About the Cause
I am raising funds to keep underprivileged orphans and abandoned children off the streets. The money I collect will go to Vishwas, which is a home in Bangalore, India, working towards educating, feeding, clothing and providing training to young boys and girls in the age group of 5 to 19 years.
The funds collected through this campaign will go towards covering education, clothing and rehabilitation, without putting too much pressure on the corpus that they rely on for their monthly expenditure.
About the NGO
Located in JP Nagar, Bangalore, Vishwas is registered under the Helpline Charitable Trust and is home to 45 destitute – abandoned and neglected - children. The trustees of this institution have restricted the number in order to enable personalized attention to the children.
I have a simple vision: To keep children in poorer countries 'off the streets', away from exploitation and negative elements, to reduce emotional /physical vulnerability and increase confidence. To provide them with opportunities to broaden their horizons, to being good citizens and ultimately to give back to the community. This is exactly what Vishwas is about.
I believe that every step we take to better our society, counts. I believe that every child kept safe and nurtured with care, counts. I want to make every one of my one million steps on the Camino count.
Together we can change the world, if we open our hearts and share our time and resources!
I would be delighted if you joined this effort in any way that works for you.
To begin with, please give to this campaign and make a direct difference to the lives of these children. Please hit the Contribute button and put in what you can afford to give. At a minimum, maybe just the amount you would spend on a cocktail in bar, for a meal in a nice restaurant, for a package of cigarettes, chips while watching TV on the couch or yet another t-shirt? =8-) Or more!
Every Rupee, Euro, Dollar, Pound..... counts!
By the way, my Camino pilgrimage is fully financed by myself. Your contribution to this cause are made via Ketto, which routes them to Vishwas without any involvement from me.
Other ways to Support
You can also support me by sharing this campaign page link with your network via social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email and any other medium you use.
Hi, I am ittoop :-) I have mixed German and Indian heritage, and have lived my life almost equally split into numerous stints in each of these two countries. My home is in Germany. In work life, I am a senior executive with a global professional services company, we provide consulting services in digital, technology and operations. It is now 26 years since I joined them, after completing university in Germany and a 2 month backpack tour through India. The first 20 years I worked mostly in Germany, and in some further European countries. Now I have been on a foreign assignment in India with my family for the past 6 years. This ends early September and I am returning home to Germany, a huge step in all aspects. My wife has already returned and has very recently taken up her job as a school teacher again, in a new school. Our only daughter, who is 18, has very recently moved away from home to another country far away to start college and the next significant phase of her life.
This is the perfect time to take a longer break from it all - long working hours, stress and constant pressure, regular international and domestic travel, work on your mind 24x7, bosses, clients, negligence of health / fitness / work-life balance, insufficient focus on socially meaningful things ..... and to spend some time for myself and prepare for the next phase of my life. I want to do something for my physical, spiritual and mental well-being and combine this with doing something socially meaningful and helpful.
So ... I want to walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage (sometimes called Camino Frances, St. James' Way, or Jakobsweg in German), starting on Sept. 16th from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France. The Camino is mainly through the Pyrenees in Spain, and ends in Santiago de Campostela in Galicia in the northwestern corner of Spain. If I get there in one piece, and still haven't had enough, I want to continue walking to Cap Finisterre. Finisterre means "end of the world", and is a cape which till the late 15th century was thought to be that … the end of the world. Then Columbus and Vasco da Gama and Captain Cook and Google Maps happened...! In total, I hope to walk about 900 km, which is approximately a million steps, and have set aside 45 days for it, which should be enough?
I believe that raising funds for a social cause while doing something like this converts the activity from a personal one, to one beneficial for others too. Social issues, especially those related to the safety, well-being and education of the weaker sections of society, in particular children, are very close to my heart. For many years now, we as a family have been supporting around 10 godchildren in India, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Over the last several years, I have been involved in numerous fundraising activities for such causes. The recent ones were a trek in the Himalayas for an orphanage in Delhi, and a trek in the Western Ghats in India for supporting underprivileged women in the state of Jharkhand. I have also done some long distance endurance trips in the past, like cycling 1500 km from the Black Forest in Germany to the French Mediterranean coast and back, cycling 1300 km from the Black Forest to the French Atlantic coast, cycling from Santander to Cap Finisterre, and a few dozen years back driving in a small car from Germany all the way to India with my parents and siblings. In recent years, being less fit and having a family, I had reduced the effort to backpacking trips, many of them in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and India.
The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage for the NGO Vishwas is a continuation of all of this. It is going to be my toughest activity.
For the campaign, we have set a formal target of 5,00,000 Indian Rupees, i.e. half a million. I would be delighted if all of you could help me raise ONE whole million Indian Rupees, so one Rupee for each step I want to make on the pilgrimage. Come on, that is just 15,000 US Dollars or 13,500 Euros. So be generous :-)