“Thanks to the support from donors and members we have been able to build another new home for 15 girls. With this expansion we now house 100 plus girls”, the Danish NGO Enable for Life writes in a post on Facebook 21 March 2016. We at Avalon Solutions have chosen to support Enable for Life for several years in a row, instead of purchasing expensive gifts to customers and employees.
“Every child should have the opportunity of personal and professional development in a safe environment, says Ola Persson, CEO at Avalon Solutions. Therefore, we love the idea to support Enable for Life’s work with providing education and a home to orphaned or abandoned girls in India.
Enable for Life is a Danish NGO that until today’s date have built seven houses in their children village that is located in Tamil Nadu, south-east of India. The goal is to build and maintain ten homes in the village. The commitment to each girl is long term. All the girls go to school for twelve years. After their 12 grade exam they are encouraged and expected to go for professional training to become a nurse or a teacher, or to attend collage or university.
Ernst Michaelsen, who is chairman of Enable for Life, a Civil Engineer and the CEO of Carl Ejler Rasmussen explains why Enable for Life was founded.
“I asked myself, when drawing my final breath what would I regret? Not buying a bigger Audi or not starting an orphanage? For me that was not a difficult question to answer. How I find the time? Other people play golf, go fishing or collect stamps. They have time for that. In the same way, I have time for this.”
Enable have chosen to dedicate their work to girls since girls are more often abandoned than boys, and their future as orphanages is very uncertain.
“In India you see girls and boys that are up to nine, ten, eleven years living in the streets in the cities. But above a certain age you only see boys, the girls just disappear. Where do you think they go? Many people don’t want to think about that,” says Ernst Michaelsen.
Enable is a religion and politics neutral organization. No specific religion or political view is endorsed. The girls living in Enable’s village all have different backgrounds and life stories.
“I can tell you that the woman who is now the chief warden in our girls’ village is herself a former orphan. One morning when she and her two younger sisters woke up, their mother was gone – not to return. She was eight years old then. She has never seen or heard of her father. During the almost three years she was alone with her two sisters, she did all sorts of work to support them. When the social works found her, she was cleaning in a doctor’s office. The social workers took her to an orphanage where she eventually grew up.”
“I have learnt a lot from working with Enable for Life, one thing is to never give up. Help can sometimes come from places least expected.”, says Ernst Michaelsen. “A wise person once said; and I use to say it to the girls: Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.”
While Ernst does not believe Enable has the power to change the situation for girls in the world, or India, or even Tranquebar, he says that although one person cannot help all, all of us can help one person. The donors and members are very important to Enable. “Donors mean the world to us, 80 % of the funds come from donors.” Furthermore, according to Danish law Enable have to have a certain number of members and donors to maintain their status as a publicly recognized charitable organisation.
You can support Enable for Life too, as a person or through your organisation. 100 % of the donations goes to the village, all work is voluntary. Visit www.enable.dk to learn how you can contribute.
Enable for Life are also active on their Facebook page – find their page and follow their work here.