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CIFORD Video—Empowering Girls Through Education

Check out Amistad’s video about CIFORD’s replacing female genital mutilation with new rites in Kenya’s Meru tribe. The video was made by Tanya and Boyd Cothran.

Watch the video.

22 New Students Chosen for Buddha’s Smile School New School Year Which Open in July

Rajan and students

Last week Buddha’s Smile School founder/director, Rajan Kaur, visited a neighborhood of garbage collectors to select several new students for the new school year which begins July, 2012. These are children who would not otherwise be going to school. This photo above shows several of the children who are giddy with delight at being chosen as one of the 22 new students. When you come to the last photo in this series you’ll see some of our current most advanced students. What a transformation our kids have while at BSS!

These photos show the ‘before’ and in a few years, if the families will commit to their children’s education, the students will be transformed into confident sharp kids ready for high school.

Eager to start school

This boy looks eager to start school. It appears that his father is (possibly) blind.

Young girl starting school

I am so happy for this girl who will have the opportunity of an education. Her mother has had a hard painful life and we know this girl’s life can be much better because of BSS.

Just starting preschool

This child will start pre school. You may not recognize her in a photo in a few months for she’ll be shiny clean and in a uniform.

Rajan meeting with parents

Rajan (right) meeting with the parents and children to establish the rules for school attendance. The parents must commit to the children being at the school bus each morning and, hopefully, in a clean uniform.


Rajan has pre-classes for the newly selected to teach them how to sit quietly in the class, and arrive clean clothing.

6-12 middle school girls

Friends, this is what the new students will look like in a few years! These are some of our middle school girls last week.

Oldest boys

Here are our oldest boys now ready for high school. Don’t they look sharp and confident!



NY artist brings joy through art to BSS students

Erica's art class

New York artist Erica Harris teaching a class

In January of 2012 Brooklyn, NY artist Erica Harris was welcomed to Buddha’s Smile School in India to teach art classes and take photos of daily activities at BSS. Thank you also to Erica and her friends who raised over $6,000 for BSS middle school scholarships. We invite you to take a look at Erica’s beautiful photos of our BSS students:

Haiti: Nurse Tim Gerke Reporting from Where “a Bag of Rice Brings an 11 Year-old to Tears”

Tim and Kids

Tim and Kids


I spent the final week of January at my home away from home; Port-au-Prince, Haiti. If you would have asked me a year ago where I most enjoy spending my free time, the last place I would suggest would have been post-earthquake Haiti. Yet after each subsequent trip to Haiti I find it more difficult to leave and often feel a sense of loss for my Haitian friends I leave behind. Haiti and its beautiful people have a way of changing ones outlook on life. While it’s true that Haiti has needs beyond needs, the people of Haiti are blessed with a kind, loving and caring spirit unlike any group of people I have come across. I often say I get more out my trips to Haiti than I provide to those whom I serve, and this trip was no exception. I left for Haiti with a heavy heart, traveling for the first time without my amazing wife, Summer, and without Dr. Terry and Jeannie Dietrich, as Terry (my father in law) recovers from a back injury. But together with eight new friends, I had another incredible to trip to Haiti as I helped serve those in need.

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Children’s Ger School an “Oasis”

Children's Ger School students

38 students are enrolled in the Children’s Ger School. Amistad provided the paint for their cheerful schoolhouse.

Mongolia: Thanks to Amistad, Children’s Ger School (CGH) is an “oasis in a desert of deprivation,’ reports American volunteer Dr. Ann Altman. CGH sits in an otherwise harsh drab ger (yurt) settlement sprawling rapidly around Ulaanbaatar. Nomadic herding families arrive daily from the countryside seeking work. They either bring a ger  (yurt) or built provisional shanties wherever they can find a shard of land in the ger settlement. Sadly, their children are unable to attend public schools in UB. Mongolia allows children to attend public school only in their birth aimag (region.) Children’s Ger School,a free private school,  was started by Mongolian teachers with a vision for helping the migrant children.

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