Friends of LAFTI Foundation
Supporting the work of Land for Tillers' Freedom (LAFTI)
Building Houses One Village at a Time
LAFTI has partnered with two organizations to build houses in the villages of Orathur an
In November 2010, Passports with Purpose launched a fundraiser for the village of Karunganni.
Passports with Purpose was founded in 2008 by a group of Seattle-based travel bloggers as a way to build community among travel bloggers and to give back to the places they visit. In its first year, Passports with Purpose raised $7,400 for Heifer International. In 2009, they raised almost $30,000 to build a school in Cambodia, including a well that provides safe, clean water. In 2010, Passports with Purpose raised over $64,000, far exceeding their goal of $50,000, to help LAFTI build houses for 25 families in Karunganni.
It Takes a Community
to Build a Village
It Takes a Community
Awards for Krishnammal and Jagannathan
After spending a lifetime serving others, Krishnammal Jagannathan and her husband, S. Jagannathan, founders of Land for Tillers' Freedom (LAFTI), were honored with two major humanitarian awards. On November 18, 2008, Krishnammal received an Opus Prize Award in a ceremony at Seattle University in Seattle, Washington. Then she traveled to Sweden in December, where she received the Right Livelihood Award at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament. Since Jagannathan is no longer able to travel, Krishnammal represented both of them at the ceremony.
According to Krishnammal, LAFTI's housing program will be the beneficiary of the prize money that accompanies these awards. Thanks to the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, the Opus Prize Foundation, Seattle University, and LAFTI's many friends around the world, Krishnammal's dream of building 5,000 houses may some day become a reality. 10,000 women will be able to move their families from dilapidated, rat infested, mud huts into small brick houses.
Congratulations to Krishnammal, Jagannathan and the entire LAFTI family!
Together Everything Is Possible!
Jain Center of Northern California
Comes to the Aid of Orathur
The Jain Center of Northern California (JCNC) is providing funding to build 25 houses in Orathur, a village that was devastated by the 2004 tsunami. Water entered the village through tidal rivers sweeping away houses and crops. Families stayed in schools until their mud huts could be minimally repaired. Although eking out a meager living was a struggle before the tsunami, it became even more difficult in its aftermath. They slowly began to rebuild their lives, but their living conditions were dismal. With the help of LAFTI, most families in Orathur now own an acre of land, but maintaining their mud huts continues to be a burden. Thanks to the generosity of JCNC, a much brighter future is on the horizon.
California Family Provides a New House for a Family in India
Kim and Bruce McIntyre (La Mesa, California) heard about the Friends of LAFTI dime-a-brick program, and wanted to help. They started saving their coins in anticipation of someday building a house for a family in need. They jumped into high gear when they learned that Krishnammal would be coming to San Diego in November 2008, and they presented her with a check for an entire house. Fast forward to 2010 and meet Aravalli and Thakaraj and their children who are now living in the home funded by the McIntyre's generous donation. In the article below, Aravalli and Thakaraj discuss how their new home has changed their lives.
Fast forward to 2010 and meet Aravalli and Thakaraj and their children who are now living in the home funded by the McIntyre's generous donation. In the article below, Aravalli and Thakaraj discuss how their new home has changed their lives.
A New House Means Pride and Safety
We are often asked what a new house means to the people living in these villages. Does it really improve their lives? Meera Shanti, who interned with LAFTI in July, sat down with Aravalli and Thakaraj in their new home in the village of Sikkavalam. When she asked them what they valued most about their new home, they responded "Pride and Safety." "We feel much more financially safe because we are not spending 4,000 rupees ($88 USD) every year to replace the straw that held together our hut."
Their 13-year-old daughter, Bhuvaneswari, added that having a quiet and comfortable place to study has helped her stay ahead in school. In the past, she found it difficult to complete her homework on rainy nights in the family's damp and leaky hut. Her mother continued:
"We are so very happy that, with the help of Krishnammal and LAFTI, we were able to help ourselves. Although we continue to work the same jobs as before even if they are unorganized and inconsistent, we are no longer struggling to stay above water. We feel safe and proud that we have built our own home, a home that our children leave from in the morning and return to at night to complete their homework. We now live in peace and safety from the rain and sun that used to make our lives such a struggle."
Go to Meera's blog to read more about Aravalli and Thakaraj and their family.
Aravalli and Thakaraj and their children standing next to their mud hut (top) and next to their new home (bottom)