Neha Gupta started helping orphaned and underprivileged children when she was 9 years old. She formalized her effort by starting a non-profit organization (Empower Orphans (www.empowerorphans.org)). Now age 14, she continues to improve the education and well being of these children.
As Neha’s grandparents live in India, she often visits the country. In keeping with family tradition, she volunteers at an orphanage each time she visits her grandparent’s hometown, located in northern India. When she was nine years old, she realized that the 200 children who live at the orphanage did not have adequate money to gain a proper education; she felt very sad when she heard this because she knew the importance of education. Moreover, it was heartbreaking for her to think that these children had no mother or father to guide them, protect them, or love them.
Instead of internalizing these feelings and merely showing empathy for the orphans and underprivileged children, she decided to take action by raising money. The money would help the children gain a better education, be able to stand on their own feet and ultimately become positive contributors to society.
With the $50,000 that Neha has collected so far, she has made significant strides to make a difference in the lives of more than a thousand orphaned, underprivileged and abused children.
Bal Kunj Orphanage - India
• In 2006, a library was started at the Bal Kunj orphanage. Over the years, Neha expanded upon the library and has continued to provide stationery to each of the 200 children who live there.
• Steps have been taken to improve the overall well being of the children. Each child is provided with nutritious food, school bags, shoes warm clothes and blankets.
• In addition, she has provided technical books to 20 children aged between 14-16 years, enabling them to enter a trade and earn a living.
Shree Geeta Public School (for underprivileged children) - India
• During the summer of 2009, she expanded her efforts to provide education and improve wellness among 360 underprivileged children who attend the Shree Geeta Public School.
o A four day eye and dental clinic was held at the school, during which medical doctors evaluated the vision and oral care needs of the 360 children. 56 children received more advanced eye care, while 103 children received further dental treatment.
o The annual education of 10 underprivileged children was sponsored by Empower Orphans.
o Sewing machines were given to 10 older girls, who can now take on seamstress jobs and stand on their own feet.
• During 2010, the number of projects conducted by Neha increased substantially.
o A computer center with 4 computers and printers was established. Children in grades 3 to 7 can now start to gain an understanding of computer technology.
o Another library was opened for 360 children. Books represented 40% of the school fees and this directly reduced the burden on the parents.
o The education of 40 additional children sponsored.
o Provided 20 more girls with sewing machines.
Christ’s Home for Children – Warminster, PA
• Provided 175 CFL bulbs so that the orphanage can start reducing their electricity bills and utilize the money towards improved care for the children.
• In 2010, she plans to provide bicycles to children at the orphanage.
Mission Kids (for abused children) – Norristown, PA
• Distributed stuffed animals to abused children that visit the Mission Kids center in Norristown, PA
Street Children – India
• Provided 220 children with shoes