Profiles in the Field: Ramanji Neilu


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The Vicente Ferrer Foundation USA (VFF USA) is thrilled to announce the save-the date for our annual gala, “Recipe for Empowerment” as October 6th, 2017.
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Ramanji Neilu was a sponsored child who grew up with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation while living in Anantapur. So it’s not surprising that, years later, he would become a community organizer for the Foundation. Neilu (1973, Anantapur) asked to join the staff in 2000 to continue the work that began in his homeland more than 45 years ago. He coordinates and implements programs such as those affecting women and education in 10 villages in the district of Anantapur. In addition, one of his goals is to find new people who can benefit from Foundation’s initiatives. 
"I want all people in need to have the same opportunities that I had while under the care of the Foundation,” he said.
The community organizer is the one working most closely with the people being helped by the Foundation. What have you seen in terms of how these efforts have changed the people residing in the district of Anantapur during these years?
They have changed many things in all people. Major changes have taken place in the field of education. Today all parents want their children to attend school and to study. Another big change is with the houses where they live. Before, the beneficiaries of the Foundation lived in huts. The importance given to health is now also a big change.
You supervise and implement programs related to education, women and sponsorship, performing three to five monthly visits to each of the people you have in your charge. What progress would you highlight in these sectors?
As I mentioned before, the beneficiaries of our programs have become more aware of the importance of education. They have found that if their children study, the quality of life for all improves. For example, the changing attitude about girls is most notable. They used to be in the houses helping their mothers with household chores or working in the field. Now they finish college and are able to convince their parents of the need for training.
Why did you apply to work for the Vicente Ferrer Foundation?
My whole life has been inspired by the actions of the Foundation. Vicente Ferrer visited my village a long time ago, which has improved dramatically since then. I was a sponsored child and I have benefited from many VFF programs. This is what I want also for other inhabitants of the region.