FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Sunbird Trust is a non-religious non-profit organisation striving for peace and progress in conflict affected North East India through the medium of education. Reaching out to the most underprivileged communities, irrespective of religion, caste or race, Sunbird works to bring about lasting peace and understanding for a better future of self-reliance, dignity and hope. Starting in Mizoram in 2004 as an informal initiative of a group of friends, Sunbird Trust was formally launched at Bangalore on 11 Dec 2014 as a registered Trust with its national office at Bangalore. It is governed by two Trustees and advised by a Board of Advisors. Sunbird enables a positive change cycle through a network of beneficiaries who become its contributors and support education and self-reliance for the next generation.
No. Sunbird is a humanitarian organization with no extraneous agenda other than service to people regardless who they are. It prides itself on its diversity and its members and beneficiaries come from all communities. We extend help to all deserving people irrespective of religion, caste, creed, sex or community.
Peace through education is the focus of Sunbird’s activities. In a region plagued by mistrust and violence, Sunbird is a niche organization working in a poor security environment in the remotest areas with the most underprivileged and marginalized people. Sunbird pursues its Mission through education working with communities, families and children in their quest for development and to improve their lot in life. Sunbird works through grassroots volunteers drawn from its supported communities as well as Women’s self-help organizations, youth groups and village development councils.
Sunbird is currently working in three North East Indian states, viz Manipur, Nagaland and Assam with plans to extend to Tripura and Mizoram. It works with eleven major partner schools in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam directly benefiting over 320 children through child sponsorship and Nutrition Schemes.
Child Sponsorship is a commitment you, the generous sponsor makes to help give access to education for an underprivileged child in a conflict affected part of India. Through this committed and regular contribution, you change the life of not only the child but also his or her family and community. You, the generous sponsor, will have the satisfaction of making a difference in a largely neglected part of your country and investing in building a new India.
Yes. In the remote areas where Sunbird works, many children don’t make it to school being unable to pay the fees. These vulnerable youngsters are then condemned to the poverty of their parents and could be radicalized, seek routes to easy money to survive, or even take to drugs and crime. A single child sponsored through to graduation and employment, could lift an entire family out of poverty and help other family members cross the threshold to self-sufficiency.
When you make a contribution, wherever possible, you will be informed about the contact details of the beneficiary as well as the school principal and will be able to interact with them or even visit them personally. You will have the choice of whether you want to reveal your own identity or not. You will also be provided with the annual report card of the child on request and an annual newsletter of Sunbird. Sunbird will follow best practices in its accounting, bookkeeping and audit. Our annual report will contain the audited financial statement of the previous year and can be obtained on request. Sunbird will remain accountable to its stakeholders – its donors, local community, beneficiaries and the Government maintaining the highest levels of transparency in all transactions. Sunbird’s current auditors are Sridhar and Brito, located at Bangalore.
First and foremost, a sponsored child gets access to a decent school education. Your support will provide a child with an education directly helping the family and the community itself. The child thus not only gets a happy, healthy childhood, but also the opportunity to becoming a self-reliant productive member of society.
Sunbird’s first priority is the child’s interests. When Government schools are below standard and frequently non-functional, it makes sense to support the child in a school that is the choice of the parents. However, in doing so, it is ensured that the school is service, not profit minded and that it provides a reasonable quality of education under existing constraints.
Sunbird insists of receipts in the name of the child from the school to avoid malpractice. Sunbird also considers any attempt to interfere in the culture and religion of a child is a violation of the rights and dignity of the child and his or her family. Principals of all schools sign an undertaking that misusing the sponsorship to interfere in the culture or religion of the child would result in cancelling the partnership with Sunbird.
You are free to exercise your preference of age and sex of the child (provided you prefer a female child). Most sponsored children are in the age group of 5 to 16.
In the interest of the child, a long-term commitment of 10 years or more is ideal. You could continue with this sponsorship provided Sunbird continues to be associated with the partner school. However, should you be unable to continue the sponsorship at any time, Sunbird will endeavor to see that the child is not affected by getting him or her another sponsor at the earliest.
There is a huge “waiting list” for sponsorship among the neediest communities here in North East India – so you are invited to sponsor as many children as you can afford.
Children are chosen on a means cum merit basis. Usually, the partner school or else the village community get to nominate the neediest children and this list is vetted and approved by Sunbird. No preference whatsoever is given on base of religion, caste, creed or tribe. There is also no discrimination on basis of sex while choosing the beneficiaries, but specific preference for sponsoring girl child is entertained.
While Sunbird does not run orphanages, there are often handicapped children or orphaned children and these can be sponsored on availability. And yes, there are a number of HIV infected children who can be sponsored. However, Sunbird mandates that identity of these children not be shared with anyone else but the sponsor.
When children have to leave their village schools and select schools in the bigger towns in Manipur to attend junior college or graduation, they invariably have to stay in expensive hostels. Moreover, the rates of tuition fees depend on the course and the institution chosen. It is therefore not possible to apply a “one size fits all” template thus mandating flexible rates of sponsorship
With the well-known link between proper nutrition and education, Sunbird strives to provide basic nutrition for its sponsored children, especially those falling under the “self-help” category. Children sponsored under the Nutrition Scheme are provided with “an egg a working day” or equivalent if vegetarian (about 270 days in the year), through the school or Women’s Self Help Group. Regular monitoring and checks carried out through the Sunbird Team.
No. Nutrition Scheme is applied to eligible children only when specific donations are raised for the same.
In partner villages, the local school, hostel, village school or Women’s Self Help groups are entrusted with the task of identifying the poorest children. Thereafter, Sunbird vets these lists for impartiality and sanctions the Nutrition Scheme.
Many of Sunbird supported communities are in very remote and inaccessible areas. Here, monitoring of a full-fledged Nutrition Scheme is not viable. It is also expensive to hire cooks and infrastructure for cooking regular meals. Instead, an egg or equivalent vegetarian provisions are given to the institution or even directly to the self help children. The scheme is closely monitored
You can make your payment monthly, quarterly, biannually or annually, whatever suits you best. You could send your contribution online or through money order, demand draft, cheque. You can send post-dated cheques to save you the hassle of remembering and corresponding time and again. You could also authorize monthly deductions from your credit card till further written notice from you. All cheques/DDs should favour “Sunbird Trust” and sent to our registered office at 23/2 Rest House Crescent, Bangalore - 560001. The simplest way of contributing however should be through our online payment gateway (Currently under construction). Details of the Sunbird Trust Account Number are as under:- Sunbird Trust, Savings Bank Account Number: 34654481744 IFSC Code: SBIN0007987 CIF Number: 88178288218 State Bank of India, Church Street, Bangalore Bank Phone Number - +91-80-25588312
Of course! Sunbird will adhere to inbuilt world class safety standards.
Sunbird has applied to the Income Tax Department for concessions under section 80G of the Income Tax act. The same is expected shortly. Till received, there is no concession.
Most certainly! The Sunbird website will regularly project a list of infrastructure items and amenities such as toilets, bathroom, study halls or even sports equipment, games and musical instruments. These would require varied contributions that would be indicated to the contributor. You are even free to suggest a specific item you would like to contribute, and if deemed necessary by Sunbird and the partner school/community, your choice will be implemented with your donation.
We understand if you are not able to continue your contribution. Sunbird will endeavour to protect the child’s interests by continuing the sponsorship through another donor.
To avoid discrimination between sponsored children and those not as fortunate, it has been decided that one on one sponsorship of children by donors will be discontinued. Any contributions towards child sponsorship will, however, go directly to corpus for this purpose.