Courage to Change

Highs & Lows 
How wonderful it is when we are able to share good news. In our line of work, the darker side is always lurking. 

WHY Does School Generate Displeasure 
Shortly after Merasi School doors swung wide open and joy resounded off its walls, four poisonous white desert vipers mysteriously met our dedicated staff on four separate mornings.  

         A snake catcher charged the Merasi double his fee for removal and desert relocations

Catastrophic Flood 
Relieved, Akaram and Shahjad delivered students to their home before yet another deluge overwhelmed Jaisalmer district.

"In Mulana there's been so much rain the houses can't take it anymore." - Suriya 

"Khetusar has so much water that houses are starting to float." - another desert village

LKSS Director Sarwar Khan snapped Merasi Para flooding from his doorstoop

Of This We Are Sure:

*  Our teachers and students are unsinkable
*  Despite ongoing hunger, the level of childrens' grace
     and resilience spurs us FARward
*  Despite clouds or harassment, the Bright Light of
     Education Shines for Merasi Children

Years ago Gloria Gaynor boldy sang, "I'm a Survivor, I'm Gonna Make It" with its message of perseverance and resilience. 

Brooklyn/Brazil-based musician Elijah Tucker created a music video for the 2021 Convening Leaders Conference. Jaisalmer Merasi musicians Akaram, Rafik, Salim and Nawab Khan add their legacy flavor to this fitting song, now up on YouTube.
Click the photo below to watch his inspiring mash-up video:

Grim Livelihood Reality
"Everyday working I'm just making 50-60 rupees (85¢) for 12 hours. Before covid, I made 700-1000 rupees. 
I want to be a musician and make very big Merasi songs. I will promote and be of help to Merasi children. I want to change the name 'Manganiyar' to Merasi - One Day !" - Arbaj

 Shoutouts to Barbara Goodbody and Becky Lane for the Merasi Counting Book and 2011 montage 

In 1992 after hearing the Merasi recount emotionally gutting stories, Karen formed a grassroots alliance with Sarwar. Today at long last, the result is Merasi youth courageously telling many personal experiences. Asserting their self-respect and dignity while non-violently advocating for change is indeed a turning point. 

Without YOU, FARmily donors, none of it could have transpired. Each story highlights a robust commitment to community and the future.

*There are many ways to support our work*

FAR Dream Catcher
Summer intern Mandy Chen worked from China before being able to return to university in Chicago. She interviewed, then wove together the complex experiences of the Youth Leaders who run daily operations and meet students' emergency survival needs.
Mandy illuminates in her final report their contemporary stories of accomplishment and aspirations despite the generational caste descrimination exacerbated by the pandemic. 

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