Last month, I had the privilege of interviewing Shanu and Hayes from the Abhilasha Project, and the Dancing in the Rain for Rogers House. They both are this week’s campus celebrities!
The Abhilasha Project, started in 2007, was founded upon the realization that there are many differently abled students in India who, unfortunately, have no place to study. Today, due to the efforts of Shanu Bhandari, a 3rd year biochemistry student at uOttawa, and Ali sister co-founders, the project has created a school with 43 differently abled students in Chattisgarh, India. The school provides a much-needed place for these students to learn and interact, while also providing them with opportunities for the future. While the Abhilasha project has morphed from an idea into a tangible project and a real school, there are still many hardships that the school and students face. There is a vast shortage of opportunities for graduate students. Especially in a country as large and populous as India, differently abled students just don’t have the same opportunities as others upon graduation. Therefore, the Abhilasha Project at uOttawa fundraises money and sends funds directly to the school.
In the future, Shanu wants the project to create a story. She wants to project to create a refurbished and top state school, with more students and more graduates. This will create not only a story of success, but also a story of inspiration and uniqueness. At uOttawa, the project puts on many different fundraising and awareness events throughout the year, including Live in for Literacy, where the participants sleep on Morisset terrace for a week and raise funds and awareness towards illiteracy, Dodge for Humanity, a huge dodge ball tournament, and various other board game nights, and bake sales. You can check out their website, or their facebook page for more information.
This year, the project teamed up with Hayes Lao, a 3rd year biomedical sciences student at uOttawa, and his project Dancing in the Rain, which is part of the Rogers House. The Rogers House, opened in 2006, seeks to raise awareness about genetic disorders and other life-limiting illnesses. Located in Ottawa, in the CHEO area, the Rogers House team provides end-of-life and transition-to-home support, pain management and other urgent palliative care for children suffering from life-threatening illness. Dancing in the Rain is a uOttawa club that raises awareness and funds for the Rogers House through dodge ball tournaments, bake sales and other sports events. You can find out more about this awesome project on their website or facebook page.
Since both Hayes and Shanu volunteered for the Rogers House, they teamed up this year for an event in February. The Love for all Charity Gala dinner, is the joint fundraising event with a common focus on helping children with special needs local and abroad, and will include speakers from both clubs. It will take place on February 8th, 6:00pm at the Palki restaurant (1580 Cyrville road) right next to St Laurent mall. It’s an all you can eat Indian buffet. The ticket is 30$ for students. Attire is semi formal. More information will be available on either of their facebook pages in the coming weeks, so stayed tuned for this awesome event!!