Remedia Trust was started in 1993. It’s Trustees worked with UNESCO, Ministry of External Affairs, Sulabh International, ICSSR and others. In 2012 they decided to expand and work to reach people in need directly. This strategy has been a huge success. Remedia believes that in order to realize the dream of a world without barriers, the evils of poverty, illiteracy, inequality and discrimination much change for one and all. Jillian Haslam, Trustee, Remedia Trust says, “It has always been my greatest passion to help those in desperate need. I have never really wanted anything more from life and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to be running several charities under the umbrella of Remedia Trust.”
Kolkata girl Jillian Haslam grew up on the mean streets and slums of the city and rose to international prominence as a Banker, Motivational Speaker, Author and Philanthropist. Recently honoured with the XX Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social & Humanitarian work. This was in recognition of her tremendous contributions towards the betterment of the poor and marginalized sections of society.
In schools across Kolkata and suburbs, children are not receiving the quality of education they need and many are forced to dropout or leave without vital basic skills. Outside of the classroom there are also huge hurdles & inequalities to overcome, including poverty, discrimination and cultural attitudes that can prevent many children from having the chance to learn in the first place. It’s a well known fact that education has the power to transform a child’s life, give them a more prosperous and healthy future, and help their entire community beat poverty and inequality. The Children’s Team work hard to give every child the opportunities they need and make sure that nothing stands in their way. They have five teams working 24/7 for street children (we have five study centres in Uttarpara) and the children are thriving there. Sagar Trivedi, team leader says , ” Since I was kid, I always had a strong urge in me to help people in need, to try and spread laughter and joy in their lives. I got to know about Remedia Trust and the amazing work that they are doing for society! Today, I am a proud member of Remedia Trust and I am immensely happy and content, with everything I am doing here.”
In all busy, public places we often find old and destitute people begging or simply wandering around. Most sleep on pavement, near drains and survive on alms, neglected most often by their very own families. If a poor and destitute old person is provided at least one wholesome meal in a day, he/she has a chance to face the challenges of their hard life. That’s what Remedia Trust’s three massive food banks in Park Circus, Picnic Gardens and Behala for the aged and the severely disabled is doing. Now these aged homeless people don’t have to worry about scavenging for food anymore. Kathleen O’Brien the Head of Remedia says, “I have the experience and the patience to work with the aged and have been doing so for the last 20 years or so.. I have been doing the same with my own family and outsiders too and will never lose the will to help, to give and to care.” Nicola Joseph, team leader says, “ I have always been extremely passionate where the elderly are concerned. It has truly been an enriching experience. It brings so much peace and happiness to be able to make a difference to the people who need us. They are such heartwarming, loving and caring individuals with much to learn from and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
While Gean Austin Joseph, another team leader says, “To be honest, I am grateful to learn and to try and accomplish something for the good of the people and for that I am more than happy to give my 100% of honesty and go along way with Remedia Trust.”
Children with disabilities are often the most marginalised section, with minimal inclusion in society. Their childhood is often lost or locked behind closed doors. Remedia Trust believes that all children with developmental disabilities can be included in society and reach their maximum potential if given the chance. Their disabled team takes care of children suffering with major disabilities i.e. thalassemia, blindness, autism, cerebral palsy etc. Donna Anderson, team leader says, ”I am passionate about helping children. Especially those who are disabled. I want nothing more than to see kids smile & happy, leading some kind of a normal life. I believe that every child is special and that every child should be given a chance to be happy. It is every child’s right.
INSPIRING WOMEN’S TEAM
Their Inspiring Women’s team work with girls between the ages of 6 to 20 teaching them martial arts (karate) and educating them in order to help empower them as well as protect them. Ayesha Noor , team leader says,” “Karate has given me the confidence to stand up to every challenge. Teaching karate fills me with excitement and the need to want every girl to feel safe in this world.
Skills and knowledge development are the driving forces behind the financial growth and community development of any country. Skill building is a powerful tool to empower individuals and improve their social acceptance. The Youth team helps the youth with soft skill trainings, speaking, communication, presentation, english language and other employability skills using the Remedia E3 program that stands for Education, Empowerment & Employability. Sushanta Banerjee, team leader says “The hurdles which youth across the world face with jobs and skills is completely different from what their parents faced. As the youth are our ‘future’, they too should also be skilled enough to create a future and without skills, this just isn’t possible.
Jillian is working with a number of schools & colleges to work together in order to try and alleviate poverty in her city (as she calls it). She is starting a new program – 100 Inspirational Ideas in Action which will be led by a group of passionate students who will come up with 100 ideas in order to help people and to help Jill & her teams to reach as many people as possibly can.
The most prestigious award (The Mother Teresa Memorial International Award will be kept alive by Rakhi Gupta Sen who will work with women in need to help them to find themselves and a profession so that they can help their families and feel fulfilled themselves. Rakhi, Team Leader says, Mother Teresa was a woman and she would have wanted all the help she could possibly get in order to fulfil her passion and her dream and therefore we must work hard to follow in her footsteps and to give hope to every women and to bring light to every home where a women dwells.
Jillian quotes ““Poverty is like punishment for a crime the wasn’t committed – Eli Khamarov” Poverty leads people to desperation and desperation leads people to crime and to becoming people that they were never born to be. My dream is to alleviate poverty. As Mother Teresa once said, Kindness is a language that the blind can see and the deaf can hear and I want to be able to take these teachings into the world and in Gandhi’s words (“In a gentle way, I want to be able to change the world.”) and to make it a better place not just for you and for me but for every human being!!