“Como Se Dice Oportunidad?” How Studying Spanish Brought One Student a World of Opportunity

“Como Se Dice Oportunidad?” How Studying Spanish Brought One Student a World of Opportunity

Stories From India
In a story connecting two faraway places and dramatically different cultures, we are proud to share how our Professional Language School in Anantapur recently empowered one young student to embark on an exciting new career in another country. Since he was a child, 25-year-old Rakesh has dreamed of learning Spanish. But he never imagined that he would  master the language in such a way as to line up a job in Mexico City at a major global company. Rakesh was born in Settur, in Andhra Pradesh, where his father worked for VFF and instilled in him the importance of education. After high school, Rakesh studied mechanical engineering at a local university. He complemented this study by taking courses at VFF Professional Language School to gain skills in Spanish, English, accounting,…
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Educating Girls for a Better Future

Educating Girls for a Better Future

Stories From India
In rural communities of India, girls can face significant barriers to education, but 18-year old Varalakshmi was determined to prove to herself and her community that an education can be the most effective pathway to success. It was a proud moment for her entire family when she got accepted to the Jawaharlal Nehru University, becoming the only person in her family to ever to go to college. Getting this far was not easy. Varalakshmi’s remote community has an elementary school where she studied until 5th grade, but in 6th grade, she needed to travel to a nearby village about 3 miles away to continue her education. Her parents discouraged her from continuing her education, as it can be unsafe to travel alone. In 8th grade, VFF provided her with a…
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VFF’s Festival of Art Cultivates Creativity in Local Students

VFF’s Festival of Art Cultivates Creativity in Local Students

Stories From India
Each year Children's Day is celebrated across India to promote the rights, care, and education of children. Children’s Day – or Bal Divas as it’s called locally – celebrates the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. Jawaharlal Nehru is famous for many things, including as an iconic national figure who was once mentored by Mahatma Gandhi and went on to lead the Indian independence movement. Nehru was also renowned for his respect and admiration of children. He passionately believed that children represented India’s future and were the real strength and foundation of society. Nehru was fond of saying that children were like flower buds in a garden, who should be carefully and lovingly nurtured. Impressively, he did not discriminate children by gender. Nehru encouraged equal opportunities…
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Saving Babies, Saving Lives

Saving Babies, Saving Lives

Announcements, Stories From India
Eighty young women gather at the community center in Settur, India, alongside rural health care workers from the Vicente Ferrer Foundation. The women — all pregnant — speak little and smile demurely. Although many of them may be young enough to still be in school, their recent marriage has pulled them out of classrooms and into their new roles as wives and mothers. Latha, 19 years old and expecting her first baby, is nervously waiting to learn more about pregancy with the group. It is common practice in India for families to come together to make decisions about the best care for expectant mothers. VFF believes that  creating healthy families begins with education at a young age. In India, women who don’t seek out prenatal care tend to be the…
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Woman Rising: Sudharini

Woman Rising: Sudharini

News, Stories From India
As a child, Sudharini felt scared, shy, and isolated. While other children played outside in the sun, she sat indoors to avoid severe sun burns. Albinism, a genetic abnormality that results in a lack of melanin, primarily affects her vision and her skin sensitivity.  However, in spite of the discrimination and other obstacles that she has had to face because of her condition, Sudharani has flourished into a confident college student.    Thanks to her grandmother, Sudharani was introduced to the primary school that the Vicente Ferrer Foundation created in Bukkarayasamudram for children with visual impairments. There, she learned how to read and write in Braille, among other skills. She also learned how to use a computer program designed especially for people with visual impairments.  Sudharani is now preparing to develop a brilliant…
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Soulful Classical Guitarist Reveals Passion for VFF

Soulful Classical Guitarist Reveals Passion for VFF

News, Stories From India
David Russell is one of the most talented and prolific classical guitarists performing in the world today. The Glasgow-born, Spanish-based musician won the Grammy Award in 2005 for best instrumental soloist in classical music for his album, “Aire Latino.” A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Russell has also won all of the major Spanish guitar awards and many other accolades too numerous to mention. He is known for his warm, lyrical tone and passionate performances that are never over-the-top.  Because he has “always admired the wonderful work of the Vicente Ferrer Foundation,” Russell and his wife have financed four VFF schools. We recently had an opportunity to connect with the guitarist to discuss his tremendous support for VFF, and his travels to see the children in the…
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The Fight for Children’s Rights

The Fight for Children’s Rights

News, Stories From India
Every week, children all across the globe pack their bags and head to school. It’s a place for play, for learning and for growth. They develop skills that they can use into adulthood and make friends that they’ll cherish forever. In the midst of persistent discrimination, school can be a safe haven. School looks vastly different all around the world but VFF proves that it can be life-changing for children in rural areas of India.The Gender GapDefending the rights of children begins even before birth. The preference for male children is a longheld cultural belief in many countries. Males are considered stronger than females, and more able to contribute to the family’s livelihood. On the other hand, girls in rural India often leave home after they are married. Consequently, many parents…
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Inés Rosales Empowers Women

Inés Rosales Empowers Women

News, Stories From India
Women are having a bigger impact on our world than ever. Empowering women to start their own business has defined the legacy of “Tortas Ines Rosales” who generously sponsored the VIP area for the “Recipe for Empowerment,” our gala launch event in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 22. The story of Inés Rosales begins in Castilleja de la Cuesta, a small town in Spain. In 1910, Inés Rosales Cabell created  sweet olive oil torta (a flat, round cake) in her kitchen at home using an old family recipe to support her family. With the help of other women from the area, she began to sell her “tortas” at the old train station in Seville. The tortas have become an iconic treat for many generations throughout Spain and the world. Today, the…
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