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My favourite charities

Giving something back to the world is important to me and below are some of my favourite charities. I have been privileged to meet many wonderful people doing many wonderful things to assist others, or save wildlife, or save heritage sites. Unfortunately I can not promote them all as there just is not space, but I would encourage you to support the causes that mean a lot to you and consider if you can help the charities below.

Click to view Aline's pictures of her charities

Project Mala

Fighting child labour in India's carpet industry

Project Mala seeks out working children in remote villages of eastern Uttar Pradesh, India and gives them quality education in four R’s reading, writing, arithmetic and respect. Respect for others and the environment as well as self-respect in personal hygiene good manners.

I became aware of Project Mala in 1999 when I was writing my first book India: The Peacock’s Call and contacted the founder Robin Garland – a good man of York.  It was possible for us to visit his home and learn about this very worthwhile charity teaching the children of the disadvantaged who work in the carpet trade near Varanasi.  Robin is totally committed to what he set out to do and I was most impressed.  We bought three durries or kelims that were made by the children to show their work.  I treasure them and in particular the one with the lotus design.  The schools continue to prosper and we have helped to sponsor individual children and learn of their achievements.

You can help by sponsoring a child who will receive:

  • 280 days a year full time education
  • two sets of uniforms per year
  • breakfast and midday meal each day
  • any medical needs including providing spectacles where necessary.

You will receive a welcome pack, a monthly newsletter by email. A school report each year and a new photograph of your child each year, all posted to your personal login at their website.

Alines favourite durries from Project Mala

Tiger Awareness

Tiger Awareness is lead by Phil Davis and is a voluntary group based in Leicester working in India to spread their message about protecting tigers. They believe that if forestry departments and local villagers work together both animal and people will benefit.

They work with the local people, to give them improved water facilities, education and fuels to survive whilst educating them on the importance of saving the tiger.

Help us rescue Nepal’s forgotten children

Rina saved from an Indian circus

The Esther Benjamins Trust is the leading registered charity that works exclusively for those Nepalese children and young people most marginalized and discriminated against within society. The Trust has rescued over 230 trafficked Nepalese children like Rina where they were exploited as slave labour in dangerous and abusive conditions. Several hundred more await our help.

How Rina was saved

This mosaic was made by Rina who was rescued by The Esther Benjamins Trust from an Indian circus in April 2004. The Trust has taught her the art of mosaic making and Rina is now in our full time employment as an artist. Through the Trust she receives commissions from around the world. This peacock mosaic was ordered by me for my garden in the Scottish Borders where it is admired endlessly by visitors.

How the Trust helps

The Trust helps the many deaf and disabled children denied a full education and kept on the fringes of society, by providing scholarships, classrooms and training for employment. The Trust has rescued children from prison, unwanted by relatives who disowned their criminal parents. The Trust has taken children away from a life begging on the streets, from a life where sniffing glue was their only comfort. The Trust is giving these children a loving home and secure environment in which they can enjoy education and a fun-filled childhood.