain employment, it will be menial work and they will not be paid the same rate as men.
The first six month course at the centre began with one teacher, three sewing machines and thirty students. Support for the centre quickly grew and a second teacher was hired, three additional sewing machines and student numbers increased to sixty. Later on, embroidery & cloth painting were also taught. Eventually, due to financial constraints, the centre was closed, but in its 3.5 year history over 200 girls and young women were trained.