i have visited CORD branches in both Coimbatore and Siddhbari, and my experience of this organisation is beyond words. This organisation has succeeded in enabling people to help themselves. It goes beyond providing people materially with food, shelter, etc., to empowering them to be more, to grow, to sustain themselves independently, to form their own strong, positive communities, and to fight for change in order to carve out the society THEY want to live in - rather than being passive recipients of external aid. The most significant and BEST experience I want to share here is that at every CORD centre, you don't see foreigners running CORD - CORD is more of a vehicle for social improvement directed and sustained by the members of the community themselves. One example is the collective women's groups (within each village) which have empowered many women to collectively fight against discrimination and injustice experienced by individual women on a day to day basis, and even enable members of their groups to start their own business (through microfinancing). I strongly recommend this fantastic organisation :)
I am part of a community service team in the Boston chapter for CORD and we do an annual Walkathon to raise funds for CORD. CORD-USA has been instrumental in raising awareness for the incredible, 100% volunteer driven work done by CORD to help rural villagers in India. Our team has been inspired through the efforts of CORD-USA and our service team team has grown and our Walkathon now has 250 participants. CORD-USA provides a tremendous variety of information about CORD and the specific projects in India, including project vision, results, videos, etc. This helps motivate the chapters in USA to raise funds for CORD. Another program from CORD-USA is the Annual Service Project that allows youth from each of the local chapters to volunteer for onsite visits to various CORD projects in India. These young adults are able to volunteer and work with CORD project field workers to gain hands-on experience in the challenges of implementing programs in rural areas. In working with non-profit organizations it is often difficult to understand the impact that funds/efforts are making. However, both myself and the Boston chapter volunteers can sincerely give 100% support for CORD due to CORD-USA creating awareness around problems in rural villages and providing detailed information about CORD projects so that we can clearly see the impact of our efforts.
My son volunteered at a CORD orphanage in Vijayawada a couple of years ago. It was a well organized and clean atmosphere for young girls to grow up in. The girls are raised, not with the hope that someone will adopt soon, but with the idea that these girls should be raised with confidence and leave the orphanage as productive members of society. Many of the CORD activities are focused on empowering a person with life skills that can help them change their current situation as oppose to just handing out money and goods to poor people.
I have been associated with CORD for several years. Ever year, I diligently put in effort to raise money for CORD, as I strongly believe in the cause. Besides raising money, I also try and spread awareness about the organization. I am very impressed by which CORD runs the orphanage for girls in India. The Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development (CORD) empowers abused women and children in the Indian Subcontinent. The organization teaches the necessary skills to make them independent. The organization conducts holistic programs for self-upliftment for the rural and impoverished women of India without social, economic, and political boundaries. Several programs are run by CORD. Programs provide healthcare, promote literacy, and facilitate social justice. The mission of CORD is to reduce poverty and increase self-reliance.
CORD (Chinmaya Organisation of Rural Development) is a brilliant example of holistic development, that works from the grassroots level and has efffected long-lasting change in the lives of thousands of India's poorest communities. The brilliance of CORD lies in its leadership, spearheaded by the dynamic Dr Kshama Metre who began by offering health services to poor villagers - she realised poverty in rural India is complex and multi-layered and it is only by addressing its root causes that it can be eliminated for good. For example, building a school in a rural remote area is no good if people do not understand the benefit education can bring to their lives, so motivate them to lobby their local government to build a school in their local area so that they truly value and make the most of the facility. CORD works across women's empowerment, legal rights, healthcare, education, disability rights and natural resource management - it addresses the causes of poverty, not the symptoms - and it builds leaders; that is what makes it such a worthy cause.
I am one of the writers for the CORD USA newsletter and their work never ceases to amaze me! We are sometimes so caught up in our lives that we don't realize that there are people out there who do not have the things that we have. There are some people who have no families and as a result no place to live. There are some who do not have sources of livelihood because they never got an education. There are some who are afraid to speak out because they never had their voices heard. From adopting schools, holding medical camps, educating farmers, empowering women to housing children in an orphanage, CORD reaches out to these people in need and inspire us to do the same.
I'm very selective about where I donate. CORD is one of the very few organizations which has really caught my attention over the last few years. I met Dr. Kshama, the founder in New York and was very inspired by the work she has been doing over the last several decades. This organization doesn't give charity. It helps people stand on their feet.. it transforms the villagers to transform villages! What a unique concept! A sense of empowerment, confidence, and determination is generated through CORDs support in the villagers who have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to transform themselves and their villages. I look forward to an opportunity to go volunteer with this organization in the future.
CORD is a truly inspirational organisation which embodies the ideals of sincere self-less service. The organisation's dedicated workers relentlessly strive to facilitate holistic and sustainable self-upliftment, maintaining a positive attitude while doing so. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity serve with CORD, an organisation which has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands from every section of society, and continues to work hand-in-hand with communities to empower them to improve their circumstances.
I always wanted to help rural people in world. I came across CORD and have seen the activities done by them for rural people. They not only help them for once but CORD teaches to rural communities how to self-sustain themselves and live independently. Not only that, they impart some very good values to communities which is very essential in today's world. I have also witnessed lot of my friends have gone to villages where CORD is active. I was totally convinced and impressed by the efforts put by CORD organizers for their selfless service. I started volunteering for CORD events since beginning of this year and also decided to donate on monthly basis. I highly recommend to any volunteer / donor to participate in such noble cause. Its totally worth it.
I came across CORD USA whilst travelling in South India last year and after seeing the positive changes this organisation has made in the rural villages of many parts of India, I too decided to join forces and became a donor. CORD USA particularly empowers and changes lives of women of rural India. In my view, women are the biggest victims of poverty. I highly encourage anyone interested in development whether it be as a student, volunteer or donor; to get behind this great organisation.
Learning and participating in the work of CORD has been tremendously inspiring. The key differentiating factor is CORD's emphasis on self empowerment - supporting individuals and communities to reach their potential. This approach results in a sustainable, wholesome, and integrated program that is truly enriching.
CORD USA is a very unique non-profit with their focus on women. There is a sanskrit saying in India that goes thus, "yatra yatra naareestu poojyantE tatra tatra devataah nivasah santi"...translated as "Where women are worshiped, there angels reside". Unfortunately, in the contradiction that India is, the plight of the women and therefore the country has nothing to write home about. Not many non-profits focus on women. As they say, if the women are educated, entire family is educated. So, there begins the story of any development. By focusing at the foundations that lead to a well developed society, CORD is doing a wonderful job. The other aspect of CORD USA is the fact that it is the brain child of Pujya Swami Chinmayananda, a leader, a mentor, a sage whose unparalleled wisdom inspired millions to wake up from the slumber of ignorance. It is therefore fitting that I am proud to write this review on Deepaavali day. I would highly recommend CORD USA to anyone who would like to get involved with development work. Inspite of the policy disasters that keep India in the darkness of perpetual poverty, it is organizations like CORD (and CORD USA) who light the candle of hope through their self-less service and I pray and hope on this Deepaavali day that this light will never lose its shine much like the wisdom of her founding father Pujya Chinmayananda.