P.O. Box 1412
Jackson, NJ 08527, USA
Rosalie Giffoniello, Co-founder
EMAIL: giffoniello@gmail.com
Educational and Vocational Programs

Currently there are three Preyrona Schools operated by EMPOWER THE CHILDREN. (“Preyrona” in Bengali, the local language, means inspiration.)

Preyrona I: a vocational school, teaches teenagers various needlework skills that are valued in the Indian culture — including decorative embroidery and needlepoint. Women attending the program are taught how to operate sewing machines, cut patterns and sew clothing.

Preyrona II & III: At these schools children are taught literacy and basic math skills in order to reach age-appropriate grade levels. Enrichment programs include drama, art, expressive language and crafts. Teenagers also learn vocational skills such as embroidery, needlepoint, as well as painting on fabric and glass. Women of all ages learn tailoring skills.

Rehabilitation Centres for Children (RCFC)

Unfortunately, polio has not been eradicated in India, and in impoverished areas birth deformities are often left untreated. Since 1973 Rehabilitation Centres for Children, an orthopedic hospital, has provided free medical care for these physically disabled children .

EMPOWER THE CHILDREN supports RCFC’s in-hospital school by offering an interactive language program that is both fun and educational. In addition, EMPOWER THE CHILDREN has partnered with other nonprofit organizations to provide vital services that enhance the quality of patient care. For example, Project Ahimsa funds a music therapy program that helps the children reduce their tension and better cope with physical pain. Indian American Educational Foundation donated a library and computers. Help India Helpen, a Dutch nonprofit organization, purchased a new ambulance, an anesthesia machine and physical therapy equipment,

Prabartak Home: Educational Program for Disabled Teens & Young Adults

Sixty mentally and physically challenged teenagers and young adults, many with seizure disorders, live at Prabartak Home. Until EMPOWER THE CHILDREN implemented a specialized language curriculum, Prabartak residents required a great deal of assistance to accomplish even the simplest of tasks. After a few years of intervention they acquired the skills to work independently. Art, drama, music and dance, as well as other enrichment programs are used at Prabartak to develop creativity, especially for those who cannot speak. For example, drama stimulates self-expression, and annual public performances give participants the opportunity to gain recognition and invaluable self- confidence.

Kamargachi School

Kamargachi is an idyllic hamlet far from chaotic Kolkata. Its scenic beauty and cultural heritage, however, belie the reality of hidden poverty and illiteracy. Until recently, Kamargachi’s children were not encouraged to attend school. But as a result of extensive outreach by EMPOWER THE CHILDREN, parents were counseled and came to understand the importance of education. Today 60 students attend Kamargachi School, which now offers a literacy curriculum plus a music program that reflects this community’s rich tribal culture.

Dankuni Tutorial Centers I & II

Dankuni, a very poor village located about 30 minutes from Kolkata, has a population of children who attend the local school. However, due to parental illiteracy, these children receive no educational support at home. EMPOWER THE CHILDREN opened Dankuni I specifically to address the problem. This after-school tutorial center, operating six days a week, helps students with their homework and exam preparation. Dankuni I proved so successful that within two years EMPOWER THE CHILDREN opened Dankuni II in order to accommodate the growing number of interested children.