From India to India
- Around 90,000 money boxes handed out in villages where the Vicente Ferrer Foundation works to involve beneficiaries themselves in the development program
Breaking money boxes handed out in villages on April 9, the anniversary of Vincent Ferrer. © Nina Tramullas/VFF
It is already a tradition that on the day of the birth of Vicente Ferrer, April 9, people break the thousands of money boxes distributed by the Foundation in some of the villages where it works, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
This activity was first conducted in 2012 at the initiative of Moncho Ferrer, who found no answer to the question often raised asking why the Foundation funds came only from abroad and mainly from Spain. Thus, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation (VFF) began handing out small ceramic piggy banks for people, families, public schools, shops, etc., to raise money and involve the local population.
The first year, the VFF distributed 90,000 money boxes that raised 8.7 million rupees (about EUR104,000), which were destined to orphans' education. In just two years, 1,500 villages are involved and collaborating with the VFF. “We do not seek to increase funding; that remains altogether secondary. The hundis [money boxes] that are handed out to Indian families serve to raise awareness on the value of solidarity and make them responsible for the development of their community,” said Moncho.
In fact, when helping to break some of the ceramic piggy banks in the village of Peddavaduguru, the first village that volunteered to receive them, Moncho Ferrer founded that some boxes contained just 40 rupees (EUR0.50), all in one rupee coins. “The thing is that India gives to India”, he summarized.
With ceramic pieces on the floor after breaking the piggy banks this year, two leaders from each community have collected the savings and deposited them in a bank on behalf of the Foundation. At the same time, families were given a new piggy bank to feed with what they can for a year, aware of the importance of their participation, since more and more people is volunteering to have a piggy bank at home.
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Anne Ferrer, who has been working as a social worker in rural parts of Andhra Pradesh, received the Jamnalal Bajaj Award 2015 for her contribution in the field of development and welfare of Women and Children in India.
The telephone rings. It is the 1,098 time the VFF staff in India answer the urgent needs of the community using the anonymous help line. 24 hours, 7 days a week urgent calls of a wide variety come in and much needed support is given immediately.